Match Report

City sink Spurs to stay in FA WSL title hunt

City sink Spurs to stay in FA WSL title hunt
FA WSL
FA WSL
Sun 4 Apr
0
3
Rebecca Spencer 
(5’), 
Janine Beckie 
(38’), 
Caroline Weir 
(61’)
View highlights
City took another huge step towards the FA Women's Super League title with a superb 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur.

A Becky Spencer own-goal inside the opening five minutes, plus goals from Janine Beckie and Caroline Weir, claimed a deserved and vital three points at the Hive, as Gareth Taylor's side clinched our 12th successive league victory to keep pace with league leaders Chelsea.

With just three WSL games remaining and the division's top two set to meet at the Academy Stadium later this month, the title race stands in City's hands.

The professional manner of victory in London provided another statement of the visitors' title credentials, as the away side - without captain Steph Houghton and Champions League winners Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood - dominated from the off, keeping an eighth clean sheet in ten games in the process.

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Lightning start

A glorious Easter Sunday in London promised a fine day for football and City - aware of Chelsea's thumping win over Birmingham earlier in the day - laid immediate siege to the Spurs goal with Georgia Stanway unfortunate to see her long-distance effort crash back off the woodwork before the hosts scrambled clear.

Egg 15

Taylor's side would not have to wait much longer for the opener though, as the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner, as Chloe Kelly whipped in a wicked delivery which ended up in the back of the net via a combination of goalkeeper Spencer's hand and the head of Beckie.

With the lead, City never looked like relinquishing it, dominating possession, carving plenty of chances and proving impenetrable in our defensive third.

Ellen White was unfortunate not to extend the advantage to continue her purple patch, while Kelly was denied by Spencer.

Beckie would ensure her name would be written onto the scoresheet on 37 minutes, latching onto an exquisite Sam Mewis through-ball, driving forward and curling into the far corner.

Weir added a third just after the hour mark, slotting home Kelly's unselfish cutback for her ninth goal of the season to effectively kill the contest.

Even with such a commanding lead, a ruthless City sought to extend our advantage.

Substitute Rose Lavelle forced Spencer into a smart stop at her near post, before Lauren Hemp drilled wide - but three would do nicely to secure an excellent afternoon's work.

What it means

City stay on the tails of table-topping Chelsea with 48 points from our 19 games.

Should Taylor's side win all three of our remaining three league games, we would lift the FA WSL title for the second time.

English Women's Super League
1 Chelsea Chelsea 19 16 2 1 60 8 52 50 WWWWW
2 Manchester City Man City 19 15 3 1 58 11 47 48 WWWWW
3 Arsenal Arsenal 18 12 2 4 57 14 43 38 WWWWW

How we lined up...

Head Coach Taylor made three changes to the side that defeated Barcelona in midweek, as Stanway, Aoife Mannion and Mewis replaced Bronze, Greenwood and Lavelle. Greenwood had been named in the original starting XI but pulled up in the warm-up.

Ellie Roebuck took her place in goal, shielded by a backline of Esme Morgan, Mannion, Abby Dahlkemper and Stanway, while Keira Walsh protected the backline in defensive midfield.

Weir and Mewis were employed in the heart of midfield, flanked by Beckie and Kelly, while White led the line upfront.

CITY XI | Roebuck, Stanway, Dahlkemper, Mannion, Morgan, Walsh, Mewis (Coombs 62'), Weir, Kelly (Hemp 82'), Beckie, White (C) (Lavelle 62').

SUBS | Taieb, Keating, Park, Davies.

SPURS XI | Spencer, Zadorsky (C), Dean (Naz 79'), Williams (Ayane 68'), Cho (Green 67'), Worm (Harrop 46'), Graham, Kennedy, Quinn (Addison 67'), McManus, E. Morgan.

SUBS | Mikalsen, Davison, Peplow, Godfrey.

Player of the Match: Janine Beckie

In the absence of PFA Young Player of the Year Lauren Hemp, Janine Beckie has been handed her chance to shine in City's last two games - and has taken the opportunity.

The Canadian, who scored in Wednesday's European victory over Barcelona, put goalkeeper Becky Spencer under pressure for the opener at the Hive and then showed excellent composure to beat the offside trap and curl expertly into the bottom corner to make it two goals in two games.

The forward has certainly given Taylor food for thought, as the season enters its crunch period.

Stat attack

  • City's 12th successive FA WSL win equals the previous record set by Arsenal in 2018.
  • Our 15 wins, 58 goals and 48 points also mark Club record high totals for a single WSL season.
  • Taylor's side have a 100% record against Spurs, having won all four fixtures with an aggregate score of 14-2.
  • Caroline Weir has scored seven goals in City's last 13 games.
  • Captaining the side in Steph Houghton's absence, Ellen White clocked her 50th game for City in all competitions.
  • City have now scored 250 away goals in all competitions since relaunching as a professional outfit in 2014.

Up next...

The team head off onto international break for a fortnight before reconvening for FA Cup action, as City welcome Aston Villa to the Academy Stadium in the fourth round on Sunday 18 April (14:00 UK time).

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