Cup finals, derby victories to savour and record attendances – 2022 has been another unforgettable year for Gareth Taylor’s side.

City’s Barclays Women’s Super League season gets back under way on Sunday 15 January when we travel down to the Chigwell Construction Stadium to face West Ham United.

On the back of a ten-match unbeaten run in all competitions and having secured qualification for the Continental Cup knockout stages, we go into that tie on the back of a fine run of form.

However, there have been plenty of other memorable moments across the past 12 months...

Important wins

City scored four or more goals on 14 occasions in 2022, equating to just shy of 40% of every match we played in the past 12 months.

Among those were an 8-0 victory over Nottingham Forest, a 7-2 WSL win against Brighton, 6-0 hammerings against Birmingham, Blackburn and WFC Tomiris-Turan and an unforgettable 4-1 triumph away to Manchester United in the FA Cup.

However, Gareth Taylor’s side also demonstrated our ability to grind out results when it mattered, with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Manchester United in February a hugely significant step towards leapfrogging our rivals at the end of 2021/22.


Conti Cup conquerors

However, perhaps the finest performance was reserved for March 2022, in what was also one of our most important encounters.

City went in at half-time of the Continental Cup final trailing Chelsea by a single goal following Sam Kerr’s instinctive close-range finish.

But with Lauren Hemp having hit the woodwork, accompanied by strong claims for a penalty being waved away, Gareth Taylor’s side were far from out of the contest though, and rallied after the break.

Caroline Weir restored parity before the 50-minute mark, with Ellen White tapping home on the rebound from Hemp’s effort to turn the game on its head soon after.

And the turnaround was complete with 20 to play when Weir volleyed home from a corner, ensuring the trophy returned to Manchester.

It was City’s fourth triumph in the competition and first since 2019.

Attendance records

Caroline Weir’s audacious chip against Manchester United in February 2022 was a goal befitting its significant occasion.

Indeed, a Club record crowd of 5,317 packed into the Academy Stadium to witness City get the better of our rivals by a single goal.

Ten months later, Gareth Taylor’s side went one better, breaking our overall attendance record for a Women’s match when we hosted United at the Etihad Stadium.

Laura Coombs’ second half header ensured City came away with a point in the Derby, cancelling out Leah Galton’s deflected effort in the process.

With 44,259 supporters watching from the terraces, the clash drew the largest crowd for a women’s game in our history, surpassing the previous record of 31,213 set in September 2019.

Goals galore

City found the net 115 times in our 36 matches across 2022, but there were several strikes which stand out from the crowd.

No list of spectacular goals would be complete without mention of Weir’s incredible dinked finish from distance against Manchester United, which sealed a crucial WSL victory in February.

Three months later, Hemp produced her own moment of individual quality in the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Forced wide by Jess Carter after picking up play from Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw, the winger skipped away from the attentions of Millie Bright and curled home expertly from a tight angle at Wembley.

And while Chloe Kelly’s clinical finish against West Ham United in April was perhaps less spectacular, its significance as her first goal since returning from an anterior cruciate ligament injury the previous May ensures it makes the list for 2021/22.

Gareth Taylor’s side have continued to turn on the style in the current campaign, with Laura Coombs’ emphatic volley away to Aston Villa and Shaw’s vicious low drive at Tottenham ranking high among our 38 strikes so far.

Japanese international Yui Hasegawa also marked her debut with a spectacular long range effort against Leicester back in September – a fitting finale to a standout display from the midfielder.

Departing heroes

2022 also saw City bid farewell to several longstanding members of the squad.

Jill Scott, fresh from helping England to Euro 2022 glory, announced her retirement from football in August 2022, with former international and Club team-mate Karen Bardsley also deciding to hang up the boots at the end of last season.

Founding members of our first professional outfit in 2014, the duo made a combined total of just under 300 appearances at the Academy Stadium, helping us claim every available domestic honour in the process.

Ellen White, another member of this summer’s Lionesses side, also decided to call time on her storied career in August, having netted 34 goals in 90 appearances for the Club.

While the core of the side remains the same, Weir, Georgia Stanway, Lucy Bronze, Janine Beckie and Keira Walsh all moving on to pastures new in 2022 means City have taken on a fresh complexion as we head into the new year.

New arrivals

It’s often said that with change comes opportunity, and Gareth Taylor has assembled an exciting young squad over the past 12 months.

Julie Blakstad was the first to arrive in January 2022, with the winger’s five goals from six starts so far this season a perfect demonstration of her continued development.

Elsewhere, summer arrivals Laia Aleixandri, Leila Ouahabi and Kerstin Casparij have each settled expertly into life at the Academy Stadium, helping to bolster City’s already impressive defence.


England international Sandy MacIver’s return ahead of the new season has offered further competition between the sticks for Ellie Roebuck and Khiara Keating, while Hasegawa’s quality on the ball and tenacity without it has injected new energy into the midfield.

At the sharp end, both Deyna Castellanos and Mary Fowler’s arrivals have proven vital in a successful start to the campaign, with the former bagging on her City debut and the latter already grabbing three goals and two assists in blue.

Indeed, with our sights firmly set on domestic success and with the summer World Cup beckoning, 2023 promises to be another exciting year City.