Etihad hosts Manchester derby draw in front of new record crowd

Nikita Parris and Lauren Hemp battle for the ball during the Manchester derby
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11:Lauren Hemp of Manchester City being followed by Nikit Parris of Manchester United during the FA Women's Super League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

On a historic day in the Women’s Super League, a new women’s Manchester derby record of more than 40,000 fans prepared to witness one of the great spectacles in English football at the Etihad Stadium.

The spoils were shared between Manchester City and rivals Manchester United, thanks to goals from Leah Galton and Laura Coombs.

City last played at the Etihad back in 2019, where 31,213 fans packed into the stadium as Caroline Weir’s goal secured the first Manchester derby win for the blue half of the city.

Starting XIs

Manchester City

Roebuck; Casparij, Aleixandri, Greenwood (c), Coombs, Kelly (Raso ’85), Castellanos, Hemp, Ouahabi, Shaw, Hasegawa

Manchester United

Earps; Battle,Blundell, Toone, Zelem (c), Galton, Ladd, Le Tissier, Turner, Parris (Thomas ’72), Russo (Garcia ’84)

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How it went

The opening ten minutes were a display of two top class teams trying to assert their dominance. Chances at both ends created almost breathless spells in the opening half as both teams searched for the pivotal opening goal.

While the hosts were enjoying a marginally better opening 20 minutes, it was the visitors who drew first blood.

A fantastic run from Galton saw the No.11 break through the heart of the Blues defence, slotting the ball home just beyond Ellie Roebuck’s reach.

The spell that followed once again provided chances for both sides. Small flurries of high intensity possession kept the crowd gripped as the hosts searched for a way back into the tie. Ultimately, the two sides went in with Marc Skinner’s team ahead by the finest of margins.

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Second half

The second half began in the same relentless fashion as the first.

Long stretches of possession for each side kept the game flowing. In the 59th minute, the home fans finally had something to cheer about. A strong attack from Man City saw their visitors fail to clear the danger, allowing Coombs to nod the ball home from just beyond the goal mouth.

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A barrage more chances came for both sides with the ball only kept out of the net through excellent goalkeeping from both Roebuck and Earps. Ultimately, the tie finished honours even with both teams collecting a single point from the clash.

Attendance

The match was a record attendance of 44,259, far surpassing the previous derby at the Etihad three years ago.

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