Whenever Manchester City and Chelsea meet there are bound to be fireworks. With the game being widely dubbed as the title decider, Wednesday’s clash was no different.
Both sides went into the game on an excellent run of league form and an eye on the WSL title. Neither teams had their captains available, but that didn’t halt a frenzied top-of-the-table clash.
Manchester City: Roebuck, Bronze, Dahlkemper, Greenwood, Stokes, Walsh, Mewis, Weir, Kelly, Hemp, White (c)
Chelsea: Berger, Bright (c), Ingle, Carter, Leupolz, Ji, Kirby, Kerr, Cuthbert, Harder, Andersson
How it went
Both teams were eager to ensure the fixture lived up to the hype surrounding it. The game was end-to-end from the first whistle with Chelsea edging the performance in the first half.
Sam Kerr put the visitors into the lead 25 minutes in from an Erin Cuthbert corner. Eager to remain in the tie, Chloe Kelly brought it level to the hosts from a perfectly placed pass by City No.15 Lauren Hemp just four minutes later.
Chelsea found the lead again when Pernille Harder tucked away a penalty in the 33rd minute. The title defenders were awarded the spot kick when City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck made contact with Kerr in an effort to claim the ball during a run on goal by the Australian international.Embed from Getty Images
The second half brought a revitalised home side. City pressed Chelsea more and committed to the ever-increasing number of chances they were getting. In the 74th minute, Hemp managed to seize one of the opportunities to bring the hosts back level. Eventually the game finished honours even with the result undoubtedly benefiting the away side.
Post match thoughts
Speaking after the game, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes was in two minds about her team’s performance across both halves of the game. Whilst she rued the mistake that gifted their opponents their first win, it was the second half performance that Hayes was particularly critical of. The Blues manager made it clear that she was grateful the tie was finished.
City manager Gareth Taylor felt that despite the hype surrounding the game his side hadn’t been compromised. He was positive about the display but did admit that the final details weren’t there yet.
With two league games left for each side, City will be hoping for a rare slip-up by Chelsea.