Bunny Shaw and Chloe Kelly scored the goals which put Manchester City into third place in the WSL - but they had to work hard to break down Leicester’s stubborn defence and their outstanding goalkeeper in particular.
Home keeper Janina Leitzig was in incredible form as the match was played almost entirely inside the Leicester half, but was finally beaten twice by the head of Shaw and a wonder strike from Kelly in the second half.
Fresh from a 7-0 hammering of Sheffield United in the FA Cup, City looked to get back to winning ways in the WSL after their draw at home to Aston Villa left them trailing behind the top three. Needing to bring all three points back to Manchester, it looked like being another one of those afternoons where City have all the possession and chances, but fail to hit the back of the net.
In fairness, the blues would have had a hatful had it not been for new signing Leitzig, who pulled off a string of saves to deny City time and again. Within the first few minutes of the match, Leitzig was called into action to deny Chloe Kelly, although Ellie Roebuck at the other end was forced to deny Hannah Cain the opening goal for Leicester. It was really the only thing Roebuck had to do in the match, apart from channelling her inner Ederson in the first half. Taking a back pass and under pressure from the Leicester attack, Roebuck casually flicked dribbled the ball inside her own area before making an outfield pass.
The Sheffield born keeper could have taken a seat and read a book as the blues almost camped in the Leicester half, with Leitzig denying Shaw, Kelly and Lauren Hemp, while Deyna Castellanos left her goalscoring boots on the team bus.
City went in 0-0 at half-time but continued to press forward in search of the breakthrough goal. Laura Coombes replaced Deyna at half-time and made an amazing impact on the game. On 61 minutes, her inviting cross into the box was perfect for Shaw, who got her head on the ball and looped it into the goal and finally beat the keeper. It was the Jamaican’s 10th WSL goal of the season and her 17th in total.
City had the bit between their teeth and continued to pepper the Leicester penalty area with cross and darting runs by Hemp and Kelly. The latter had an opportunity soon after Shaw’s goal when she dispossessed the Leicester defence inside the penalty area, but couldn’t dig the ball from under her feet.
But the England girl mad up for it in the 74th minute when she cut inside from the right and unleashed a curling left-foot shot that flew past Leitzig to make it 2-0. It was Kelly’s first goal of the WSL season, but it was a stunning way to do it.
City continued to have chances, but by that point, Leicester heads had dropped and City were on course for another three points.
The blues moved into third place in the WSL, one point ahead of Arsenal and City will be hoping West Ham can beat the Gunners on Sunday evening to keep City there.
Final score: Leicester City Women 0-2 Manchester City Women.