Match Report

City sunk by Spurs fightback

City sunk by Spurs fightback
Sun 12 Sep
Lauren Hemp 

Rachel Williams 
Karima Benameur Taieb 
City's first home FA Women's Super League game of 2021/22 ended in defeat, as Tottenham Hotspur produced a spirited second half comeback to snatch victory at the Academy Stadium.

A controversial 86th-minute winner, which seemed to strike Rosella Ayane's hand before bouncing off the post and in off Karima Benameur Taieb, clinched a dramatic win for the visitors, after Rachel Williams had cancelled out Lauren Hemp's sixth-minute opener.

It proved an all-round disappointing night for Gareth Taylor's side, as youngster Esme Morgan was also stretchered off with an ankle injury, following a collision with Ashleigh Neville.

The loss marked City's second in successive games, following the midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid.


What happened?

Desperate to respond to Wednesday night's setback at the earliest opportunity, City came flying out of the blocks, opening the scoring inside six minutes as Hemp powered home Alex Greenwood’s pinpoint corner for her first of the season – and third in four games against Spurs.

City’s elation was short-lived – the game halted when Morgan and Neville collided. Both players required treatment during a lengthy stoppage but Morgan was forced off – a sad sight to see for the lifelong City fan, who had been named in England’s 25-strong list for next week’s 2023 World Cup qualifiers.

As the home side regained composure, we pressed for a second. Hemp drilled agonisingly wide and Georgia Stanway struck the foot of the post, while Ellen White forced Becky Spencer to tip over the bar, as substitute and debutant Angeldahl looked to make an instant impact with a great delivery.

City continued to dominate – Hemp, Greenwood and Angeldahl linking up well down the left flank; Janine Beckie causing havoc down the right.

White and Beckie then smashed over the bar, while Kennedy almost marked her full debut with a goal but watched her header tipped brilliantly wide by Spencer, before Stanway rocketed an effort off-target in the last major action of a stop-start opening 45.

Chasing an equaliser, Spurs rallied after the break, as Taieb was called into action for the first time, thwarting Ria Percival's low, near-post attempt.

The visitors levelled just after the hour-mark, as substitute Chioma Ubogagu crossed for Williams to convert first-time.

Jessica Naz then spurned the chance to turn the game on its head, skewing wide of the target when played through one-on-one.

Heeding the warning, City responded and pressed for a late winner at the other end. Taylor threw on lively youngster Jess Park and Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw, as the hosts carved wave after wave of attack but could not break down a stubborn Spurs defence.

Stanway went closest but drove straight at Spencer, while Angeldahl also blazed over.

While there looked to be only one winner, should a goal arrive, it would be Spurs who would strike the hammerblow as Angela Addison's cross struck Ayane and then City skipper Steph Houghton before bobbling off the post, hitting Taieb and rolling over the line.

Despite a late flurry of pressure, the home side could not force an equaliser and Tottenham took home the points.

How we lined up...

Taylor made four changes to the side that fell to defeat against Real Madrid in midweek. Kennedy made her first start for the Club against her former side, replacing Demi Stokes, while Stanway, Hemp and White were also restored to the starting XI.

Taieb was named in goal, shielded by a backline of Greenwood, Kennedy, Houghton and Morgan, while Laura Coombs protected the back four in the defensive midfield role.

Stanway and Vicky Losada were employed in central midfield, flanked by Hemp and Beckie, with White leading the line upfront.

Having had to await international clearance for her first minutes, our latest signing Angeldahl was named on the bench. Hayley Raso (shoulder) and Caroline Weir (knee) were forced to withdraw with late knocks.

CITY XI | Taieb, Greenwood, Kennedy (Shaw 73'), Houghton (C), Morgan (Angeldahl 14'), Coombs, Stanway, Losada, Hemp, Beckie (Park 62'), White.

SUBS | Keating, Stokes, Mace, Scott.

SPURS XI | Spencer, Zadorsky (C) (Harrop 90'), Green (Ubogagu 46'), Bartrip, Naz (Addison 81'), Williams (Ayane 80'), Percival, Ale, Simon (Graham 61'), Clemaron, Neville.

SUBS | Korpela, Morgan, Cho, Tang.



  • Prior to Sunday's clash, City had won all three Barclays FA Women’s Super League clashes against Spurs and had built a run of 33 unbeaten home games - our last home defeat in the competition came against Reading in April 2018 
  • We were also unbeaten in our last six first home games of a WSL campaign, alternating between a win and a draw (W3 D3).
  • Tottenham Hotspur have won their last three league matches, having been winless in the previous 10 games.

What's next?

The squad head off on international break for one week and will return for our next FA Women's Super League clash: a crunch trip to Arsenal on Sunday 26 September.

The top-of-the-table encounter will take place at 18:45 (UK time) at Meadow Park and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

The next home game sees FA Cup holders City continue our defence of the trophy with a quarter-final visit of Leicester City on Wednesday 29 September (19:00), as the 2020/21 competition resumes.

Tickets for all City home games are now on sale.

News about Man City v Spurs"

Taylor: We need to be flawless for the rest of the season

Gareth Taylor claims City have to be flawless for the rest of the season following our home loss against Tottenham Hotspur. Watch more

City 1-2 Tottenham: Full Match Replay

City suffered an early FA WSL blow with defeat to Spurs at the CFA. Watch more

City 1-2 Tottenham: FA WSL highlights

Watch the best of the action from Manchester City's FA Women’s Super League clash at home to Tottenham Hotspur. Watch more

Taylor rues missed chances

Gareth Taylor says City paid the price for not finishing our chances in Sunday night’s FA Women’s Super League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Read more

View all club partners