FAWSL: Manchester City achieve late win against Birmingham City

Ellen White of Manchester City celebrates with teammates.
Ellen White of Manchester City celebrates after scoring her side's third goal against Birmingham City at St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on 12 December 2021. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

With both Birmingham City and Manchester City in desperate need of points, their Sunday afternoon clash was a must win for both sides.

The hosts entered into the tie hovering one place above the bottom of the table. With the occasion marking Darren Carter’s first game in charge of the Blues, the hosts were eager to put their poor run of form behind them.

Starting XIs

Birmingham: Hourihan, Lawley, Quinn (C), Sandvej, Scott, Robertson, Murray, Holloway, Sarri, Smith, Pennock

Manchester City: Taieb, Mace, Kennedy, Greenwood, Stanway, Coombs, Angeldahl, Weir, Raso, White (C), Hemp

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How it went

Despite having scored only two goals in the WSL this season, Birmingham were keen to start the game strongly against last season’s league runners up. With the game featuring chances for both sides, neither team were able to find an early opener.

The game remained level until the hosts were awarded a penalty after Veatriki Sarri was brought down in the box. The spot kick was cooly converted by Christie Murray who sent Karima Taieb diving the wrong way.

Just seven minutes later City No.10 Georgia Stanway brought the game back level. A spectacular strike from outside the area left Marie Hourihan unable to make the save.

The 39th minute saw the hosts regain the lead, as Louise Quinn fired the ball beyond Taieb’s reach. The game was then back all square at the break, as Lauren Hemp headed in a Hayley Raso cross.

The second half brought more half chances for both sides, however the game remained level until the dying moments of the match. A Bunny Shaw cross was deftly tapped in by Ellen White to ensure the visitors took home all three points back to Manchester.

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Stand out players

Ruby Mace

Manchester City may have a major injury crisis in the defence, but Ruby Mace is fast becoming a reliable option for Gareth Taylor. The youngster only joined the Sky Blues in the summer, however she has quickly made an impression. Her work in defence allowed Manchester City to gain all three points against a stubborn Birmingham team.

Jade Pennock

Despite sitting several places below their opponents in the table, Birmingham proved to those watching that they wouldn’t be an easy task for the Sky Blues. Jade Pennock was frequently at the heart of Birmingham’s attacking force, pressuring the visitors to defend against waves of attacks. Her quick runs frequently put the City defence on the back foot, causing errors in the back line.

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