Women's Team

Bronze: Home Derby debut a fairytale

Bronze: Home Derby debut a fairytale
Lucy Bronze says her first home Manchester Derby could not have unfolded more perfectly.

The Best FIFA World Player of the Year starred, producing a influential Player of the Match performance, as City thrashed neighbours Manchester United 3-0 in the FA Women's Super League.

The right-back opened the scoring to set City on our way to a pivotal three points in the title race, smashing home midway through the first half, before a Lauren Hemp strike and Caroline Weir wondergoal sealed a memorable win - and the local bragging rights.

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Before the game, Bronze had told our digital match programme she had always longed for a Manchester Derby during her first spell at the Club and now, having experienced a first home Derby success, she celebrated her 'fairytale' result.

"It's my first home Derby - I've never played United at home and it was special to kick-off the scoring!" she smiled.

"To get the opening goal and a clean sheet and all the rest of it... it was a fairytale game for me personally!

"I was just waiting for the ball to come down and hit it as hard as I could!

"Caz Weir's goal was better than mine! It was Cantona-esque, which is quite ironic!

"We worked hard for all of the goals. We knew they were only going to get in from our mistakes and that showed in the first half with silly little fouls and giving possession over easily.

"When we were tidy with the ball and played our normal game, we showed our quality. We showed why we won the game in the fashion we did.

"We could have had a couple more but it was nothing less than we expected."


                        Bronze: Home Derby debut a fairytale

The triumph lifted City above United into second in the WSL table - two points behind leaders Chelsea.

With Taylor's side set to welcome the London side to the Academy Stadium at the end of April, the title race lies in City's hands - and Bronze believes the season finale could prove to be the most unpredictable yet.

"It's exciting," she added. "We played Arsenal on Sunday, who are in and around it; then United... Then they play each other and we play Chelsea...

"Then there's Brighton popping up and taking points off the big teams...

"It's exciting - you don't know week in, week out what will happen.

"We focus on ourselves. We mentioned before Christmas that if we win all of our games, top three is guaranteed and now, if we win all of our games, we'll finish with the title."


                        Bronze: Home Derby debut a fairytale

Winning nine of our last ten games in all competitions - and last seven league encounters - City have hit a rich vein of form.

Taylor's side stand as the division's leading goalscorers, having bagged an astonishing 25 goals in our last six games.

With our rampant form in stark contrast to the opening weeks of the campaign, Bronze was asked what has changed.

The right-back replied she believes the upturn in fortune is purely down to growing familiarity.

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"In the first few months, results didn't go out way," she admitted. "We were getting used to a new manager, new players...

"This City team is impressive. We don't rely on one player, or two, or three, or four.

"Sam Mewis has arguably been out best player and we haven't had her available since Christmas - yet, we've still gone on to win games.

"Something is changing - our strength in depth, the quality players we have.

"We brought Rose Lavelle on from the bench - a World Cup superstar!

"That's the difference now. We're ready to compete in all competitions at the highest level."

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