Manchester City moved back to the top of the Barclay’s Women’s Super League and extended our unbeaten start to the campaign with a tight 1-0 victory against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Gareth Taylor’s side started quick and got an early goal through Chloe Kelly in an action packed first half which could have seen more goals.

The second half produced more of the same, but neither team could find a way past each other, as City picked up another important three points and move back to the summit of the WSL.

WHAT HAPPENED

City began proceedings on the front foot, and had the first sight of goal when Jill Roord rose highest from a floated cross by Yui Hasegawa, but her header landed on the roof of the net.

But a brilliant move from City soon after would result in an early breakthrough.

Roord drove at the Leicester defence and fed a ball through to Kelly who unleashed a powerful effort which was too strong for Janina Leitzig.

The winger was played through again looking for her second soon after, but this time Leitzig came out on top, as she saved smartly with her legs.

Gareth Taylor’s side were in inspired form and charged forward once more. Filippa Angeldahl cut back to Esme Morgan, but her effort was too close to the Leicester City keeper.

Leicester started to have an attacking spell of their own though, as Hannah Cain clipped the ball to Lena Petermann who’s shot was parried out by Khiara Keating.

Moments later, the City keeper had to smother Jutta Rantala’s driven shot, before almost turning provider at the other end.

On the half hour mark, Keating played a beautiful ball over the home defence onto Angeldahl, who forced a fine save from Leitzig, before Courtney Nevin headed off the line. 

The Swedish international and Mary Fowler both looked to tuck away the rebound but Leicester managed to force it out for a corner.

With City not taking their chances at one end, it opened it up to Leicester at the other.

Cain’s cross took a deflection and looped towards Sam Tierney but Keating was alert to the danger and blocked the shot, before the City keeper had to get a strong hand on Shannon O’Brien’s attempt.

But on 65 minutes, City should have scored a second.

The substitutes were in action as Lauren Hemp used her pace to break clear down the right, her effort was parried out by the Leicester keeper into the path of Jess Park who could not divert the ball into the net after it came to her.

Down the other end, Rantala tried her luck from far out but Keating was there once again to meet the effort.

But City were searching for the second to wrap things up, as Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw had two chances in quick succession. 

Park cut back to her inside the area, but her shot was blocked, but the second sight of goal was all down to the Jamaican.

She rolled the ball onto her left work and fired a ferocious shot towards goal, but Leitzig met the effort with a smart save.

There was one final late chance to seal the deal as Hemp recovered possession on the right and cut onto her left before she forced a fine save from Leitzig.

But while City weren’t able to extend our advantage, Gareth Taylor‘s side battled hard to earn all three points and will go into the international break top of the pile in the WSL.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: KHIARA KEATING

The 19-year-old once again showed maturity beyond her years at the King Power Stadium.

The City keeper, who has recently received an England call up for the upcoming international break, protected her goal with confidence and distributed play with ease as she assisted her team mates with playing the ball up the pitch.

HOW WE LINED UP

Gareth Taylor named an unchanged side from last week’s 5-0 win over Bristol City.

Khiara Keating started between the sticks, shielded by a back four of Esme Morgan, Alanna Kennedy, Alex Greenwood and Leia Aleixandri.

Yui Hasegawa, Filippa Angeldahl and Jill Roord made up the midfield three, with Chloe Kelly, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw and Mary Fowler at the sharp end.

LEICESTER CITY XI | Leitzig, Nevin, Tierney, Butt, Howard, Rantala, Petermann, Whelan (C) (72’ Rose), Thibaud, Cain, O’Brien (85’ Goodwin)

SUBS | Mears, Palmer, Cayman, Robinson, Green, Baker, Draper

CITY XI | Keating, Morgan, Kennedy, Greenwood (C), Aleixandri, Hasegawa, Angeldahl, Roord, Kelly (61’ Park), Shaw, Fowler (61’ Hemp)

SUBS | MacIver, Houghton, Coombs, Castellanos, Ouahabi, Casparij, Mace

WHAT IT MEANS

At the time of writing, City moved back to the top of the table with 10 points, and extended our unbeaten start to the campaign.

FA WSL
1 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 18 15 1 2 49 12 37 46 WWWWW
2 Chelsea FC Chelsea Chelsea 17 14 1 2 50 14 36 43 WLWWW
3 Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal 18 13 1 4 42 18 24 40 LWWLW
Last updated: 14 April 2024

UP NEXT

After the international break, our next fixture sees us travel to North London on the 5 November as we face Arsenal at Meadow Park in the Barclay’s Women’s Super League.

Kick-off is scheduled for 12:30 (UK).

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