Women's Team

“Breathe in every single moment”: Bardsley’s Manchester derby advice

Karen Bardsley has called for City to embrace the pressure of Sunday’s potentially historic Etihad derby with Manchester United.

Gareth Taylor’s face our cross-city rivals for just the second Barclays Women’s Super League showdown at the Etihad Stadium between the two sides.

Over 40,000 tickets have been snapped up ahead of the encounter, with the previous record attendance for a Women’s match standing at 31,213.

And Bardsley, who made over 100 appearances for the Club, insists the atmosphere can play a huge part in the fixture.


“It’s one of those games where you’ve got to breathe in every single moment. It’s going to be tense, but I’m so excited,” the former City goalkeeper explained.

“Literally anything can happen, and that’s why it’s so exciting and everyone needs to be there.

“I am so excited for this game, and I get so stoked about it every time it comes up.

“You look at it on the fixture list at the start of the season and mark it on the calendar and make sure you keep the whole weekend free!

“It’s so much fun to be a part of. The last few, I wasn’t able to be a part of due to injury and various other things, but there’s always such a great vibe and atmosphere.”

City have won each of our last eight in all competitions, a run that stretches back to the beginning of October.

And a further WSL victory over United would put us within touching distance of the summit.

However, three points is far from a foregone conclusion, with the visitors having lost just once all season.

Everything points towards a fascinating encounter, which could have a huge significance on the rapidly developing WSL title race.

While Bardsley is of course hoping for a City win, she believes the match’s wide exposure and general growth is already a triumph for the game.

Next Fixture

All fixtures


Man City
Manchester City


Man United
Manchester United FC

She said: “Ultimately, it’s about delivering a really exciting game, being at the Etihad and getting as many eyes on the game as possible, it’s going to be such a good day and atmosphere.

“There’s a rivalry between the players and it’s starting to grow among the supporters and the population of Greater Manchester.

“There’s really something on the line, and every year you can expect something amazing to happen.

“My eyes are going to be firmly fixed on what’s going on, you just don’t know what to expect, it’s going to be a ferocious battle.”