Lauren Hemp once again stepped up to the plate as Manchester City Women came from behind to beat Aston Villa. The Lioness scored a four-minute brace to cancel out Danielle Turner’s 7th-minute opener and send City up to 2nd in the WSL table.
It looked like being another one of those matches against Villa, who took four points off the blues last season and also knocked City out of the FA Cup. Their season hadn’t got off to the best start and went into the match at the Joie Stadium having won just two of their first eight matches. And eight became nine as Villa once again lost a half-time lead to taste defeat.
Manager Gareth Taylor, eager to build on their 7-0 demolition of Spurs in their last outing, made just one change from that match. Laura Coombs replaced Filippa Angeldahl, who was injured in midweek representing Sweden.
And City looked to be feeling the effects of the internationals featuring in midweek when the visitors took the lead after just seven minutes. Kenza Dali’s cross was met by Turner, who improvised well to hook the ball over Khiara Keating and into the back of the goal.
City struggled to get a hold on the game, but started to turn the screw after 20 minutes. Hemp’s volley being the closest they came to an equaliser, while some last-ditch defending by Anna Patten denied Bunny Shaw a goal.
Patten and keeper Daphne van Domselaar combined to deny the blues again before halftime and go in at the break a goal to the good.
City came out with real purpose and intent and continued to dominate the visitors, and the blues pressure finally paid off in the 61st minute. Hemp met Chloe Kelly’s cross to thump home the equaliser, before forcing home Alex Greenwood’s cross four minutes later.
Hemp came close to completing her treble but van Domeselaar denied what would have been a goal to seal the game.
The result moves City up to second in the league table, just three points behind leaders Chelsea, and level on points with Arsenal. Those two play each other on Sunday.
Final Score: Manchester City Women 2-1 Aston Villa Women