Man City deal huge blow to Arsenal in Women’s Super League title race

Lauren Hemp celebrates scoring a goal for Manchester City with her teammates
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Lauren Hemp of Manchester City celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the FA Women's Super League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at The Academy Stadium on February 11, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Manchester City dealt a huge setback to Women’s Super League title challengers Arsenal at the weekend after a slim 2-1 win at home.

After a disappointing midweek clash, City would no doubt have been looking for revenge as they welcomed the Gunners to the Academy Stadium.

The previous fixture saw City bow out of the Continental cup at the semi-final stage after Arsenal won 1-0.

After City’s win, the race for the WSL title is even more interesting.

Starting XIs

Manchester City

Roebuck; Casparij, Aleixandri, Greenwood, Houghton (c), Coombs, Kelly (Raso ’90), Hemp, Angeldahl, Shaw, Hasegawa


Zinsberger; Souza, Wubben-Moy (Walti ’45), Williamson, Catley, Little (c), Maanum, Maritz (Wienroither ’81), Foord (McCabe ’45), Pelova (Kuhl ’69), Blackstenius (Queiroz ’81)

City vs Arsenal — How it went

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An early chance for the Gunners barely a minute in was just a taste of the frenetic start to the game.

Less than four minutes later, Lauren Hemp gave the hosts the early lead. The No.11 received an inviting cross at the far post and tapped it in.

The game continued with good chances for both sides. With the hosts enjoying the better of the game, it wasn’t long before they grabbed the next goal. Chloe Kelly found the back of the net from close range with a 43rd minute tap in.

The second half brought a noticeable increase in the tempo. Arsenal’s Rafaelle Souza brought the score back to 2-1 in the 59th minute.

The Brazillian’s header flew just beyond Ellie Roebuck’s reach to give the Gunners’ life. Several chances followed for both sides, with Roebuck and Manuela Zinsberger both called into action.

However, it wasn’t enough to see Arsenal leave with a positive result as they currently sit outside of the top three.

City v Arsenal — Stand out player

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Steph Houghton has rarely enjoyed a league start this season. However, with Alanna Kennedy injured, the Manchester City captain was named in the starting 11.

With the City skipper forming a solid central pairing with Alex Greenwood, Laia Aleixandri was free to roam into a more advanced attacking role.

The No.6 completed the most passes during the game with her long diagonal balls offering her team a springboard to launch an attack on several occasions.

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