Thursday, 18 Apr, 2024


Man City win at Chelsea to go level at top of WSL

Sports Desk |
Update: 2024-02-17 11:34:10
Man City win at Chelsea to go level at top of WSL photo collected

Manchester City ended Chelsea's 22-game unbeaten home run to move level on points at the top of the Women's Super League table.

In one of the biggest blockbuster fixtures of the season, City proved their title-challenging credentials in a game with few clear-cut chances.

WSL top scorer Khadija Shaw delivered again for the visitors, increasing her season tally to 14 goals with a clinical finish in the first half after Jess Park robbed Erin Cuthbert of possession high up the pitch.

Chelsea almost grabbed a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser but 19-year-old goalkeeper Khiara Keating made a stunning double save, first denying Jelena Cankovic before raising a strong left arm to block Sjoeke Nusken's effort.

Shaw was a constant threat throughout, striking wide moments after her goal, before forcing an excellent save from goalkeeper Hannah Hampton at close range.

Hampton made another crucial save to stop Chloe Kelly doubling City's lead in the second half, while Chelsea's Fran Kirby and Cuthbert came agonisingly close.

The hosts were frustrated not to be awarded a penalty when Alex Greenwood appeared to make contact with Mayra Ramirez in the box in the first half, but on the whole they were unable to test Keating enough.

The Blues are looking to win a fifth successive title in Emma Hayes' final season but City remain their fiercest rivals, now second in the table only on goals scored.

Manchester City defender Greenwood said her side were "not being talked about as much" in the title race prior to their trip to Kingsmeadow - but they certainly will be now.

City have taken four points off Chelsea this season, including a 1-1 draw at home when they were down to nine players following two contentious red cards.

They have been in excellent form since November, winning eight WSL matches in a row - the longest current run of any team.

And while City's latest victory did not match the level of drama on display in the last meeting between these two sides, it could have a significant bearing on where the trophy ends up this season.

Chelsea had won their last four games against City at Kingsmeadow and boasted that formidable 22-game unbeaten home run heading into the match, but the tide may finally be turning this season as Gareth Taylor's side continue to impress with consistent performances and added ruthlessness.

In Shaw, they have the league's top goalscorer, who continues to deliver when they need her to. She enjoyed her evening in London, celebrating the goal with her hands cupped around her ears, silencing the home crowd.

Keating backed up an impressive display against Arsenal in the FA Cup last weekend, with the crucial intervention in stoppage time to prevent Cankovic's dipping strike from creeping in and Nusken following up.

Credit must also go to midfielder Park, who has taken her chance impressively following the injury to club-record signing Jill Roord.

There were boos from Chelsea fans towards the officials at full-time as they went down the tunnel, with memories of the first-half penalty appeal still fresh in their minds, but City travel back up north knowing they are very much in contention to win the league for the first time since 2016.

Source: BBC

BDST: 1132 HRS, FEB 17, 2024 

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