Caroline Weir scored another stunning strike against United as Manchester City Women turned the City blue with a 1-0 victory at the Academy Stadium. Weir came on as a second-half substitute to score the only goal in front of a record attendance to keep City’s Champions League qualification chances alive.
The blues looked to get back to winning ways after their narrow defeat at Chelsea last weekend, and dominated for much of the match. However, it looked like being one of those days as they struggled to get shots on target, and the game seemed to be heading for a draw until Weir struck.
The blues started Jess Park and Lauren Hemp on the wings, with Ellen White, scorer of City’s equaliser when the two met in October, as the lone striker. Alanna Kennedy was preferred to Ruby Mace in the heart of City’s defence with Steph Houghton out injured.
And it was the two wingers that caused problems for United all afternoon. And the blues should have taken the lead when Park’s skill and creativity down the right teed up Hemp at the far post, but the young England star skied her effort with the goal at her mercy. Vicky Losada came close with a testing shot that dipped over the bar, and White was off target after good work by Lucy Bronze down the right.
United, who drew 1-1 at Arsenal on their last WSL outing, tried to put City under pressure and had a good spell of possession but couldn’t make it count as the blues hit them on the counter and as half-time arrived, it was City who were ruing the missed chances.
The blues started the second half much in the way they finished the first. Jess Park saw her effort hit the foot of the post after she had fashioned some space inside the United area, while the reds’ best chance of the match saw Ella Toone’s shot parried by Ellie Roebuck.
Weir entered the fray on 76 minutes and five minutes later had delivered the killer blow to the reds. The Scot dispossessed Katie Zelem midway inside the United half and charged forward with only one thing on her mind. Weir created a bit of space before producing a stunning chip into the top corner to put the blues into the lead.
It was Weir’s third goal against United, the second time she’d scored the winner and similar to her striker which won the first WSL derby between the two at Etihad Stadium in 2019. United tried to hit back almost immediately, but Roebuck was equal to it and the keeper impersonated men’s keeper Ederson when United were clear on goal, rushing out to deny the chance from well outside the penalty area.
City ran down the clock and took the precious three points that puts them within touching distance of a Champions League spot, something that was unimaginable just three months ago.
Final Score: Manchester City Women 1-0 Manchester United Women