Match Report

City held by well-organised Villa

City held by well-organised Villa
FA WSL
FA WSL
Sat 21 Jan
1
1
Deyna Castellanos 
(28')

Kirsty Hanson 
(31')
View highlights
Deyna Castellanos scored her first Barclays Women’s Super League goal but City were held by a well-organised Aston Villa at the Academy Stadium.

The Venezuelan rounded off a well-worked move to hand us the lead on a chilly afternoon.

But the visitors responded soon after through Kirsty Hanson.

And in a game that ebbed and flowed, Gareth Taylor's side had to settle for a point at home. 

WHAT HAPPENED

City started the stronger of the two sides and almost took the lead through Chloe Kelly when the ball broke kindly to her on the edge of the area before she fired a curling effort into the side netting.

Villa were looking dangerous on the counter attack, however, and almost made the most of a turnover when Mayumi Pacheo won the ball back, drove down the left hand side and drilled a teasing ball into the box which almost caught Alanna Kennedy out before Ellie Roebuck pounced to claim.

Beyond those early exchanges, chances were few and far between in the opening 20 minutes as both sides seemingly cancelled the other out.

But with 15 minutes remaining of the first 45, the match sprang into life with two quickfire goals.

The first came for City when Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw collected the ball with her back to goal on the edge of the box, spun her marker before delivering an inch-perfect pass into Castellanos.

The midfielder latched onto the ball with a darting run into the box, collected and slotted home her first WSL goal of the term.

Villa weren’t disheartened by falling behind, though, and equalised shortly after when Hanson fired into the net from close-range after a loose ball into the box wasn’t properly dealt with.

Buoyed by their equaliser, the Villans were on top for the remainder of the half, and perhaps could've been ahead had they been more clinical in the final third.

Carla Ward's side started the second half as they finished the first and were the width of the post away from taking the lead five minutes after the restart.

City were caught on the ball on the edge of the box by Alisha Lehmann whose swung cross found the lively Hanson.

Villa's goalscorer had ghosted into the box, and unleashed a curling effort that smacked off the inside of the post. 

But almost falling behind had awoken Taylor's side, and we immediately went on the offensive when Shaw headed Kelly's cross just over the bar.

The Midlands side had been busy in the transfer market ahead of the encounter, signing experienced duo Lucy Staniforth from Manchester United and Jordan Nobbs from Arsenal.

And it was the latter who had the Villans' next chance, arriving in the box late and venomously driving over from 15-yards.

A stubborn Villa defence was proving to be tough to break down, as Shaw utilised her pace to break into the box before she was ushered out by Anna Leat - preventing her from squaring to Kelly.

The introduction of Hayley Raso from the bench provided a spark and she did well when meeting Yui Hasegawa's through ball before twisting and turning, but her effort from the edge of the box was also blocked.

And in the closing stages we almost claimed three points when Hasegawa's deflected effort fell sparked a scramble in the box with both Shaw and Hemp trying their luck through a crowd of bodies.

But it was to no avail, with both sides having to settle for a point in an evenly-contested encounter at the Academy Stadium.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Lauren hemp

The silky winger was at the heart of City's attacking play, often getting the better of her marker down the wing. 

A constant bright spark, the 22-year-old was often looking to orchestrate positive final actions for City.

HOW WE LINED UP

City XI: Roebuck, Morgan (Casparij 46'), Kennedy, Greenwood (C), Ouahabi, Hasegawa, Castellanos (Angeldahl 61'), Coombs, Hemp, Shaw, Kelly (Raso 73')

Substitutes: MacIver, Aleixandri, Houghton, Fowler, Losada, Blakstad

Aston Villa XI: Leat, Mayling, Patten, Turner (Corsie 46'), Pacheco, Staniforth, Nobbs (Littlejohn 88'), Dali, Blindkilde (Lehmann 46'), Daly, Hanson

Substitutes: Hampton, Gielnik, McLoughlin

WHAT IT MEANS

The draw with the Villans means we remain fourth in the table, while cutting the gap to third-placed Arsenal to two points with an extra game played.

FA WSL
3 Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal 10 8 1 1 26 6 20 25 WLWWD
4 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 11 7 2 2 23 11 12 23 WWDWD
5 Everton Everton Everton 11 6 0 5 16 12 4 18 LLWWW
Last updated: 24 January 2023

UP NEXT

Next up for Taylor’s side is a trip to Ashton Gate for our Continental Cup quarter-final clash with Bristol City.

We secured passage to the knockout stages of the competition faultlessly with four wins from four while maintaining a quartet of clean sheets.

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