With their first consecutive wins of the 2021/22 season Manchester City headed into their second clash with Chelsea in as many weeks. Last season’s champions currently sit in second, 4 points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Stokes, Greenwood, Scott, Stanway, Angeldahl (Coombs), Hemp (Raso), Park (Beckie), White (c), Weir (Losada), Walsh, Taieb.
Bright, Carter, Leupolz, Ji (Ingle), Reiten (Charles), Kirby (Spence), Eriksson, Fleming, Kerr (England), Cuthbert, Berger (Musovic)
’45 ingle for Ji
’67 England for Kerr
Musovic for Berger ’77
Spence for Kirby
Charles for Reiten
How it went
Within the first 2 minutes Manchester City once again fell foul conceding a goal of their own making. A defensive error in the second minute allowed Jessie Fleming to easily tuck the ball into the bottom corner with Karima Taieb unable to respond. Caroline Weir almost brought the hosts back level, however Ann-Katrin Berger stretched out a leg to maintain her side’s lead. Berger was forced to make a vital save in the 31st minute as Alex Greenwood fired the ball towards last seasons golden glove recipient. Just one minute later Lauren Hemp also forced the Chelsea keeper to act. The City No.15’s shot was a comfortable catch for the German international.
As more corners and half chances came for the hosts, it seemed that Gareth Taylor’s side were finally beginning to gain ground. That was brought to a halt however following a lengthy stop as Hemp was taken out by Berger inside the area. Just minutes after play resumed a further defensive mistake allowed Chelsea to double their lead. Georgia Stanway failed to clear the ball allowing Ji So-Yun to chip the ball across the area. Guro Reiten managed to find Sam Kerr in the crowd and Kerr found the back of the net with a trademark half volley.Embed from Getty Images
The second half brought a wave of early Chelsea attacks. Whilst the hosts were able to clear the first, Chelsea’s No.14 Fran Kirby was able to put the ball past Taieb to extend the Blues lead. Sam Kerr then almost bagged her second of the afternoon. However Taieb was able to get her fingertips to the ball, pushing it around the post to safety. Another defensive mistake saw Chelsea skipper Magdalena Eriksson secure her first goal of the season. From there Chelsea continued to pin their hosts into their own area, forcing Taylor’s side to sit back and defend. With two Lauren Hemp chances in quick succession, City seemed unable to find the finishing touch they needed to beat Berger and her defence.
The match ended with Manchester City suffering a painful 4-0 defeat at the hands of Emma Hayes’ Chelsea. The defeat is City’s largest home loss in the league since the Sky Blues 4-0 defeat by Arsenal in August 2014. With last season’s WSL runners up sitting in 9th, 8 points from European qualifying places and 12 points adrift of the top more 2, questions will inevitably be asked of Gareth Taylor and his squad.Embed from Getty Images
Post match thoughts
Once again, Gareth Taylor had to answer questions about his own future at the club. When asked how he felt about his position Taylor responded that he felt fine.
“I feel fine, I feel the same way that I’ve always done. I think as long as I can see the positives even when we are really short of a number of key players. Nothing changes in my mind.”
When asked further questions about whether he felt he needed to consider his position Taylor was adamant that there was nothing for him to consider. “Until I’m told anything different, I carry on working as hard as I’ve ever done. I’m working so hard in this period with a lot of constraints with the injuries that we have. I think the players today showed me that we are capable of playing well.”
Emma Hayes on the other hand was jubilant with her teams victory. The win marked Chelsea’s first in the league at the Academy stadium. However, Hayes expressed that she had not been pleased with her side’s first half performance. She explained that they had made tactical changes at half time to cope with the hosts overload in the midfield.
Hayes was also quick to praise No.17 Jessie Fleming. Describing her as a massive player in the dressing room the Chelsea manager was eager to praise the Canadian international.
Manchester City will next travel to face United whilst Chelsea will welcome Servette to Kingsmeadow in the Champions league.