Women's Team

10 games that shaped Steph Houghton’s City career

Steph Houghton’s impact and influence on Manchester City and the women’s game cannot be underestimated.

One of the greatest players of her generation, and a pioneer in the sport, the colossal defender has produced a number of monumental moments throughout her nine years at the Club. 

Joining from Arsenal on January 1 2014 to further her already trophy laden career - she’s done just that, lifting eight major honours in Manchester. 

To celebrate her new contract, which sees her remain at the Academy Stadium until 2024, we’ve rewound the clock to remember some of her standout matches in sky blue.  

Liverpool 1-0 City: (Barclays WSL) - April 2014 

Although it may seem somewhat strange to begin a list of immense success with defeat, Houghton’s debut was no doubt a historic occasion. 

City’s maiden game in the WSL signified the beginning of a new era in Manchester – with the centre-back starting at the heart of defence on Merseyside. 

It, of course, didn’t go quite to plan as we were edged out by Liverpool thanks to Natasha Dowie’s 71st minute strike the difference between the sides. 

But it highlights Houghton’s commitment and longevity to the Club as she will enter her 10th term in sky blue in 2023/24. 

Arsenal 0-1 City: (Continental Cup final) - October 2014 

City shocked Arsenal to claim our first major honour as a professional side, with Houghton wearing the captain’s armband at Wycombe’s Adams Park. 

In what was a closely fought final, Izzy Christiansen’s powerful header with 20 minutes remaining split the sides – sparking jubilant scenes at full-time. 

It was the fourth time Houghton had lifted the prize (three previously with Arsenal) and has since gone on to add three more to her collection at the Academy Stadium.  

The competition certainly means a lot to our captain, saying: “This is a really special competition for everyone at City because it was the first trophy this club has ever won and we all have some really special memories from that day.” 

Notts County 2-2 City: (Barclays WSL) - August 2015 

Due to her tremendous defensive ability, goalscoring isn't something fans have come accustomed to when it comes to Houghton. 

However, her keen eye for goal was on show in an away draw to Notts County in August 2015 - scoring twice away from home. 

Her first arrived after constant City pressure paid dividends when the ball broke to Houghton following a dangerous corner and she drove an expertly taken home. 

The defender then doubled her and our tally in the second half when she whipped an incredible free-kick into the top corner. 

However, the hosts mounted an improbable comeback to earn a share of the spoils through goals from Jess Clarke and Rachel Williams. 

City 2-0 Chelsea: (Barclays WSL) - September 2016 

A clean sheet and being confirmed WSL champions for the first time – afternoons perhaps don’t get much better.  

A 2-0 victory over Emma Hayes’ team sealed our maiden WSL title in front of a jubilant home crowd. 

City took the lead Katie Chapman turned Toni Duggan’s corner into her own net and the forward doubled our advantage when confidently dispatching a penalty five minutes after the interval. 

As ever, Houghton marshalled our backline expertly in a high pressure environment as we built from the back on a historic afternoon for the Club. 

City 1-0 Birmingham: (Conti Cup final) - October 2016 

Just months after being crowned WSL champions for the first time, one became two as City lifted the Continental Cup with a hard fought 1-0 win over Birmingham. 

After the scoreline remained level after full-time, an additional30 minutes were required to separate the sides as Lucy Bronze 105th minute header secured the victory. 

Birmingham 1-4 City (FA Cup final 2017) – May 2017 

Having already sealed the WSL title and the League Cup since founding our maiden professional women’s team, our sights were firmly set on a first FA Cup triumph.  

And it arrived in 2017 after a scintillating performance in the showpiece event with Birmingham. 

In front of a rapturous crowd of 35,271 at Wembley, goals from Lucy Bronze, Christiansen, Carli Lloyd and Jill Scott secured the success – with Houghton marshalling our defence expertly.  

She then walked up the famous steps at the ‘Home of Football’ to lift the trophy. 

City 3-0 West Ham (FA Cup final 2019) – May 2019 

A staggering 43,264 witnessed City claim our second Women’s FA Cup as we dug deep to beat a spirited West Ham in the capital. 

We were able to weather an early Hammers storm thanks to the presence of our captain in the back four, Georgia Stanway broke the deadlock in the second half with an exquisite bending effort from range.  

She then doubled her and our tally for the afternoon before Lauren Hemp secured the success with a dinked effort. 

The success at Wembley represented the sixth major honour Houghton had won at City. 

Aston Villa 0-2 City (Barclays WSL) – September 2020 

Not only did our opening day win of the 2020/21 term over Aston Villa give us the perfect start to the campaign, it also saw Houghton make WSL history.  

By playing the entirety of our 2-0 victory away from home, she became the first player to rack up 100 league wins since the division’s rebrand. 

Impressively, she achieved the feat in just 140 games and fittingly kept a clean sheet at Villa Park  

On social media, our defender posted afterwards: "Proud to have made 100 appearances for Man City in the Barclays FA WSL. 

"More to come!” 

City 1-0 Everton (BARCLAYS WSL) – March 2021 

Only six months after claiming her 100th WSL win, Houghton was celebrating another sensational milestone.  

The City stalwart became the first women’s player to reach 200 appearances for the Club by playing in our hard fought victory over Everton at the Academy Stadium. 

On the feat she said in March 2021: "To play 200 games for this Club is a huge privilege and the fact I've been here from the start makes it even more special. 

"I feel I've given absolutely everything - 110% - every single day to be the best professional and best captain I can be. 

"Hopefully, there'll be a lot more to come!" 

City 4-2 Durham (FRIENDLY) – July 2022  

Houghton made her eagerly anticipated return from an Achilles injury in our 4-2 pre-season win over Durham in July 2022. 

The issue sustained in January 2021 prematurely ended her season, but she looked fit and strong during the win as she reflected her impressive determination and commitment to return to full fitness. 

This sparked an impressive comeback by our captain as she reinstated herself in the heart of our backline during the 2022/23 campaign. 

And her fantastic contribution was immensely felt during the term – and especially in home victories against Arsenal (2-1) and Reading (4-1) at the Academy Stadium. 

Against the Gunners, she marshalled our defence perfectly to help secure a vital win before netting a superb free-kick against the Royals in April. 

Congratulations on your new contract, Steph!