Steph Houghton leads Man City to important three points in WSL

Manchester City players celebrate scoring a goal in the Women's Super League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Lauren Hemp of Manchester City celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's third goal during the FA Women's Super League match between Manchester City and Reading at The Academy Stadium on April 30, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

Manchester City earned an important three points against a struggled Reading in the Women’s Super League on Sunday.

Reading went into the game bottom of the table, two points behind 11th place Brighton. Meanwhile City are pushing to secure Champions League qualification next season.

The previous iteration of Manchester City vs Reading back in November had City coming away with a healthy victory.

Starting XIs

Manchester City

Roebuck; Casparij, Greenwood (Ouahabi ’76), Houghton (c), Coombs (Castellanos ’75), Kelly, Hemp (Raso ’66), Angeldahl, Morgan, Shaw, Hasegawa (Fowler ’75)


Moloney; Mukandi (c), Wellings, Eikeland, Harries (Wade ’73), Kith, Caldwell, Rowe, Vanhaevermaet (Perry ’87), Primmer (Moore ’55), Troelsgaard (Hendrix ’87)

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How it went

Just a minute into the tie and the hosts were behind. A sloppy pass combined with Manchester City failing to clear the ball from a dangerous position allowed Sanne Troelsgaard to bury the ball beyond Ellie Roebuck’s reach. Despite searching for a route back into the mix, the hosts appeared slightly off the pace throughout the opening 15 minutes of the game.

With a quarter of an hour played, City were able to find the equaliser. A goal mouth scramble allowed Chloe Kelly to poke the ball home, bringing the tie back level.

The 24th minute saw the hosts take the lead as Bunny Shaw’s header flew beyond Grace Moloney’s reach. With the hosts a goal up as the two sides went into half time, Reading had it all to play for in the second half.

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Almost as soon as the second half got underway, the hosts found their third of the afternoon. A strong Manchester City attack saw Lauren Hemp through on goal with the No.11 converting Kelly’s pass.

The fourth goal for the hosts came from the skipper, Steph Houghton. The defender tucked the ball home from a free-kick just on the outside of the penalty area. The 71st minute set piece marked the No.6’s second goal in a week, with the 35 year old also getting on the scoresheet against West Ham.

The win sees Manchester City remain in second with just three points separating them from top spot. Reading remain firmly in the relegation spot, 2 points adrift of Leicester.

What is next for Man City and Reading?

Following this latest Manchester City vs Reading tilt, City will now face back to back away ties to Liverpool and Manchester United. The Sky Blues will finish their season at home to Everton.

Reading will host Aston Villa at home before facing Tottenham away. Chambers’ side will wrap up their season with a home tie to title contenders Chelsea.

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