Duggan’s goal helps see off Chelsea on emotional night

manchester_city_2016 Manchester City Women  1-0  Chelsea Ladies 13

A Toni Duggan goal in the first half proved to be enough for Manchester City Women, as they secured a tight 1-0 win over rivals Chelsea on what was a very emotional charged evening at the City Academy Stadium on Thursday evening.

This past Monday saw Manchester being rocked to it’s core, when the city was hit by a terror attack at the Manchester Arena that killed 22 people and injured many others in the blast. For the past few days that followed, the City as a whole have come together to show solidarity and saw this being the first game played in the city since that tragic incident.

Both sides wore ‘We Love MCR’ shirts in their respective warm-ups and was a nice touch by the visiting side. Prior to kick off it saw the fans in attendance all coming together and chanting ‘Stand up for Manchester’ before the teams entered the field of play. 

City players wearing “We Love Manchester” T-Shirts.

After a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by the whole stadium, it saw the Spring Series contest finally getting underway and bring some normality to proceedings as well.

An absolutely baking hot evening in Manchester served up a entertaining game of football, between two teams that battled tooth and nail for the WSL League title last season. 

The home side started very attacking and had their opponents coming under some stern pressure early doors in the contest. Chelsea forced their way back into the game and saw both sides needing to being patient in their build ups as they looked to crack the others defences.

When the clock ticked onto the 22-minute mark it saw the ground rising to it’s feet to pay it’s respects to the twenty-two victims that were killed in the incident in the terror attacks and was a another nice touch.

Play was very much even until the deadlock was broken on 28 minutes, with a bit of skill and vision by Manchester City’s Toni Duggan. It saw the forward spinning on the ball which caught out Chelsea’s Millie Bright, before the striker then unleashed a shot from outside that area that beat Carly Telford in the visitors goal and put the hosts a goal up.

Toni Duggan celebrates with Izzy Christiansen for City lead

City captain Steph Houghton then almost made it 2-0 with a free kick that rattled off the crossbar and away, with the home side in on top. Second half had the visitors taking the game to the home side more and edging play in their favour, with Chelsea having more of the ball and the attacking play.

Karen Bardsley was the more busier keeper of the two in the second forty-five of the game, as she was made to make a couple of important stops to deny the West-London side an equaliser.

Nikita Parris was getting into decent positions for City, but sadly her shooting was letting her down and saw her spurning a couple of glorious chances to give the home side a cushion. Megan Campbell then put in one of her trademark long throws into the Chelsea penalty box, as the ball beat everyone in the area especially Carly Telford to see the ball ending up in the back of the net. 

Sadly for her and the home side though, the rules states that the ball much take a touch off someone for it count, and as no one got a touch it was ruled out. For the final quarter of the game it saw City coming under pressure by the Chelsea forwards, and once yet again Bardsley was forced into making some top draw saves to deny them an equaliser.

The visitors pressed and pressed for a goal late on, but the City defences were refusing to budge. In the end the home side had enough to hold out and claim three league points in the Spring series table and move them one shy of leaders Liverpool, with the Blues facing Arsenal Ladies on Sunday dinnertime and a chance to go top.

Taken from BBC Sports

Five-star City as Lloyd sees red

manchester_city_2016 Manchester City Women  5-1 Yeovil Town Ladies 13 

Two goals by Scottish striker Jane Ross helped Manchester City Women on their way to victory and close the gap on leaders Liverpool at the top of the WSL FA Spring Series table, as they eased to a 5-1 win over Yeovil Town Ladies at the City Academy Stadium on Sunday Afternoon. 

City returned home triumphant having beaten Birmingham City Ladies last weekend down at Wembley in the Women’s FA CUP Final, so they were obviously still cock a hoop after completing a sweep of the major domestic honours in the English game. 

Nick Cushing the Manchester City coach made a couple of changes to the side for the visit of Yeovil to the CFA, with youngster Ellie Roebuck taking her place between the posts for the Blues in their Spring Series encounter.  

The home side dominated the game from start to finish and saw the West Country side struggling to contain their opponents in the game. City took the lead on 10 minutes courtesy of an own goal by Ann-Marie Heatherson, after the Yeovil defender put the ball in back of her own net from a Lucy Bronze cross to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Jill Scott quickly made it 2-0 after 12 minutes gone, after the England Midfielder flicked the ball over the Yeovil keeper and into the back of the net to see City Women almost putting the game to bed early doors.

Toni Duggan almost make it three on 17 minutes, when the Liverpudlian striker fired on goal and brought out a good stop out from the former Notts County keeper Megan Walsh, to keep it at 2-0.

Yeovil then stunned the home side with a goal back for the visitors on 20 minutes, after a poor defensive pass across the back-line by Jennifer Beattie saw the ball been intercepted by Yeovil’s Lucy Quinn, and she striker struck a sweet shot that beat Roebuck in the City goals to make it 2-1 and give the visitors a possible way back.

The away side then started to get a foot back in the door and play some good football, with Yeovil taking heart from their goal and caused some minor panic for the home side. In truth the away side never looked to really trouble City in the game, and that goal was pretty much their best effort and had City soon settling back into their groove fairly soon.

Jane Ross then made it 3-1 for City after 38 minutes gone in the match, as the Scottish striker put home from Georgia Stanway’s cross to re-establish their two-goal lead again in the game. Walsh in goals for the visitors, saw her well and truly earning her pay packet for the week with three quick saves from Ross and a couple from Duggan in the Sky Blue shirts to keep the hosts out for a fourth time.

Second half saw more of the same and had the Blues trying to hammer home their advantage even more, but were unable to do so in the first ten minutes of the half with Yeovil proving stubborn at the back.

Yeovil’s back line got broken for 4-1, after Jane Ross put home from a Steph Houghton header across the penalty box to put home for her second of the game and put the game to bed well and truly.

Manchester City’s Swedish International Kosse Asllani got her name on the scoresheet for the home side in the 68th minute of the contest, as the Swedish striker prodded home from close range to make it five and give their goal difference a bit of a health boost. 

Ross nearly completed a hat trick with a header moments later, but the effort just missed the target. Yeovil was then awarded a penalty six minutes from time, after City defender Lucy Bronze brought down an opposition player in the penalty box and that saw Sarah Wiltshire given the duty of taking the spot kick.

Wiltshire stepped up to take the penalty for the Yeovil, but it was a very poorly taken penalty in all honesty and was well saved by Ellie Roebuck in the City goals to keep them out. As the game was coming to close, it saw City’s American loanee in Carli Lloyd being shown a straight red card by the referee for elbow off the ball and sees the US star missing the next three games due to suspension.

The win for City Women sees them moving into third place and just four points behind Leaders Liverpool, with their next opponents being against Chelsea Ladies this upcoming Thursday night. 

City Women Complete Domestic Treble

Steph Houghton and Jill Scott lift the Women’s FA Cup for the Manchester City Women Pic: BBC Sports

manchester_city_2016  Manchester City Women  4 – 1  Birmingham City Ladies download

Manchester City Women made it a historic clean sweep of the English domestic trophies on Saturday evening, with the Sky Blues beating Birmingham City Ladies 4-1 in the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium thanks to first half goals by Lucy Bronze, Izzy Christiansen and Carli Lloyd followed by a late goal from Jill Scott. 

City came into the final as huge favourites to lift the only trophy that was missing from their resume to date, having already the Women’s Super League title and the Continental Cup in their possession.

Their opponents were Birmingham City Ladies, a side that were no strangers to the Manchester club having recently met them at the City Academy Stadium 10 days ago and saw a 1-1 draw.  It was back in October when Manchester City beat Birmingham in Extra Time to win their second Continental Cup in three years, so City boss Nick Cushing and the team knew full well what to expect of their opponents.  

Berger at the feet of Toni Duggan Pic: Pinterest

City had the first effort of the game through Megan Campbell, with the Irish International seeing her shot from an Izzy Christiansen corner hitting the side netting and was a warning shot to their opponents.

Lucy Bronze who has been a big time player for the Blues in their success over the last year, saw the England defender turning up again with another goal on 17 minutes with Bronze heading home from a Megan Campbell free kick to put City 1-0 up in the final.

Izzy Christiansen then made it 2-0 on 24 minutes for the Manchester side, after Lucy Bronze won the ball back inside the Birmingham half she then floated a ball inside the penalty box for the City midfielder to convert.

Mel Lawley then nearly made it three on the half hour mark for the Sky Blues, after Carli Lloyd played a ball forward for Lawley to run onto and saw the winger nearly scoring against her former employees, as it needed Berger in the Birmingham goals to make the stop. 

From the resulting corner it saw a short corner taken and passed back towards Megan Campbell who whipped in a great ball and was missed by the keeper, but not by Carli Lloyd as the American header scored on her return to Wemble, having scored for the US in the Olympics.   

City players take their bow (L-R) Mel Lawley,Georgia Stanway,Toni Duggan, Carli Lloyd Pic: Football Fancast

Manchester City was running riot in the game and saw their opponents needing a miracle now to force their way back into the contest. Birmingham was being outplayed by the League and Cup winners and was a different game to the one played ten days before, when Brum were dangerous throughout. 

However this time around it saw Birmingham just unable to muster anything in the way of an attack or something that resembled a threat on Karen Bardsley’s goal. 

Second half saw Nikita Parris trying to bend a shot past the Birmingham keeper on 53 minutes, but Berger was equal to it and made a finger tip save to push it away for a corner.

Birmingham then registered their first real shot on goal in the 61st minute of the game, when Ellen White was left with plenty of time to take aim and shoot and see the England striker shooting from outside the area and bringing a save from Karen Bardsley.

Jill Scott fires in City’s fourth goal to seal victory – Pic: YahooCricket

After causing City a few problems, it saw Birmingham City Ladies getting on the scoresheet through a stunning Charlie Welling strike on 73 minutes and gave them a glimmer of hope.

That hope was all but extinguished on 80 minutes when Jill Scott fired home a lovely goal into the far top corner of Berger’s net to make it 4-1 for Manchester City Women, and that goal sealed the win to capture their maiden Women’s FA Cup trophy. 

Bronze nets City a draw in Cup final dress rehearsal

manchester_city_2016  Manchester City Women  1 – 1  Birmingham City Ladies download

57′ Bronze                                                                                                                     13′ Westwood

Lucy Bronze & Carli Lloyd congratulate a goal  – Pic: ManCity.com

Manchester City needed a Lucy Bronze equaliser to help see them and their opponents Birmingham City ending honours even in as they sides meet in ten days time in the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley on 13th May. Once again it needed Manchester City’s England International Lucy Bronze to come to their rescue and pick up a point in the 1-1 draw with Birmingham City Ladies in the opening WSL Spring Series contest for the Sky Blues.

The home side saw boss Nick Cushing giving a start to England’s under-17 goalie Ellie Roebuck and also hand a start to Dutch midfielder Tessel Middag, as it was a very much different looking line up to the previous ones that have started in recent games and was giving some playing time too. 

City could easily have been in front after just seventeen seconds gone on the clock, after Carli Lloyd latched onto a poorly hit back pass by Aoife Mannion towards her keeper and saw the American pushing the ball passed Ann-Katrin Berger in the Birmingham goal and then putting her effort into the side netting. 

That chance was really as good as it got for the home side in the opening forty-five minutes of the play, with the home side struggling to put passes together and were very disjointed in their attacks and lacking cohesion as well, which stifled anything in the way of attacks in the first period. 

Birmingham then took a surprised lead on 13 minutes into the game, after Emily Westwood guided her header past Roebuck in the Manchester City goal from a Coral-Jade Haines corner kick and that put the Midlands side one up with their first effort on goal.

After going a goal down, it saw the home side recovering well without having really caused the Birmingham defence to press the panic buttons. The home side really lacked any attacking threat going forward and saw most of their attacks undone by themselves, with poor passing and a lack of cutting edge to their play.

A very unexcitable first half drew to a close thankfully, with the away side still leading by a solitary goal to nil and had neither side really looking like scoring from open play and if anything, it had Birmingham looking more likely to score again when they had a corner kick.

With the second half getting underway, it saw the home side looking to get back into the contest and they did on 57 minutes, as Birmingham’s nemesis last season in the Continental Cup Final in Lucy Bronze levelled the contest at one all.

It saw the England defender and recently named PFA Women’s Player of the Year making a run into the Birmingham penalty box and then firing the ball into the far corner to make it 1-1.

Nick Cushing then made all his subs in the space of seven minutes apart, with firstly Georgia Stanway being replaced by Jane Ross immediately from the restart and then Kosovare Asllani and Jennifer Beattie being subbed on 65 minutes, for Jill Scott and returning to the squad after a long lay off in Irish International Megan Campbell.

As previously stated at the start, these two teams will contest the Women’s FA Cup Final a week on Saturday at Wembley Stadium with neither side giving ground or showing how they may play in the Cup Final. 

Credit to Birmingham though, they did what a lot of other sides have been unable to, or just refused to do all and was to attack the home side and by doing so made it an interesting and entertaining too.

The home side grew into the contest and was putting their opponents under some severe pressure as the game ticked down inside the last ten minutes of the contest. Jane Ross firstly saw her effort from a tight angle being stopped by the keeper and somehow saw a loose rebounded scrambled away, with Lloyd nearly netting.

City’s best chance then fell two minutes from time from Carli Lloyd again, as this time the midfielder had the ball come nicely to her and her blast struck Berger in the chest and away from danger, when it really should have been buried by the Star player.

Overall a draw was probably the fairest result for both sides, with arguably the home side edging play in the second half, but with the Cup final in a couple weeks times it saw both teams relatively play with their performances. 

Nick Cushing’s side play two away games before they meet Birmingham again at Wembley, with Reading away on Sunday and then followed by Bristol City Women on the Tuesday night. 

Lyon give City Women a European masterclass

UEFA_Women's_Champions_League_Logo                f56f6c391c0ad57e0c9b5c8226a8d807                  Olympique_Lyonnais.svg

Manchester  City Women  1 – 3  Olympique Lyonnais 

Manchester City were given a European footballing lesson by their opponents and current holders Lyon, as the French club out-played, out-classed and out-worked their English counter-parts 3-1 in the first leg of the Women’s Champions League Semi-Final.

Goals by Saki Kumagai, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Eugenie Le Sommer helped the three-time champions of this tournament with a healthy lead to take back across the Channel, and also see Alex Morgan getting the better of her fellow US teammate Carli Lloyd, in the battle of the American superstars.

A big crowd of 3,548 witness Manchester City Women making history, with the Manchester side hosting their first ever Women’s Champions League semi final against Olympique Lyon on a glorious Saturday afternoon, but saw their side struggle against their opponents.

The home side found themselves on the back foot also immediately from kick off, when a clearance by Abbie McManus was needed to avoid the Blues from going behind inside a minute. However from that resulting play, Lyon was then awarded a penalty for a handball of City’s Carli Lloyd, as the ball struck the American’s arm in the penalty box and gave the visitors a chance of an early lead.

Saki Kumagai then stepped up for the visitors to take the penalty and send Karen Bardsley the wrong way from the spot, and draw first blood to the French side after just two minutes into the game.

With Lyon looking like they could run riot early on with a wave of attack after attack on the home sides goal, it saw the Blues then finding an equaliser with their first attack in the game through Swedish forward Kosavare Asllani. After a delightful weighted through ball by Toni Duggan put in Asllani to run through on goal and find the back of the net on nine minutes, to net her first Champions League goal with City.

The first half felt like the pitch was on the proverbial slope with Lyon, as the visitors laid siege to the City goal, with the French side controlling play with their accurate passing and attacking threat. With all the play in the City half and the home side being pinned in their own half, it was only a matter of time before the visitors made another breakthrough.

That breakthrough then came in the form of a Dzsenfier Marozsen effort on sixteen minutes, when the German national captain bent her shot past the keeper for a 2-1 lead and was certainly deserved.

City knew coming into this semi final clash that it was a tall order to beat Lyon, especially when the French side are the current holders and have also played in five of the seven previous Women’s Champions League finals to date. So to say that Lyon were a level above anyone else that the Blues had faced so far in the tournament, would be a massive understatement. 

As the teams headed into the half time break with the French side holding a 2-1 lead, it will have had both managers fairly happy with their sides respective first half displays. The away side could easily have been out of sight in the opening 45 minutes of play, but credit to City, as they put in a battling defensive display to halt a very dangerous outfit.

Lyon pressed for more goals in the second half, and the visitors own American superstar in Alex Morgan then found herself having a chance to increase the lead, but was she was denied brilliantly by Karen Bardsley.

As the game hit the midway point of the second half, it saw the visitors adding a third goal to the scoresheet, as Eugenie Le Sommer scored a very taken goal to put the visitors 3-1 up and possibly end the hopes early of the English Champions in the tie.

Both sides were putting in some meaty tackles on another, but pretty much all of the challenges were hard and fair, but some did stray on the side of fouls and bookable offences.

The hosts were unable to combat the very physical and quick play that the away side was showing in the contest, which is one reason why the home side was being picked apart in the engine room by the current holders, as Lyon shown their class and what it takes to win at this level. 

City boss Nick Cushing then brought on Izzy Christiansen and Georgia Stanway inside the final ten minutes of play, and that saw the home side enjoying without doubt their best spell in the game.

Abby McManus almost pulled a goal back for the home side, when the defender got the slightest of touches on a cross at the near post and had the Lyon keeper scrambling to push it onto the post, before being cleared away.

With the home side playing some good football late in the day, it just came at the wrong time and had the Blues unable to break down the strong French side. As the full time whistle blew, it sees the Blues with a huge mountain to climb in France next weekend, but they are by no means out of the tie yet. 

City Book Wembley Final Ticket

                              manchester_city_2016                                    N7Pu7j7b


Manchester City Women prevailed in their Women’s FA Cup semi final meeting with Liverpool on Sunday, thanks mainly to a Melissa Lawley second half strike that helped her the Blues place at Wembley on May 13th and set up another meeting with her former club Birmingham City Ladies in the showpiece final next month.  

Last season in this competition it saw Manchester City Women beating their opponents from Merseyside 2-0 away in the fifth round, and also had the Reds being the only team to not lose to Nick Cushing’s side in the Women’s Super League as they drew both games. 

The City Head Coach Nick Cushing has almost made it a priority to try and land the Women’s FA Cup this season, as after two Continental Cup successes in the last three seasons, and then throw in the league title from last year too, the FA Cup remains the only domestic trophy that the club haven’t lifted. 

Liverpool almost took a surprised lead after three minutes played, when Kate Longhurst had her cross-come-shot striking the outside of the near post and nearly caught out Karen Bardsley in the City goal.

Mel Lawley then had the first real chance of the game after quarter of the game gone, when the ball fell to Birmingham-born midfielder in the box and Lawley could only fire straight at Siobhan Chamberlain in the visitors goal and see a chance missed.

The home side began to up the pressure on their opponents a bit more with a couple of more attacks that didn’t really come to anything, but credit the visiting Liverpool side who did a good job of breaking up play when the hosts got forward in the opening half.

Lawley then weaved some of her magic to put a teasing ball into the Liverpool penalty area for Jill Scott to get onto the end off, but the midfielder was just out of reach to make any connection on the cross. Shanice Van de Senden for the the away side was causing City a couple of problems with her pace and power down the right flank, but the Blues defensive unit was more than capable to keep the forward quiet as the game went on.

With the half time break seeing the the teams deadlocked at 0-0, it would be fair to say that the contest as a whole wasn’t the most exciting one, but it was still anyone’s to win in the second forty-five. The Blues came out far more attacking minded and began to make some inroads on their opponents, after Jane Ross and Melissa Lawley both had chances to put the home side ahead, but both were unable to find the finish.

Then with fifty-seven minutes gone on the clock, it saw the game finally getting a goal and had Manchester City’s Mel Lawley giving the home side the lead, after the winger saw her shot from outside the area beating Chamberlain in the Liverpool goal and giving City a deserved 1-0 lead. 

Carli Lloyd almost doubled the lead for the hosts minutes later, when the American turned and fired a shot on goal and needed a good stop by the keeper to deny the City player a goal and keep her side in the game.

Liverpool was finding it extremely difficult to break the home sides defences down and saw a lack of match fitness beginning to take their toll on them. The Reds were unable to register a real threatening shot in the game, and it soon saw the home side looking to use their sharper legs to bomb forwards and look to seal the win.

Toni Duggan came on as a substitute for the home side and began to inject some much needed pace to the home side’s attacking play, as Lloyd went close once again, as this time she wasn’t able to keep her header down from a deep ball to the back post by Lawley. 

The Blues held on in the dying minutes of the contest to to book their maiden Women’s FA Cup final appearance on May 13th against Birmingham City Ladies, as the Midlands side shocked Chelsea Ladies on penalties in the other semi final. City will start as clear favourites as you would expect for the final, but Birmingham are no easy touches by any means.

It was Birmingham who pushed City all the way last year in the Continental Cup Final, before a Lucy Bronze strike proved to be the difference in extra time and give the Sky Blues the trophy on that occasion.

With a Cup final at Wembley to look forward too, it has the Blues firstly thought switching attention to this weekend as they welcome the holders of the Women’s Champions League in Olympique Lyonnais to the City Academy Stadium for the first leg of their semi-final tie on Saturday.

City Women make History in the Champions League

f56f6c391c0ad57e0c9b5c8226a8d807Manchester City Women  1-0  Fortuna Hjorring74c3ad1c048c2c5ff9373e7840afed9b

(City win 2-0 on Agg)


City Women celebrate their victory to make Semi-Final : Pic: MCFCSupportersClub

This past Thursday night saw Manchester City Women making history as they booked their place in the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League for the first ever time, thanks to a first half header by Lucy Bronze just before the break. After their 1-0 win over in Denmark last week, it saw Nick Cushing’s side controlling the tie and making sure of their place in the final four with another one goal winning margin in the second leg.

Fortuna Hjorring tried to surprise City from the opening kick off and saw them almost succeeding in their ploy, but the home side quickest got wise and stopped their attack. Jill Scott had a chance to put the hosts ahead after ten minutes gone when a move saw Carli Lloyd playing a ball forward to Jane Ross and the Scottish Striker played in the midfielder, but Maria Christiensen in the Hjorring goals managed to narrow the angle and make a good stop.

Carli Lloyd came closer to breaking the deadlock with an incredible run minutes later, with the American running through the Fortuna defence and putting her shot agonisingly past the far post by inches and what would have been a stunning solo goal for sure. Kosavare Asllani then had her header go wide for the home side, after a great cross by Lucy Bronze saw the Swedish International unable to find the target and had the home side being a bit wasteful with their chances.

Fortuna then created a couple of decent chances for themselves in a little purple patch in the game, as firstly Camille Larsen had the ties first decent effort for the Danish side, after great work running by Frederikke Thogersen saw her pulling a ball back across goal for Larsen to get on to and her shot was straight at Karen Bardsley in the City goal. 

City then were doubly lucky to get away from conceding a goal and a penalty minutes later, when a ball put into the area it saw Steph Houghton dragged over with Larsen and Bronze clashing heads in the Blues penalty area and had the ball falling to Caroline Rask whose initial shot looked to have struck the top of Houghton’s outstretched arm, but as the rebound came back to Rask she then fired wide and had the Fortuna players claims of a handball falling on deaf ears of the Russian official.

In the 41st minute of the game it had Lucy Bronze who seemingly always pops at vital times for the Blues in the last season or two, had her coming up big yet again. This time it saw the England defender guiding her header on goal from a Mel Lawley corner kick and the goalkeeper was unable to keep it out and gave City a 1-0 lead on the night and two goal aggregate advantage. With a two goal lead for the home side, it almost saw that goal taking the wind out of the visitors sails and looked to end the tie with that killer goal before half time.

Second half saw the game played out without any real threat on either goal in truth, but did have a few of those Fortuna Hjorring fans that made the trip over to Manchester trying to boost their side with some vocal support, but the game was too far gone by that point. Victory now sets up an exciting clash with Lyon of France in the Semi-Finals and will pit American star v American star, with Manchester City’s Carli Lloyd coming up against United States International team-mate Alex Morgan and will be an interesting two-legged tie for sure.