Manchester City Women continued an excellent weekend of football for the blues as they beat Arsenal 2-1 to close the gap on leaders Chelsea and United.
Goals from Ellen White and Lauren Hemp either side of a strike by Caitlin Foord secured the points for the blues, and with United and Chelsea both losing at home, City’s win has taken them within two points of both teams, while having a game in hand over their City neighbours.
After being written off earlier in the season, City have forced their way back into the title race in style, and Sunday’s win was their 6th straight WSL victory. And with second placed United the next opponents, City have a golden opportunity to top the league, even if briefly, on Friday.
The Gunners had only played on match since the turn of the year and it showed as they almost gifted the blues the opening goal within the first five minutes. White pressed Arsenal keeper Manuela Zinsberger, who misjudged her clearance but thankfully for the Gunners, the ball went out of play.
Steph Houghton reacted well to prevent Jill Roord’s shot from troubling Ellie Roebuck before the blues took the lead on 24 minutes. Chloe Kelly, who has been a livewire for City all season. Charged down the right and her pinpoint cross was met by White, who thundered her shot against the underside of the crossbar and into the goal.
The Gunners tested Roebuck in the City goal as Katie McCabe’s stinger was prevented form hitting the net by the young keeper. Roebuck was beaten on 35 minutes as Roord converted Miedema’s cross, but was flagged for offside.
City didn’t have such a reprieve 12 minutes into the second have when Roord and Foord combined for the latter to score. It was a quick breakaway move from the Gunners, and Foord was left in acres of space to fire across Roebuck to level the scores.
Bronze and White were then both denied as an Alex Greenwood corner created havoc in the Arsenal penalty area, and both had efforts cleared off the line as the Arsenal defence lead a charmed life. Their luck held again when White intercepted a poor backpass, but her shot hit the base of the post. The rebound fell to White, but she couldn’t dig it out from under her feet. Hemp then tried to follow up, but her shot hit the defender and the chance went begging.
But the blues weren’t to be denied and on 79 minutes, the blues grabbed the winner, and it was Kelly again who was the architect. The former Everton striker showed her heels to the Arsenal defence and crossed into the middle, where Hemp arrived late to fire a bullet header past the keeper to make it 2-1.
Final Score: Arsenal Women 1-2 Manchester City Women