With bragging rights at stake, the Manchester derby was always going to prove a hotly contested affair.
Following more Women’s Super League disappointment at the hands of West Ham, Manchester City entered the derby hoping to turn their fortunes around.
With three consecutive losses in the WSL, it was hard to deny that Manchester United were clear favourites heading into the fixture.
With three league wins out of four – only falling foul to last season’s champions Chelsea – United had enjoyed a strong start to the new season under their new head coach.
Earps; Blundell, Mannion, Thorisdottir, Battle, Groenen, Zelem (c), Hanson, Toone, Galton, Russo
Taieb; Stanway, Scott, Greenwood (c), Stokes, Walsh, Angeldahl, Weir, Beckie, Hemp, ShawEmbed from Getty Images
How it went
The opening moments of the game were full of end-to-end play, with both teams looking for an early goal. However, the early stages once again began to expose the visitors’ defensive frailties.
United managed on several occasions to break through the back line with relative ease. It was Janine Beckie however who almost opened the scoring.
The Canadian forced Mary Earps into make a diving save following an impressive cross from Lauren Hemp. The game continued with both sides having good chances to take the opening goal.
The game took a turn when Georgia Stanway was sent off for a high tackle on Leah Galton in the 35th minute.Embed from Getty Images
Despite being down to 10 players, it was the visitors who took the lead. A Demi Stokes cross saw Bunny Shaw put the Sky Blues into the lead just three minutes after the booking.
Ultimately it was Gareth Taylor’s side who lead at the break with the visitors enjoying a strong end to the first half.
The Reds seemed to enter the second half with a renewed confidence. The 72nd minute saw the game brought back level as Lucy Staniforth tucked home an Ella Toone cross. Moments later, Galton almost doubled their goal tally but her shot rolled harmlessly wide.
Marc Skinner’s side eventually took the lead four minutes later as Alessia Russo made it two for the hosts.
The game was pulled back level after Ellen White tapped in a stunning shot from Jess Park which rattled the crossbar in the 79th minute.Embed from Getty Images
With 10 minutes left and all three points still to play for, both teams began to push for the winner.
Despite decent chances, neither side was able to find the winning goal.
The game ended 2-2 with both points and bragging rights shared on both sides of Manchester. The draw sees the visitors remain in ninth place while United move into 3rd.
Stand out player
Lauren Hemp was outstanding for Manchester City throughout the game. With her ability to run through the opposition defence, she consistently provided her team with attacking opportunities.
With the No.15 putting pressure on their hosts throughout the game, she won her side chances despite being a player down for the majority of the game.