WSL: Bristol City relegated as Man City continue title push

Lauren Smith, Manager of Bristol City, applauds the fans following confirmation of the team's relegation from the Barclays Women's Super League
Lauren Smith, Manager of Bristol City, applauds the fans following confirmation of the team's relegation from the Barclays Women's Super League (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images)

Bristol City will be relegated from the Women’s Super League at the end of the 2023/24 season following their defeat to Manchester City. The league leaders banked another big three points in their title chase with a 4-0 win, but also handed the Robins their unfortunate fate.

Manager Lauren Smith described her side’s struggling season as a ‘mountain to climb’. Bristol City will be relegated to the Championship at the end of the campaign, having picked up just six points at this stage.

Starting XIs

Bristol City

Yanez; Layzell, Aspin, Connolly, Rodgers, Furness, Napier, Bull, Syme, Thestrup, Morgan

Manchester City

Keating; Aleixandri, Greenwood, Coombs, Fowler, Kelly, Hemp, Ouahabi, Park, Hasegawa, Kennedy

How it went

Man City dominated the early exchanges and registered five shots inside the opening 20 minutes of the clash. However, despite their dominance, Gareth Taylor’s side were far from their usual clinical best with the absence of star striker Bunny Shaw becoming increasingly apparent as the half drew on.

With the visitors squandering numerous good chances, Bristol City were able to force the title contenders back into their own half for extended periods of time.

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The second half brought a similar lacklustre performance from Man City. Sloppy defensive work alongside a lack of focus in the attack left the tie goalless until the 62nd minute. It ultimately took a stunning strike from Mary Fowler to break down Bristol City’s defence, with the young Australian star giving her side the crucial lead.

Fowler doubled her tally just 13 minutes later as she slotted the ball beyond Shae Yáñez to put the Sky Blues comfortably ahead.

An own goal from Amy Rodgers just five minutes later all but secured the visitors’ victory. A late fourth for the Man City then came from Alex Greenwood as the No.5 headed the ball home from a corner. The win keeps their WSL title dreams but seals with Bristol City’s fate as they bow out of the top flight.

Up next

Bristol City will travel to face Chelsea next before hosting Everton in their final game of the season. Meanwhile, Manchester City will host Arsenal ahead of their meeting with Aston Villa on the final day of their title-challenging campaign.

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