WSL: Spurs shock City with 2-1 win despite controversial handball goal

Tottenham Hotspur players celebrate their equalising goal scored by Rachel Williams to make it 1-1 during the FA Women s Super League match vs Manchester City | Copyright: Nick Potts

Spurs stunned Manchester City with a shock 2-1 win at the Academy Stadium on Sunday night to make it two wins out of two in the Women’s Super League.

Despite a call for handball on Rosella Ayane, the Lilywhites still managed to muscle the ball over the line for their second of the evening to clinch the win over City.

Starting XIs

Manchester City: Benameur-Taieb; Morgan (Angeldahl 15′), Houghton (c), Kennedy (Shaw 72′), Greenwood, Losada, Coombs, Stanway, Beckie (Park 62′), Hemp, White.

Tottenham: Spencer; Zadorsky (c) (Harrop 95′), Green (Ubogagu 45′), Bartrip, Naz (Addison 82′), Williams (Ayane 80′), Percival, Ale, Simon (Graham 60′), Clemaron, Neville.

First half

In similar fashion to their league tie with Everton, the hosts got themselves off to a bright start. Just six minutes in, a Lauren Hemp header from an Alex Greenwood corner put the Sky Blues into the lead.

Before the tenth minute however, came a major blow for an already injury hit side.

Following a tackle with Ashleigh Neville, defender Esme Morgan required a lengthy period of medical treatment, leading to the No.14 being stretchered off the field.

She was replaced by Swedish international Filippa Angeldahl, marking the Olympic silver medalists debut for her new side.

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The game continued with City dominating both the chances and possession before a clash of heads left City captain Steph Houghton requiring treatment on the pitch.

Angeldahl almost started her debut off in dreamlike fashion as her cross to Ellen White was tipped just over the crossbar. The two resulting corners almost saw the hosts double their lead, however Tottenham managed to keep the game separated by just the one goal.

A further stop in injury time combined with the earlier pauses left the game with a 10 minute period of extra time. More chances came for Gareth Taylor’s side, however their slim lead remained until the whistle blew to mark the end of the first half.

Second half

A half-time change saw a Tottenham side with a renewed focus. No.18 Chioma Ubogagu forced City goalkeeper Karima Benameur-Taieb into an early second half save. An instant response from the hosts almost saw Canadian Janine Beckie double their lead from a free kick.

Tottenham managed to pull the game back level with a Rachel Williams goal that began with a run by substitute Ubogagu.

Both sides had the opportunity to take the three points as the second half progressed. Eventually, it was an own goal that came back off the City goalkeeper that would give Spurs the win.

The controversial goal in question appeared to come off Ayane’s hand after leaping into the air with both arms extended.

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The match ended with a surprising victory for the visitors, making it two wins out of two for the North Londoners.

At times, the Spurs defence seemed too much for their hosts to contend with. When combined with a lack of accuracy in front of the goal many fans will be beginning to worried about their teams chances this season.

The defeat marks the first home league loss for City since April 2018.

Post match thoughts

Rehanne Skinner

Speaking after their victory Tottenham coach Rehanne Skinner was elated.

“I am really proud of the players, when you go into games like this you have to be prepared to do the hard yards.”

Gareth Taylor

Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor on the other hand seemed annoyed that the second Spurs goal had been allowed to stand.

“I have seen it back and i think it’s pretty incredible that it wasn’t chalked off,” he said. “There were a few sort of dodgy or iffy decisions. We should have been out of sight by that point.”

When asked about whether he felt the game needed improvements in officiating, Taylor was certain in his answer.

“If the officials were to see that back I’m pretty sure the officials would say that goal shouldn’t stand. It wasnt even one hand, it was two hands that completely cut Steph [Houghton] off.”

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Taylor also provided an update on the Morgan, who was stretchered off early in the game.

“I’m a little bit in the dark. I think shes gone off to have an X-ray taken. It looked pretty nasty, she was due to go away on international duty but I don’t know what will happen with that. It was a knock to the right shin so we want to check there’s no break or fracture.”

He confirmed that the injuries to Caroline Weir and Hayley Raso were not serious but were enough to rule them out against Spurs.

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