Manchester City punch ticket to Continental Cup Final

Janine Beckie of Manchester City congratulates teammate Filippa Angeldal after she scored their side's third goal during the Vitality Women's FA Cup Fourth Round match between Nottingham Forest Ladies and Manchester City Women at City Ground on January 29, 2022 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

With a place in the Continental Cup Final on the line, Manchester City hosted Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday evening. So far unbeaten in 2022, City looked to continue their run of form against an uneven Spurs side.

Starting lineups

Manchester City

Roebuck; Stokes, Greenwood (c)(Kennedy ’80), Stanway, Hemp (Blakstad ’73), Park (Raso ’80), Weir, Bronze, Shaw (White ’80), Walsh (Coombs ’73), Mace

Tottenham Hotspur

Spencer; Zadorsky (c), Bartrip, Harrop, Naz, Williams (Summanen ’66), Percival (Lane ’88), Simon, Clemaron, Ayane (Addison ’60), Neville (Ale ’45)

How it went

It was Man City who dominated the early exchanges of the game as Tottenham struggled to win the ball. Four minutes in and it seemed as though it would be the visitors who would find the opening goal as Jessica Naz appeared to be through on goal.

However, the attack led to nothing however as a misplaced pass saw the ball out of play.

Both goalkeepers were forced into saves in the ninth minute as the hosts launched an immediate attack from a moment of pressure. Ultimately, both keepers were more than equal to the chances and the tie remained goalless.

Just three minutes later and City fans’ hearts would once again have been racing.

Naz had a shot pass just wide of the post as the hosts were caught on the back foot. The following minutes of the game were filled with chances for both sides as the two teams searched for an opening.

It was City youngster Jess Park who finally found the opener. A prolonged City attack in the 21st minute allowed the No.16 to find the back of the net as Tinja-Riikka Korpela was left scrambling. Just six minutes later, Bunny Shaw doubled the Blues lead.

A penalty box scramble saw the Jamaican international in the perfect spot to tap the ball home. Despite plenty more chances for the hosts the first half ended with the Blues two goals ahead.

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Second half

The second half brought yet more chances for Gareth Taylor’s side. With the hosts applying almost constant pressure on the visitors’ goal, it seemed only a matter of time before City would extend their lead further.

The 70th minute saw Lauren Hemp bag the Blues’ third of the evening. Her header easily beat the Tottenham keeper, all but guaranteeing her side’s spot in the final.

The hosts continued to push for a late fourth as the Spurs defence began to falter under the almost continuous pressure.

Ellie Roebuck was forced into a diving save in the 92nd minute to defend her clean sheet. The tie finished with the hosts comfortably through to their fifth Continental Cup final in eight seasons.

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Post match thoughts

Rehanne Skinner

The Spurs manager was clearly proud of her squads performance and the great cup run that her squad had enjoyed. Whilst stressing that the league remained their top priority Skinner was evidently pleased with her side making their first cup semi-final.

Gareth Taylor

Taylor was quick to praise young star Jess Park for her performance in the semi final. The City manager spoke of the No.16’s confidence and her recent goal scoring form. He, however, did acknowledge the potential the 20-year-old has yet to achieve.

Taylor also supported calls made by Manchester United head coach Marc Skinner, who yesterday called for yellow cards given in the group stages to be written off before the quarter-finals of the competition.

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