Manchester City Women suffered defeat for the first time this season as neighbours United won the Manchester Derby for the first time. Goals from Katie Zelem and Jess Sigsworth condemned the blues to their first defeat, while Keira Walsh was sent of 25 minutes from time to compound a miserable day for the girls in blue.
The blues, who won the Intercontinental Cup last season, hold a 100% record in the league this season and have scored in every game so far, but faced a determined United side, eager to avenge their opening day defeat at City’s Etihad Stadium.
The blues fielded a similar side to the on that faced Atletico in midweek, with Aoife Mannion needing to be replaced following and injury to her knee ligaments sustained on Wednesday, but failed to genuinely test the United keeper.
As in the opening game in September, United took the game to City, but on this occasion, the home side opened the scoring after just seven minutes. Leah Galton won a free kick on the edge of the City penalty area, and Zelem curled the free-kick beyond Ellie Roebuck into the top corner.
City responded well, but struggled to force United keeper Mary Earps into a save of note. United seemed happy to allow City to toil and soak up the pressure. United felt they should have had a penalty when Megan Campbell appeared to foul Sigsworth, but referee Amy Fearn ignored their appeals.
Nick Cushing expected his side to come out for the second half with more vigour, but any ideas of a comeback were dealt a blow ten minutes into he second half. Roebuck, who had produced a brilliant save to deny Kirsty Hanson in the first half, was powerless to prevent United doubling their lead. Hanson’s cross was poked home by Sigsworth to effectively make the game safe.
It got worse for City ten minutes later, as Walsh earned herself a red card for a late lunge on Hanson, to make it a disappointing day for the blues.
United are now level on points with City with a game in hand, but are three points behind group leaders Birmingham.
Cushing will be looking for a response from the blues in their next game, a trip to Borehamwood to face champions Arsenal, before travelling to Spain for the second log of their Champions League tie with Atletico.
Final Score: Manchester United Women 2-0 Manchester City Women