Manchester City Women 2-0 Chelsea Ladies
Manchester City Women became ‘Queens of England’ this past Sunday afternoon in a title decider against reigning league champions Chelsea Ladies with a stunning 2-0 win at the Academy Stadium. City claimed their maiden FA Women’s Super League title thanks to a Katie Chapman own goal in the firs half and then a penalty early in the second half by Toni Duggan to secure victory.
Pic taken: Guardian Website
Prior to kick off it saw the home side needing just one point to clinch the club first league title success in their history and that any other result would give their rival in Chelsea a chance of pip them should they win all their remaining games. Early stages in the game saw the visitors taking the play to the home side as expected, with the City defence needing to be alert to their attacks right from the off and saw the hosts more than equipped to deal with the Chelsea forwards.
City then created a great chance to open the scoring when Toni Duggan crossed in a ball for Jane Ross to get her head on, with the Scottish International bringing out a great save from the Chelsea keeper to deny the striker from breaking the deadlock. The home side were using the flanks to good effect, as England duo Toni Duggan and Demi Stokes were both creating chances down the wings and had the away side finding it difficult to deal with them. It wasn’t all one-way traffic though, as the visitors came back at their opponents and seemed to adopt a more counter attacking style to their game as saw Izzy Christiansen stopping a one threatening attack as the City midfielder upended Gemma Davison on the halfway line to pick up the first yellow card of the game.
Both teams to gain the an important upper hand in the game and saw the two sides enjoying good spells of pressure and showing why they were both up at the top end of the league table and chasing the title. In the 34th minute the deadlock was broken in this big game, after a corner by Toni Duggan was headed on by Jill Scott and saw the ball bounce in off the shoulder of Chelsea captain Katie Chapman for an own goal, to give City a 1-0 lead and see the away side now needing to score three goals to stop the hosts from taking the title away from them.
That goal really seemed to take the wind out of Emma Hayes side and had the hosts on top for the remainder of the first half. When the second half resumed, it was expected that Chelsea would come out and take the game to the hosts as they looked to rescue their title, but instead it was the home side that took the game to their West London opposition and pressured them right from the off in the second half.
Pic Taken from: Official Man City Website
That pressure told when the hosts was awarded a penalty minutes into the second half when Jane Ross played a nice ball ahead for Lucy Bronze to chase in the area, but saw Gilly Flaherty taking her legs from her and gave Toni Duggan the chance to double the lead for the home side. The striker placed the spot kick by the keeper for a 2-0 lead and all but looked to give the Citizens the title early in the half. With that second goal going in against Chelsea, it seemed to see the heads drop on the away side and had the confidence quickly fading away, while City grown in confidence and looked in search of more goals to their two already.
Nikita Parris then went close with an effort for the hosts, but Spencer in the Chelsea goals made a good stop with her outstretched left foot to deny the striker from making it three. The visitors then created their best scoring chance in the second half through a lovely Karen Carney through ball that split the City defense and allowed Bethany England in, but despite holding off Steph Houghton in the area her she shot was straight into the body of Karen Bardsley in the City goal and that was their best chance of the game.
Substitute Kosovare Asllani then had the last effort in the game, when the Swedish star collected a ball inside the penalty area from Jill Scott and then tried to bend her effort in at the far post and instead missed the target completely in the dying embers of the game. When the full time whistle came it saw the City bench spill onto the pitch to celebrate their achievement with their teammates and remained undefeated with one game left to play. The Blues will have to wait till a bit longer to get their hands on that Women’s Super League title, as they will be presented with it in their final home game against the side they meet next weekend in the Continental Cup Final in Birmingham City Ladies on October 30th.