Match Report

City thrash Foxes to boost top three hopes

City thrash Foxes to boost top three hopes
Sun 24 Apr
Caroline Weir 

Lauren Hemp 

Julie Blakstad 

Alex Greenwood 

View highlights
City took a huge step towards Women's Champions League qualification with a thumping 4-0 win over Leicester at the Academy Stadium.

First-half goals from Caroline Weir and Lauren Hemp, plus Julie Blakstad's first for the Club, set the hosts on our way, before Alex Greenwood made no mistake from the spot shortly after the hour.

The triumph - thoroughly dominant from start to finish - extended our impressive run of form and most importantly, lifted Gareth Taylor's side into the top three as the league campaign nears its conclusion with three games to go.


What happened

Heading into the clash in excellent form with 17 wins from our last 19 in all competitions and in the knowledge goal difference could be key in the fight for third place, City laid immediate siege to the Foxes’ goal.

The hosts savoured plenty of joy down the flanks with Chloe Kelly – making her first appearance in front of the City home crowd – combining well with full-backs Blakstad and Lucy Bronze.

Blakstad and Hemp combined well to carve the game’s first chance, crossing for Ellen White whose low drive was well-saved by Demi Lambourne at the nearpost.

The home side would not have to wait long for the breakthrough though, as the opening goal arrived just after the quarter-hour mark, as Kelly latched onto Bronze’s clipped pass to the by-line and cut back for Weir to slide into the far corner.

Blakstad continued to threaten down the left, drilling in a dangerous cross which was almost turned into Ashleigh Plumptre’s own net.

White then volleyed a Bronze delivery just the wrong side of the post before Hemp dragged an effort wide, but the winger would double the advantage before the break, heading an attempted clearance into White’s path, collecting the loose ball and chipping neatly over Lambourne for her 40th City goal.

There was time for a third before half-time. Once again, Hemp and Blakstad linked up well – this time the England star played into the path of the Norwegian, who’s cross-shot rocketed into the top corner to open her goalscoring account for her new Club.

Weir went in search of her second shortly after the restart with a low attempt from distance, which was parried by Lambourne but just evaded White for the rebound.

Ellie Roebuck remained untroubled - Jemma Purfield's long-range free-kick marked the Foxes' first attempt on target but it was comfortably gathered by the England shot-stopper. A Laura Coombs effort suffered the same fate at the other end.

City's fourth of the afternoon would arrive from the penalty spot, as Greenwood coolly sent Lambourne the wrong way after the 'keeper had upended Hemp.

With a strong advantage, Taylor rang the changes in the second half with fresh legs, as City continued to press. 

Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw, Weir, Filippa Angeldahl and Georgia Stanway all went close to extending the advantage but fired off-target but four would be enough in the end to leapfrog cross-town rivals Manchester United in the table - if only for a few hours.

What it means

City move above the Reds into third spot on goal difference/goals scored and a game in hand with just three league games remaining, though the Reds travel to Aston Villa this evening.

1 Leicester City FC Leicester City Leicester 1 1 0 0 4 2 2 3 W
2 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3 W
3 Brighton & Hove Albion Brighton and Hove Albion Brighton 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3 W
Last updated: 3 October 2023

How we lined-up...

Taylor made one change to the side that secured our place in the Women's FA Cup Final with a 4-1 win over West Ham last time out, as Blakstad replaced Demi Stokes.

Roebuck took her place in goal, shielded by a backline of Blakstad, Greenwood, Alanna Kennedy and Bronze.

Keira Walsh protected the back four in the defensive midfield role, employed behind Weir and Coombs. Kelly and Hemp occupied the wings, while White led the line upfront.

CITY XI | Roebuck, Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood (Mace 77'), Blakstad (Stokes 64'), Walsh (Angeldahl 76'), Coombs (Stanway 64'), Weir, Kelly, Hemp, White (C) (Shaw 64')

SUBS | Taieb, Keating, Raso

LEICESTER XI | Lambourne, McManus (C) (Barker 65'), Flint (Bailey-Gayle 72'), Pike, Goodwin, De Graaf, Howard, Gregory, Plumptre, Purfield, O'Brien (Scofield 65')

SUBS | Harris, Brougham, Devlin, Boddy

Attendance: 1,895


• In the last 11 games, no team has collected more points in the FA Women's Super League than City.

• Gareth Taylor's side have won all 20 of our league matches against newly-promoted teams by an aggregate score of 76-6, never conceding more than once in a game in that run.

• We have only conceded twice in ten games in 2022, keeping eight clean sheets, and have won our last six league games without conceding.

• Ellie Roebuck has only conceded three goals in her last 15 FA WSL appearances and has conceded just once in seven games this season.

Lauren Hemp's strike ensured the winger scored in her first two games against a specific opponent for the fifth time in the league, after Everton, Sunderland, West Ham and most recently Aston Villa.

What's next

City have a run of three successive home games and welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to the Academy Stadium on Saturday 30 April in an 11:30am (UK time) kick-off.

Taylor's side then entertain Birmingham on Wednesday 4 May (19:00) with the game set to be shown live on CITY+.

The league season then reaches its conclusion with a trip to Reading on Sunday 8 May at 12noon.

Tickets for all home games are now on sale.


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