Manchester City Women kept Manchester blue by beating neighbours United in front of a record crowd of 31, 213 at Etihad Stadium. Caroline Weir scored the only goal with a stunning strike as United’s top flight debut ended in defeat and set City on their way to record their first league win of the season.
The blues, who finished runners-up last season to champions Arsenal, were looking to add another WSL title to their growing trophy room, after securing both the FA Cup and Intercontinental Cup last season, wile United were playing their first top flight game after winning promotion last season.
Questions were asked over the summer as to how City would cope after losing Nikita Parris to Lyon. And with new striker and World Cup star Ellen White out injured, there was a concern that the blues would have some problems scoring.
And for 45 minutes, those fears looked set to be justified, despite close efforts from Janine Beckie and Georgia Stanway. And it was the visitors who caused most of the first half problems, with keeper Ellie Roebuck called into action when she produced a world class save to tip Jane Ross’s volley away City were left frustrated as the first half ended goalless.
But it was a different City that emerged after the break and the blues broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half. A attempted clearance was intercepted by Weir and striker took a touch before unleashing a left foot rocket that flew into the top corner to finally break United’s resistance.
United pressed for an equaliser and Jackie Groenen was denied by the post in the closing stages, flicking the ball past Roebuck, only for it to bounce of the woodwork and scooped up by the grateful youngster, who kept her first clean sheet of the season.
In the end, it was a good opening day victory for girls in blue, and now next up is a visit to Reading next Saturday.
Final Score: Manchester City Women 1-0 Manchester United Women.
Goal: Weir (48)