City lowered by clinical Chelsea

Manchester City’s latest form race was brought to an end by Chelsea, who came away from Academy Stadium with a 4-0 victory in the Superliga for women.

The visitors got their noses in front within three minutes when Jessie Fleming threw herself over a loose pass on the edge of the City field before Sam Kerr knocked home a second in the stroke of the break.

Gareth Taylor’s side, cheered on by an offensive home crowd, was perhaps the better of the two sides across opening 45, with Caroline Weir forcing a fine early save from Ann-Katrin Berger and Lauren Hemp receiving a powerful penalty kick that was swept away by the referee. Rebecca Welch.

But two more goals in three other half minutes from Fran Kirby and Magdalena Eriksson put the result without a doubt before the hour limit.

What happened?

Gareth Taylor’s team entered our clash with the reigning WSL champions in hopes of claiming a third victory on the jump.

But in a mirror image of last week’s WSL match against Leicester, City found themselves early behind when Fleming threw himself over a loose pass from Karima Taieb to a simple close-range finish within three minutes.

However, as in the 4-1 win at King Power Stadium, City reacted positively to the setback and could even have equalized before the 10 minutes.


Weir ran in behind the Chelsea defense and was found by Keira Walsh, but Chelsea stopper Ann-Katrin Berger held on and prevented the Scottish national team player from snatching the equalizer with a clever save down to her left.

City found some joy down the flanks, and an inviting Lauren Hemp post found Jess Park on the back post, but when the ball landed at an awkward height, she was unable to get a shot away until Eriksson struck free.

Alex Greenwood was the next to go close, rising highest to drive a Filippa Angeldahl corner towards goal, which was saved well before the Chelsea stopper was again called in to stifle a low effort from Lauren Hemp at his nearest post.

The ongoing head-to-head between Berger and Hemp continued as they clattered into each other in the hunt for a 50:50 ball after Erin Cuthbert had sold his goalkeeper short with a return towards the end of the half.

Repeats that the City winger had stolen in front of the Chelsea stopper, but referee Rebecca Welch signaled instead to a free kick to the visitors, much to the astonishment of the Academy Stadium spectators.

And despite all City’s positive work leading up to the break, Emma Hayes’ side found the net just on the verge of the break, as a quick counter ended with Guro Reiten heading back across goal to Kerr, who made no mistake with a simple ending. .

It was a cruel turn of events for Gareth Taylor’s team, who had seemed more likely to score in most of the half, but the blow would follow seven minutes after the break.

The visitors started the stronger of the two sides in the second half and were rewarded as Kirby’s shot across found its way through a crowd of bodies and snuck in from the post.

The period of sustained pressure continued, and City were grateful to Taieb for a fine save down to the right of her, which prevented Kerr from volleying home her second shortly after.


But from the resulting shower of corner kicks, Eriksson rose the highest to snatch a fourth as the match approached the hour mark.

City continued to search for a route back into the match despite the goal line, with Hemp twice forcing Berger into action after cutting in from the left.

Nonetheless, it was the visitors who came closest in the final game at Academy Stadium when Fleming got her feet mixed up as she was apparently about to lock into a near-post ball from the right.

How we lined up

Gareth Taylor chose the same team that had beaten Leicester 4-1 in our previous outing where Karima Benameur started between the posts.

The French national team player was shielded by a back four of Georgia Stanway, Jill Scott, Alex Greenwood and Demi Stokes, while Keira Walsh offered protection from the heart of midfield.

Filippa Angeldahl and Caroline Weir completed the midfield three, while Jess Park and Lauren Hemp offered width to captain Ellen White at the sharp end.

By XI: Taieb, Stanway, Scott, Greenwood, Stokes, Walsh, Angeldahl, Weir (Losada 76 ‘), Park, Hemp (Raso 79’) White

Subs: Pilling, Mace, Kennedy

Chelsea XI: Berger (Musovic 76 ‘), Carter, Bright, Eriksson, Cuthbert, Reiten (Spence 76’), Leupolz, Ji (Ingle 46 ‘), Kirby, Kerr (England 65’), Fleming

Subs: Mjelde, Andersson, James, Fox, Charles

What it means

The defeat leaves City in ninth place in the Superliga for women with two wins from our first seven games.


It’s a quick turnaround for City, who face Manchester United on Wednesday 17 November in the Continental Cup group stage.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm (UK) at Leigh Sports Village as Gareth Taylor’s team aims to achieve three wins out of three in the competition.

In our next match in the WSL, we welcome Aston Villa to the Academy Stadium on Saturday, November 20, where the match has started at. 11:30.

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