Women's Team

Taylor: Players deserve credit for equalling winning record

Gareth Taylor says he could not be more proud of his players, as City equalled an FA Women’s Super League record in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Goals from Janine Beckie and Caroline Weir, plus a Becky Spencer own-goal, handed the visitors as a crucial three points in the title race and clinched a 12th successive league triumph – an achievement matched only once before: by Arsenal in 2018.

The win ensured City stay within touching distance of table-topping Chelsea with three WSL games remaining, with the pair set to meet later this month in a potential title-deciding clash.


Heading into that encounter in exceptional form in the division, Taylor says his side deserve applause for their scintillating form in the second half of the season.

“To go on this 12-game winning streak is something the players deserve credit for,” he declared.

“In a 22-game season, it’s phenomenal.

“It’s given us chance – we’re in touching distance and we know what we need to do in these games.”

City opened the scoring inside five minutes, as Chloe Kelly’s whipped corner delivery was diverted in by Spencer.

Taylor admitted the early goal helped ease any nerves and put City in control, but asserted the clash was not as easy as the scoreline may suggest.

“It helps,” he reflected. “It seemed quite a cheap goal from a set-play. It was put into a good area and it’s good for us – it calms the nerves and allows us to build from that platform.

“It wasn’t easy. It was a well-earned three points. Spurs worked really hard, pressing, and they tweaked a few things – they threw an extra player forward.

“You’re not always going to get things right. Our decision-making could have improved but it’s never an easy game here.

“In the second half, we started brightly and potentially could have had a couple more goals but you have to be really happy with three goals and three points.”

The triumph also saw Janine Beckie net her second goal in as many games with the Canadian handed her chance to shine in Lauren Hemp’s absence.

Taylor was impressed with his forward’s contribution, adding her influence off-the-pitch has also proven a key attribute in his side’s recent success.

“Janine deserved her spot in the team today,” he hailed. “Against Barca, she scored in that game and she’s a very good player.

“She’s someone I really admire and my job is to give her the platform to show her potential.

“She knows she has to work at her consistency, which can be hard when you’re not playing, but she’s a big part of the reason we’ve done well.

“She’s pushing players in training, she’s a great person to have around – a great team player. That’s why everyone loves her.”

Taylor also shared an update on defenders Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood. Bronze was not named in the matchday squad, while Greenwood pulled up in the warm-up and was replaced by Aoife Mannion.

The right-back made her first start since 2019 and despite a lack of preparation, handled the situation very well – much to her manager’s delight.

“Lucy travelled with us. She had a niggling groin injury and woke up this morning and it was too sore,” Taylor explained.

“We had quite an interesting 24 hours. Alex sustained a similar injury in the warm-up.

“We put Aoife in at late notice but she handled it really well. It was right on kick-off so it was a pretty mad start to the game!

“I guess she would have been less nervous about starting. She came out to start on the bench but the physios said Alex wasn’t right to start. To have had Alex to start and then have to make a change wasn’t ideal.

“I had no issue with Georgia Stanway at right-back but for Aoife to come in late with a lack of preparation, she handled things really well. It was also good for Abby Dahlkemper, and Esme Morgan was very good today.

“Aoife showed great composure. Her first start was a long time ago.”