In-form Man City beat Chelsea to extend winning streak to six games out of six
In the FA Women’s Super League, the eagerly awaited meeting between title-favourites Chelsea and Manchester City finally took place in London on Thursday night.
After the disappointment of losing the SSE FA Cup final on Saturday, it was vital that Chelsea got back into winning ways straight away – but they couldn’t have picked a tougher fixture than Man City. And so it proved to be, as the in-form Sky Blues took all three points to take their winning run to six games out of six.
In the build-up to the game, the prospects for an exciting contest were high, as both teams had started this match with 100 per cent records in the league. With nothing to separate them all season and after scoring six goals apiece in their last fixtures this was a match where the team with the best defence was always going to be a key factor.
City have yet to concede a goal in the WSL this season and that record remained unbroken as goalkeeper Karen Bardsley kept yet another clean sheet – though she did have her busiest game so far – saving well from Spence and Chapman, while Bright and Carney were just wide of the mark. And Ji So-Yun was really unlucky to see her effort cannon back off the bar.
At the other end, a shot from Ross just cleared the crossbar, Asllani’s penalty shout was waved away and Duggan forced a spectacular save from keeper Lindahl.
The stalemate was finally broken on the stroke of half-time when Kosovare Asllani, playing in a deeper midfield role for this game, split the Chelsea defence with a precision pass to find Demi Stokes in space and the left back fired a ground shot past Lindahl and in off the far post the first goal.
City have so many goal-scoring options across the park now that Stokes is the 10th outfield player to find the net for City this year (11th if you count the FA Cup).
Jeniffer Beattie was again a commanding presence in central midfield and she doubled City’s lead soon after the break with her second headed goal in as many matches from a corner.
This defeat leaves rivals Chelsea trailing in the title race by six points – but they still have a game in hand.
Man City’s next game is a potentially tricky fixture away to Liverpool on Wednesday.
Liverpool gave an impressive performance recently when they beat Sunderland 4-0 away and their team includes former Man City favourite Tash Harding who could be a problem for the Blue’s defence.
City will also have to cope with playing on Liverpool’s artificial 3G pitch, which has caused visiting teams some concerns this season.