As the second Manchester Derby of the season got underway, a battered Manchester City prepared to face their closest rivals United in the Continental Cup. Marc Skinner’s United currently sit four places above the Sky Blues in the league table. With City going into the game four points ahead of their hosts (having played a game more), both sides were keen to secure vital points to move through to the knock-out stage of the tournament.
Manchester United: Baggaley, Thorrisdottir, Mannion (c), Boe Risa, Thomas, Fuso, Batlle, Hanson, Smith, Jones, Staniforth
Manchester City: Taieb, Stanway, Mace, Greenwood (c), Stokes, Walsh, Losada, Coombs, Raso, Beckie, Park
How it went
Following one of their heaviest home defeats, City were evidently keen to put the crushing loss to Chelsea behind them. Less than two minutes in Vicky Losada thundered the ball home with Hayley Raso bagging the assist. However, the hosts quickly began to find their rhythm as the visitors defence came under increasing pressure. In the 30th minute the blues saw their lead vanish as Ivana Fuso brought the game back level. There were calls for a foul from City, with the players claiming that the ball had been kicked out of Karima Taieb’s grasp as the keeper had gone to ground to claim the ball. Referee Helen Conley was seemingly unmoved however, as she allowed the game to continue with no foul awarded.
The second half appeared to bring a renewed United team. As City continued to approach the game playing out from the back, a tactic that has seen Taylor’s side caught out on several occasions this season, United once again began to tighten their grip. When the visitors did gain a spell on the ball, they once again seemed unable to convert their chances. The game appeared to be heading towards a draw with penalties to determine which side would earn an extra point. But, in the 82nd Ona Battle finally clinched all three points for the Reds.
The fixture once again saw City and former United player Alex Greenwood met with jeers as the No.5 returned to her former club. Greenwood, alongside teammate Georgia Stanway, recently spoke to Sky Sports about abuse they had received and the impact it had had on them both.Embed from Getty Images
Stand out performance
Despite coming away empty handed City youngster Ruby Mace is already proving how pivotal she can be for the Sky Blues. The 18-year-old joined the club during the summer after joining from Birmingham. With the No.30 not yet enjoying a consistent run of starts, her performance against a consistently strong United press may leave Gareth Taylor no choice but to hand the defender her first league start.