City recorded a hard fought 1-0 friendly victory over Liverpool at the Academy Stadium on Saturday.

On her first appearance in sky blue following her return from the Women’s World Cup, Laura Coombs scored the only goal of the game in what was a valuable pre-season test.

Chances were few and far between in the opening stages with both sides enjoying possession in the Manchester sunshine.

The first notable chance fell to the visitors when Natasha Flynn attempted a speculative effort from 25-yards with Khiara Keating off her goalline, but our keeper read the flight of the ball expertly to claim.

As the first half progressed, City grew into the game and tested Rachel Laws for the first time when a neat, fast-pace move saw Yui Hasegawa’s low driven effort fall to the feet of Deyna Castellanos whose stinging effort was tipped over the bar.


The Venezuela international scored a wonderful effort in our 3-2 victory over Bristol City last time out and was denied a second goal in as many matches by Laws’ fingertips.

Despite the fixture being played behind-closed-doors, it was still played with the intensity and ferocity usually found in Barclays Women’s Super League fixtures with a number of crunching tackles and fast attacking play on show from both teams.

And Liverpool had the ball in the back of the net on the cusp of half-time when Flynn collected a diagonal ball behind City’s backline and drilled into the bottom corner but she had strayed into an offside position which ruled her well-taken effort out.

The fixture with the Reds represented a first game at club level for a swathe of our World Cup stars since the conclusion of the prestigious showpiece. 

One of those being Australian Mary Fowler who scored and assisted at the tournament and she almost carved out the game’s first goal when she weaved down the left wing and teed up Jill Roord who skewed an effort wide. 

City then began to dominate proceedings just after the hour mark and we produced arguably the move of the match when Hasegawa sent a delicate ball to Fowler who then forwarded it into the path of Bunny before the Jamaican’s well-struck effort was blocked. 

Taylor’s side were in the ascendency and came close again shortly after when Coombs danced down the left and delivered an inviting ball across the box to Chloe Kelly who fired just over the bar.

And our attacking control paid dividends just after 70 minutes when a whipped Kelly corner found Coombs at the back post who delightfully curled the ball into the far corner with the outside of her right boot.

It was just what the midfielder deserved following her impressive display after coming from the bench at half-time. 

As similar to our friendly encounter with the Vixens, the intensity of the closing stages slightly dropped with our players still building up to full match sharpness and the demanding heat also playing a part.

City, though, were comfortable in possession and nullified  Liverpool’s threat to see out the victory.


City XI: Keating (MacIver 46’), Casparij (Morgan 70’), Mace (Greenwood 46’), Aleixandri (C) (Prior 78’), Ouahabi (Blakstad 46’), Hasegawa, Roord (Coombs 62), Castellanos (Angeldahl 46’), Park (Kelly 46’), Shaw, Hemp (Fowler 46’).

Substitutes: Hutchings, Lackey.

Liverpool XI: Laws, Koivisto, Fisk, Nagano, Kinds (C), Hobinger (Kearns 62’), Clark, Holland, Daniels, Bonner (Fahey 62’), Flint (Enderby 62’).

Substitutes: Lundgaard, Micah, Taylor.