Leicester produce dominant second half to finish off rallying Bristol

Janice Cayman of Leicester City celebrates scoring her team's third goal with teammates
Janice Cayman of Leicester City celebrates scoring her team's third goal with teammates during the Barclays Women's Super League match vs Bristol City at The King Power Stadium (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Leicester City enjoyed a comprehensive win back at the King Power Stadium against Bristol City. The Foxes came from behind to secure a 5-2 victory against a determined away side, who are desperately in need of points.

Leicester saw five different scorers punish the Robins, taking all three points to cement seventh in the Women’s Super League table. A brilliant first league goal from academy graduate Denny Draper topped off the win for the home side.

Starting lineups

Leicester City

Kop; Tierney, Bott, Rantala, Whelan, Cayman, Green, Takarada, Thibaud, O’Brien, Momiki

Bristol City

Yanez; Powell, Aspin, Struck, Layzell, Napier, Connolly, Rodgers, Jones, Morgan, Thestrup

First half: How the match unfolded

This match was a must-win for both teams but for different reasons. Leicester looked to build on a recent upturn in form across all competitions. Meanwhile, Bristol sat bottom of the WSL standings and needed points to keep pace to avoid relegation.

The match started with the news that Leicester goalkeeper Janina Leitzig wasn’t in the match-day squad. She was rumoured to be the injured player that manager Willie Kirk mentioned earlier this week. However, there is no update on how long she will be unavailable.

Leicester dominated the first 20 minutes of the game but failed to find the net, and Bristol City eventually capitalised on a defensive mixup. Replacement goalkeeper Lize Kop was caught off her line, and Ffion Morgan finished from distance, much to the delight of the away bench.

Then, on 33 minutes, a moment of magic from Yuka Momiki saw the Japan international beat Shae Yáñez in goal with an audacious lob from the left making it 1-1. It got even better for the Foxes before half-time, as Saori Takarada followed in on an Aileen Whelan shot off the post to send her side in 2-1 up.

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Second half: Leicester secure the win

The second half was more of the same. Bristol pressured the Leicester defence and after a ball over the top caused hesitation between Julie Thibaud and Kop at the back, it allowed Amalie Thestrup in for her eighth of the season to make it 2-2. Game on.

The Bristol City hope lasted five minutes when, at 54 minutes, Belgium international Janice Cayman made it 3-2, and the Foxes didn’t look back. The Vixens turned to their bench with the introduction of Shania Hayles and Lisa Evans, but to little impact. In general, the Robins offered little going forward in the latter stages.

The 70th minute saw Leicester bring on Sophie Howard and Deanne Rose. On 76 minutes, Jutta Rantala shot powerfully from distance to beat Yáñez at her near post. The 4-2 scoreline settled any nerves for the home side.

Leicester made more changes — bringing on January signing Emilia Pelgrander and academy graduate Denny Draper. On 89 minutes, there was more for Leicester fans to cheer for when Draper latched onto a great pass from Jutta Rantala to score her first WSL goal making it 5-2.

What’s coming up next?

The international break sees two weeks before both teams are in action again. On the return to WSL action, Leicester face Chelsea at the King Power. Bristol City will square off against Brighton at Ashton Gate, hoping they can get much-needed points.

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