Women's Team

My Favourite Game: Lauren Hemp

At the tender age of just 19, Lauren Hemp is already becoming an integral cog in the Manchester City machine.

Possessing rapid pace, cool composure and wisdom beyond her years, the teenager – already a senior England international – is earning a reputation as one of the country’s most exciting young talents.

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With 13 goals, including a key strike in the 2019 FA Cup Final and important efforts against Arsenal and Chelsea, the youngster has played an impressive role in City’s recent success… but which memorable match stands out for her?

In the first of our new series, presented by Marathon Bet, Hemp recalls her favourite game in sky blue…

The pick

My favourite game was the game against Arsenal in the league this season.

We won 2-1 and was such an enjoyable game. We had played them in the Continental Cup semi-final in midweek and lost 2-1 so to have beaten them by the same score a few days later felt like a bit of revenge and it really helped to push us on in the league, which we needed.

Pre-match

I always get a feeling the morning of a game of whether it will be a good game – and mostly it’s a good feeling – and I remember the night before this game, thinking: ‘This time tomorrow night, I’ll be say here knowing the result and how the game has gone.’

We were praying for a good result. I was more nervous than usual for that game because of how big it was – we knew it could determine how our season panned out.

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The whole team was really motivated, especially coming off the back of the midweek disappointment and the fact it was Nick Cushing’s last game in charge. We were all wanting to get a result.

We wanted to prove ourselves to the fans and the rest of the teams that we could beat them.

The game

Throughout the game, both teams had periods of momentum.

Especially against top opposition like that, there are times when you find yourself on the back foot and times when you have the momentum.

The first half was fairly even – both sides had chances – but Pauline Bremer put us ahead right before half-time. That goal changed the whole game but we kept our calm.

Half-time team talk

At half-time, we knew we were in a good position but we knew we had to keep our heads and everyone was on the same page with the same fight and determination to win the game.

Second half: THE MAGIC MOMENT

After the first goal, we had the momentum and we scored again within five minutes of the second half – it was a special moment for me.

I don’t score many headers – most of the team will tell you I’m not one of the best! – but Keira Walsh swung the cross in and I managed to get my head on it and steer it towards goal. Fortunately for me, it dropped just under the crossbar!

It was such a big goal. I just jumped and punched the air!

GRINDING OUT THE WIN

From then on, Arsenal put the pressure on. Danielle van de Donk pulled a goal back just before the hour and then we were holding on a bit at the end!

We managed the game well. We showed we were able to keep calm and keep the ball, even though we were on the back foot heading into the last few minutes.

We all know what we needed to do and luckily, it worked out for us!

It really gave us confidence going forward. It was definitely the best game I’ve played in… so far!

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