Man City 2-0 Chelsea: Gareth Taylor’s side move level on points with Manchester United at the top of the WSL as they move above their opponents into second with result that blows the title race wide open
- Man City took a 2-0 win after goals from Filippa Angeldahl and Lauren Hemp
- The result moves them level on points with WSL leaders Manchester United
- Chelsea missed their chance to go top, but are one point off with a game in hand
There was an air of disbelief and ridicule when Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor said in December that his team could still win the title.
Eight points behind then leaders Chelsea, it seemed inconceivable. Seven games and six wins later, nobody is laughing now.
City’s impressive win against Chelsea yesterday took them above their opponents to joint top of the table, and blew the Women’s Super League title race wide open.
There were question marks over whether Taylor was the right person to take the club forward after consecutive defeats by Aston Villa and Chelsea at the start of the season. Those losses came after the club had been dumped out of the Champions League in the qualifying stages.
But City have always believed they could still win the title, now maybe the rest of the football world does too. ‘I think Chelsea win the title if we don’t win today,’ said Taylor. ‘It’s really opened it up.
Man City moved level on points with leaders Man United and ahead of Chelsea after a 2-0 win
Filippa Angeldahl (top) fired in a shot from outside the box to score her first goal in the WSL
Chelsea missed the chance to go top and they joined in a huddle after the final whistle
Man City had a 2-0 lead after the 30 minute mark when Lauren Hemp scored the second goal
‘It’s still Chelsea’s title to lose if we look at it that way but it’s a real positive step for us and gives us great confidence going into this next period.
‘To be in this position now from where we were is top. We’ve not done anything yet, we’ve still got some important games to come, six games left, lot of challenges in front of us but we go into it with high levels of confidence.’
Four teams are in the title race. Manchester United are top on goal difference, with City level on 38 points in second. Chelsea and Arsenal have both played a game fewer than the two North West clubs, with the Blues one point off top and the Gunners three.
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
Manchester City (4-3-3): Roebuck 7, Morgan 7, Houghton 7.5, Greenwood 7, Aleixandri 7, Hasegawa 7, Angeldahl 8, Coombs 7.5, Kelly 7, Shaw 7, Hemp 8.5 (Blakstad 78)
Subs not used: MacIver, Casparij, Stokes, Fowler, Castellanos, Raso, Ouahabi, Kennedy
Booked: Hemp, Kelly
Goals: Angeldahl 21, Hemp 30
Manager: Gareth Taylor 8
Chelsea (4-3-3): Berger 5, Mjelde 5 (Cankovic 67, 5), Buchanan 5, Eriksson 5, Carter 5, Ingle 4 (Charles 36, 6), Leupolz 5, Cuthbert 6 (Fleming 80, 5), James 6 (Rytting Kaneryd 36, 5), Kerr 5, Reiten 5
Subs not used: Musovic, Perisset, Abdullina
Manager: Emma Hayes 5
Referee: Paul Howard 6
Emma Hayes’ side, who had beaten Lyon in a testing Champions League match on Wednesday, looked tired. Goals from Filippa Angeldahl and Lauren Hemp had City 2-0 up inside 30 minutes. ‘I thought we were so sluggish first half, third away game in a week, I thought it looked like it,’ said Hayes. Angeldahl intercepted Ann-Katrin Berger’s pass and played a one-two with Hemp. Chelsea stood off the City midfielder, who sent a sensational chipped finish into the top-left corner to score her first league goal for the club.
Chelsea then failed to clear a cross into the box. Laura Coombs knocked the ball back to Hemp on the left, who hit a phenomenal half-volley into the opposite corner of the goal. After 36 minutes Hayes had seen enough. Off came Lauren James and Sophie Ingle to be replaced by Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and Niamh Charles.
Perhaps just as impressive as City’s two goals was their ability to see out the second half. It was a defensive performance we are used to seeing from Chelsea, who rarely threatened the hosts’ goal after the break. The trip to Arsenal on Sunday is another season-defining match for Taylor’s side in what is undeniably the most exciting title race in WSL history.
Chelsea struggled to create opportunities with Sam Kerr receiving little support up front
Emma Hayes was not pleased with her squad and made two changes after 36 minutes hooking off both Lauren James and Sophie Ingle not long after the second goal hit the net
Man City’s Yui Hasegawa sprints past opposing midfielder Melanie Leupolz of Chelsea
City had further chances to extend the lead with Angeldahl looking for her second goal
Gareth Taylor’s side are now level with Manchester United at the top, but only one point above Chelsea who have a game in hand over both sides
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