Manchester City suffered late heartbreak as two goals in the dying moments saw Arsenal snatch a 2-1 victory.

Lauren Hemp’s lethal first half finish put City ahead as we looked to secure a record 15 consecutive wins in the Barclays Women’s Super League. 

But Arsenal’s pressure was rewarded with Stina Blackstenius scoring twice deep in the game to snatch a dramatic late victory.

It was also an emotional afternoon at the Joie Stadium for Club legend Steph Houghton’s final home game for City, in front of a record crowd of 5,409.

We remain in control of the WSL title race despite the setback, with Chelsea requiring two wins and a seven-goal swing to deny us the crown.

What Happened 

There was a full house at the Joie Stadium for a huge game and the chance to say a thank you to Houghton’s huge service to the Club. 

It was end-to-end action from the beginning, with both sides maintaining high intensity in their pressing.

The first chance opened up in the first five minutes through some strong link-up play between Laura Coombs and Lauren Hemp, allowing the latter to coolly slide the ball across the box into the feet of Leila Ouahabi, whose shot was just narrowly wide.

Another opportunity opened up for the Spaniard through a cross by Mary Fowler soon after, with her header caught comfortably by Manuela Zinsberger.

But City were also tested at the other end, with Frida Maanum’s quick feet in the box allowing her to release a fantastic strike which Khiara Keating expertly saved.

The visitors continued their pursuit of the advantage, but the first goal would come to City.   

Mary Fowler’s deep cross found Ouahabi at the far post, who cut back to Hemp. And the winger’s brilliant strike on the turn passed easily through the Arsenal defence at the 17-minute mark.

But City’s defensive prowess was shining as the Gunners continued to press.

As the half-time whistle approached, Cloe Lacasse thundered down the wing into the box, but Yui Hasegawa was on hand to cut out the danger, before Beth Mead’s dangerous cross was read well by Laia Aleixandri.

The intensity didn’t let up in the second half, and the Gunner’s defence was called to action quickly within the first five minutes as a fierce shot by Fowler in the box was blocked well by Zinsberger.

But the visitors enjoyed their own set of chances, with Katie McCabe’s shot denied by Fowler, before Keating was called into action to deny Mead after she’d displaced Hasegawa.

Midway through the second half, a mistake by Zinsberger opened up an opportunity for substitute Fillippa Angeldahl when the Swede managed to block the goalkeeper’s clearance, but the ball fell agonisingly out of the midfielder’s reach.

But if City had controlled large parts of the first 45, it was the opposite in the second, with the Gunners’ press eventually paying off.

A scramble in the box fell to Blackstenius as stoppage time approached, and the substitute poked the ball into the top of the net from close range. 

And the visitors were able to capitalise on the momentum, with Blackstenius heading home four minutes later from an inviting cross. 

City tried to regroup in injury time, but Angeldahl was denied by Zinsberger once more, before Park volleyed over at the death. 

It wasn’t to be for City and the title race is now set to go down to the final weekend of the season, with the possibility that it could be decided by goal difference.


Khiara Keating sat in between the sticks, shielded by a back four of Kerstin Casparij, Laia Aleixandri, Captain Alex Greenwood and Leila Ouahabi

Yui Hasegawa sat in front of the defence, with Laura Coombs and Jess Park completing the midfield.  

Lauren Hemp and Mary Fowler sat on the wings, with Chloe Kelly finishing the strike force. 

CITY XI: Keating, Casparij (Kennedy 87’), Alexiandri, Greenwood (C), Ouahabi, Hasegawa, Coombs (Angeldahl 56’), Park, Hemp, Fowler, Kelly 

Substitutes: Startup, Stokes, Houghton, Morgan, Pritchard, Blindkilde Brown, Mace. 

Arsenal XI: Zinsberger, Fox (Catley 61’), Williamson, Mead, Maanum (Little 45’), McCabe (Wienroither 82’), Pelova, Russo, Lacasse (Foord 61’), Codina, Cooney-Cross (Blackstenius, 61’)

Substitutes: D’Angelo, Goldie, Agycmang, Reid. 

what this means

City still sit top of the WSL table ahead of the final weekend of the season.

We sit six points clear of Chelsea, with Emma Hayes’ side needing two wins from their games in hand, and a seven goal swing to clinch the title.


Our next game sees us travel Aston Villa in our final match of the Barclay’s Super League on the 18 May.

Kick-off is at 15:00 (UK) as we aim to claim our second WSL title in what will be a nail-biting finale to the season. 

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