Man City Women 2-0 Chelsea Women: Impressive hosts win WSL match
Manchester City have relegated defending champions Chelsea to second place in the Women’s Super League with an impressive win over the Blues on Sunday.
Filippa Angeldahl’s brilliant lofted effort in the 20th minute gave City the lead and Lauren Hemp netted the second.
City’s first league win against Chelsea since 2017 means they fall at the top of the table only behind leaders Manchester United on goal difference.
Chelsea are a point behind in third place but have a game in hand.
It was their first WSL defeat since the season’s opening game, while City remain unbeaten in the league since losing to Chelsea last September.
The title contenders’ meeting that marked the women’s football weekend was watched by 5,222 fans at Academy Stadium, just short of City’s record attendance at their home stadium.
The city rises to the challenge in a must-win game
City manager Gareth Taylor said in his pre-game press conference: “We have to win this weekend, it’s as simple as that.”
Those words clearly showed City’s attitude towards the game as they pressured Chelsea and delivered one of their best performances of the season.
High pressing brought City six corners in the opening 20 minutes as they constantly attacked on the right, where Chloe Kelly threatened to slice inside – and it was from the right that goals came in the first half.
Angeldahl’s opening goal was a glorious effort from the corner of the box, her chip sending out Chelsea keeper Ann-Katrin Berger.
Nine minutes later, Kelly’s high cross from the right was only half cleared, allowing Hemp to chip the loose ball past Berger with a half-volley.
This was the 11th time Hemp both scored and assisted in a WSL game after setting up Angeldahl for the opener. Only Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead have done so more times in English Premier League games than the 22-year-old England international.
City looked like a side who have not lost in 90 minutes since September 25 and must now be considered serious contenders for the WSL title.
They could even afford for WSL top scorer Khadija Shaw, who was being watched from the stands by fellow Jamaican star Usain Bolt, to have a rare day off.
Bright absence leaves Chelsea in the dark
As good as City were, Chelsea were well below their best and manager Emma Hayes didn’t even wait until half-time before making her first changes.
Lauren James and Sophie Ingle were hooked before the break and Chelsea were sent out minutes before their break.
Chelsea were unusually shaky in defence, clearly missing Millie Bright, who picked up an injury in midweek’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg win over holders Lyon.
Hayes said Bright should be back in time to face the French in the second leg next week. She can’t bring the English centre-back back fast enough.
Going forward, Chelsea limited themselves to playing long balls over the top for Sam Kerr to pursue, which City managed comfortably after cutting off supply from midfield.
Kerr, who currently has 49 WSL goals, had few chances, shooting straight at Ellie Roebuck early on before being thwarted by the City keeper from a tight angle in the second half.
Chelsea improved after the break but their best chance of the game came in added time when Melanie Leupolz volleyed over the goal from 12 yards out.
Hayes was also concerned when Erin Cuthbert limped off with an injury in the second half, leaving the Scotland midfielder in doubt for the second leg against Lyon.
Man City women
- 5green wood
- 9KellyBooked at 84 minutes
- 11hempBooked at 73 minutesReplaced byBlakstadat 78′protocol
- 18MjeldeReplaced byCankovicat 67′protocol
- 5EnglishReplaced byKarlat 36′protocol
- 10JamesReplaced byRytting Kanerydat 36′protocol
- 22CuthbertReplaced byflemingat 80′protocol
- 19Rytting Kaneryd
- Paul Howard
Game ends, Manchester City Women 2, Chelsea Women 0.
Second Half ends, Manchester City Women 2, Chelsea Women 0.
attempt failed. Sam Kerr (Chelsea Women) header from the center of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Guro riding with a cross.
attempt failed. Melanie Leupolz (Chelsea Women) right footed shot from the center of the box is a bit too high. Assisted by Guro riding with a cross.
delay over. You are ready to move on.
The game was stopped due to injury Stephanie Houghton (Manchester City Women).
attempt blocked. Guro Reit (Chelsea Women) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Melanie Leupolz.
attempt failed. Khadija Shaw (Manchester City Women) header from the center of the box is a bit high. Assisted by Chloe Kelly with a cross.
Offside, Chelsea Women. Melanie Leupolz tries a through ball, but Sam Kerr is caught offside.
Chloe Kelly (Manchester City Women) is yellow carded.
Kadeisha Buchanan (Chelsea Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Chloe Kelly (Manchester City Women).
Corner, Chelsea Women. Cashed in by Alex Greenwood.
attempt blocked. Jessie Fleming (Chelsea Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sam Kerr.
Substitution, Chelsea Women. Jessie Fleming replaces Erin Cuthbert due to injury.
delay over. You are ready to move on.
Substitution, Manchester City Women. Julie Blakstad replaces Lauren Hemp.
The game was stopped due to injury Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea Women).
attempt blocked. Laura Coombs (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chloe Kelly.
Yui Hasegawa (Manchester City Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.