Manchester City’s run of two successive victories was ended by a ruthless Chelsea side as the blues crashed to a heavy defeat at the Academy Stadium. First half goals by Jessie Fleming and Sam Kerr were added to in the second half by Fran Kirby and Magdalena Eriksson as the champions outclassed the blues.
City won 4-1 at Leicester last weekend in a dominant display at the King Power Stadium, three days after defeating Durham 3-0 in the League Cup. Hopes were high that Gareth Taylor’s side had put their run of bad form to bed, but faced a severe test of their abilities as title chasers Chelsea arrived in town.
Emma Hayes side are unbeaten in the league since their opening day defeat at Arsenal and arrived in Manchester off the back of a 7-0 victory at Servette in the Champions League. And the visitors wasted no time in getting into the blues, scoring within the first two minutes, thanks to a defensive error.
Benamuer Taieb’s pass to Alex Greenwood was pounced on by Jessie Fleming and the Chelsea star nipped in, wrongfooted the keeper and tapped home into an empty goal. The keeper’s pass fell well short of Greenwood, and the Canadian midfielder couldn’t believe her luck as she finished with ease.
City didn’t allow their heads to drop and pinned Chelsea back. The blues should have been level when Caroline Weir went through on goal, but the visiting keeper stuck out a leg to deny the Scot, and the chance went begging.
City continued to press, but Chelsea hit them on the break on the stroke of half time. Ji’s cross to the far post was headed back across goal where Kerr was waiting to tap home.
That knocked the wind out of the blues, and it showed in the second half as Hayes showed Taylor how to change tactics that aren’t working.
From a Chelsea corner, the visitors played the ball about inside the City penalty area, and with the blues failing repeatedly to clear, Kirby had time and space to pick her spot and sweep the ball home from fourteen yards out.
Three minutes later, Chelsea completed the scoring with their fourth of the afternoon. A Chelsea corner on the left was swung into the area and Eriksson rose above Greenwood and Taieb to head home and send City to their heaviest home defeat for seven years.
The blues offered little after that, and even the departure of visiting keeper Berger in the 77th minute couldn’t muster anything for the blues.
In the end, it was a comfortable win for Chelsea, but left City once again looking over their shoulders and questioning the future of Gareth Taylor.
Final score: Manchester City Women 0-4 Chelsea Women.