Jill Roord scored on her City debut as we opened our 2023/24 Barclays Women’s Super League campaign with a fine 2-0 victory over West Ham.

After a goalless first half, Lauren Hemp broke the deadlock shortly after the interval before the Netherlands international impressively netted on her first competitive appearance for the Club.

Gareth Taylor‘s side were reduced to 10-players with 20 minutes remaining when Leila Ouahabi was sent off for her reaction to Emma Harries’ challenge, but we held on for three vital points.

The result in Essex also represents the fourth opening day victory for City across the past five WSL seasons.


Ahead of the meeting at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, Taylor revealed his delight in how quickly summer signing Jill Roord had settled within his ranks.

Deployed as one of three in midfield, the classy Netherlands international had our first chance of the afternoon when Leila Ouahabi intercepted the ball and teed up the former Wolfsburg player who saw a well-struck effort fly just wide.

Having scored four goals for her nation at the Women’s World Cup en route to their quarter-final appearance, Roord entered the meeting in high confidence and came close again when she retrieved in the final third but saw her lobbed effort loop just over the bar.

The visitors were enjoying most of the possession midway through the first half, but we were facing a stubborn Hammers defence who were expertly limiting our clear-cut chances.

As a result, opportunities were few and far between, with our last of the half landing at the feet of Lauren Hemp who met Deyna Castellanos‘ precise cross at the far post before seeing her goalbound effort spectacularly saved by Mackenzie Arnold on the cusp of the interval.

Immediately after play resumed West Ham carved out their first opening when Riko Ueki was played behind our backline and saw her low effort well saved by Khiara Keating.

But City quickly sprung a counter attack which resulted in the game’s first goal when Chloe Kelly drove down the right and slid the ball into Hemp on the edge of the box who curled wonderfully into the top corner with her left foot. 

Invigorated by breaking the deadlock, Taylor’s side didn’t take their foot off the gas and were awarded a penalty moments later when Shannon Cooke was adjudged to have handled in the area after a Kelly cross into the box. 

However, the England international couldn’t repeat her Round-of-16 heroics for her nation in a 4-2 penalty shootout victory over Nigeria as Arnold guessed the right way and palmed her venomous attempt away from goal.

Any disappointment was quickly wiped away, though, when Roord scored on debut by producing a phenomenal turn with her back to goal on the edge of the area to battle into the box and coolly slot into the bottom corner.  

City looked comfortable with our two-goal advantage, but there was a twist in the tale when Ouahabi was sent off for her reaction to Emma Harries’ challenge with 20 minutes remaining.

Being reduced to 10 players somewhat cooled our fast-paced attacking play as we looked to see out the victory.

And we did just that with an impressive, professional display which limited the hosts to half-chances from the edge of the area and protected Keating’s goal.


Debut delight for Roord. The Netherland’s international’s first goal for City was just rewards for her dominating midfield display. 

Notable mentions also go to captain Alex Greenwood and Yui Hasegawa who delivered respective strong performances those of a sky blue persuasion have become accustomed to.


Khiara Keating was protected between the sticks by a back four of Leila Ouahabi, Alex Greenwood (C), Alanna Kennedy and Laia Aleixandri.

Yui Hasegawa anchored the midfield behind Deyna Castellanos and Jill Roord.

And Lauren Hemp led the line between Chloe Kelly, who operated on the right-hand-side, and Mary Fowler who started on the left.

City XI: Keating, Aleixandri, Kennedy, Greenwood (C), Ouahabi, Hasegawa, Castellanos (Blakstad 82’), Roord (Angeldahl 87’), Kelly (Casparij 76’), Hemp, Fowler.

Unused substitutes: Roebuck, Houghton, Coombs, Morgan, Park, Mace.

West Ham XI: Arnold, Smith, Shimzu, Stringer (Denton 76’), Evans, Ueki (Harries 60’), Filis (Flannery 76’), Hayashi, Asseyi, Cooke, Cissoko.

Unused substitutes: Walsh, Atkinson, Ziu, Ademiluyi.


Taylor’s side begin the term with three points and sit second in the WSL table with 21 games left to play.

1 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 18 15 1 2 49 12 37 46 WWWWW
2 Chelsea FC Chelsea Chelsea 17 14 1 2 50 14 36 43 WLWWW
3 Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal 18 13 1 4 42 18 24 40 LWWLW
Last updated: 14 April 2024


City welcome Chelsea to the Joie Stadium in our next assignment on Sunday 8 October, with kick-off scheduled for 12:30 (UK).

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