Women's Team

Taylor: It was a game of two halves

Taylor: It was a game of two halves
Gareth Taylor was left to rue missed chances, as City surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 in the second FA Women’s Super League Manchester Derby.

First-half goals from Chloe Kelly and Laura Coombs had given the visitors a richly-deserved lead at Leigh Sports Village – only for United to produce a spirited fightback after the break and salvage a point.

Taylor admitted the result marked two points dropped for City, especially as we spurned the opportunity to close the gap on the table-topping Reds, conceding our second half display did not match the opening 45.

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“Being 2-0 up, being so in control in the first half and having numerous chances, we're disappointed with a point,” he reflected.

"I thought it was a classic game of two halves - they scored a goal from nothing and you’re up against it then from set pieces.

"I thought we were going to come in 1-0 at half time and then Laura scores a brilliant goal. That was a bonus.

"We should have been out of sight I thought.

“I wouldn’t say we took our foot off the gas. The effort and endeavour was there.


                        Taylor: It was a game of two halves

“They had to go for it and put pressure on. Sometimes the half-time break comes when you don’t want it.

“I just don’t think we executed well enough. They scored early on and it got their tails up. There were plenty of set plays and I thought some of the decisions were generous for them.

“Goals from set-plays are the frustrating ones. It’s an area we can certainly improve on. We’ve not given away a lot of goals so two give two away is disappointing.

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"The girls will learn a lot. This happens in football.

"It happens when you are in control of a game and the ascendancy switches to the opposition.

"It can happen when you feel you’re out of sight and then you get back into the game.

"There are lessons to be learnt. I thought we were top class in the first half and created good opportunities.

“It’s still early days but obviously, we could have gone within two points today.

“We need to dust ourselves down. We don’t want teams to get too far away from us.

English Women's Super League
6 Manchester United Man United 8 3 3 2 12 13 -1 12 WDDDL
7 Manchester City Man City 8 3 1 4 16 16 0 10 LDWLW
8 Reading FC Reading 8 3 1 4 10 12 -2 10 LWWDW

“I’ve always been confident that teams will take points off one another. It’s disappointing and we need to make sure between now and end of season we get maximum points to give ourselves the best chance.”

Discussing further positives from the game, Taylor hailed the contributions of in-form midfield duo Coombs and Sam Mewis.

“That area is probably the highest amount of competition we have,” he declared.

“Testament to Sam, I thought her and Laura created space themselves and used it well in the first half.

“It’s something we didn't do enough in the second half. Sam’s been immense. She is a winner and she drags people with her. She has hit the ground running.

“She can mix the game up. She’s technically good, scores goals and can handle the physical part of the game as well.

“She is adaptable. She can play in the holding role. Good players can play anywhere.

“Laura is a good footballer with real composure. She’s comfortable on the ball, picks up good positions on the pitch and she has added goals to her game.

“There is a lot of competition in her area. She’s been great.”

Taylor also provided a welcome update on captain Steph Houghton, who required treatment after the final whistle, having collided with Lauren James in the last kick of the game.

"I think she is fine. I think it was a knee to the back,” he explained.

"The game was quite physical in the last 10 mins. Steph’s good."

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