The defender stepped into the breach moments before kick-off at the Hive, replacing Alex Greenwood in the starting XI after the Champions League winner pulled up in the warm-up.
Despite a lack of preparation, Mannion rose to the challenge admirably, earning deserved acclaim from her manager Gareth Taylor and teammates for her performance – her first start since 2019 – under difficult circumstances, as City clinched a 12th successive league win.
“I’m incredibly proud of her,” Beckie declared. “It was an incredibly difficult situation to come into.
“It’s been a difficult time for her with her injury and she’s worked so hard to come back. I’ve been there watching.
“She couldn’t be a better person and she got the opportunity and took it.
“She was the ultimate team player. She stepped in and did the team proud.
“You can put anyone in our backline and because of the way we play, it works out.”
Beckie herself impressed with a Player of the Match performance, scoring the second goal with an accomplished curling finish for her second in as many games.
Handed the chance to shine in Lauren Hemp’s absence, the Canada star has taken her opportunity with both feet but ever humble, asserts her main focus is to support her team.
“It’s always good to score and help the team get the win,” she stated.
“The goal against Barcelona didn’t feel as good because of the situation but you have to score to stay in the team.
“This team is competitive and it’s hard to get in the team with Lauren [Hemp] and Chloe [Kelly]. As a teammate, I’m proud of the shifts they’ve put in.
“You have to do something worth staying in the team. For me, that’s putting the ball in the back of the net and it’s something to build on.
“My job is to make everyone better. Gaz [Gareth Taylor] gave me the opportunity to play against Barcelona and I took advantage of that.
“He recognises good play and I was proud of my performance but as my own self-critic, there are things that could be better.
“There were more goals on the table and I’ll take that into the next game.
“It’s about consistency for me so going into the last games, there are things I can use.
“Moving forward, the focus is on international break but we have three games left to push it and Chelsea is the next game in the WSL.
“[Pausing for international break] does put a wrench in but I love playing for the national team and I have a different role.
“To shift focus is second nature now but this team is great at getting back into the rhythm.
“If we’re at the top of our game, we’re the best team in the league.”