City 1 – 0 United: FAWSL

Photo Credit: EMPICS Sport

So, this is it? Is the City of Manchester blue? That seems to be the truth, after Nick Cushing’s Manchester City women side came out on top 1-0 against Manchester United women on Saturday 7th September.   Although a very close match, a combination of City Goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck’s amazing saves and a deadly Caroline Weir left-footed strike managed to give City the edge over a very well drilled United side.

Written by: Mika Chen

In front of a record-breaking crowd of 31,213 football fans- putting last season’s Arsenal match standing record of 5,265 to shame- the women stepped out onto the Etihad Stadium (a massive change in scenery from their usual pitches- the Academy Stadium (City) and Leigh Sports Village (United)) to create history, in the first-ever professional women’s Manchester Derby.

And so, the first half kicked off, with the newly-promoted United side seemingly dominating WSL veterans Manchester City in every way possible.

After a few missed chances from both sides , United struck up some promising play on the left flank at 22 minutes. An accurate pass from Zelem was given to Leah Galton, who used her vision to supply United striker Jane Ross on the edge of the box. Ross struck an exquisite right-footed half volley destined for the top right corner of the net- but it wasn’t meant to be, as the exquisite strike was equaled by an exquisite one-armed saved from City keeper Ellie Roebuck.

For the rest of the first half, manager Casey Stoney’s side carved out many more spectacular plays between Leah Galton and Jane Ross. Although City have gone on the counter-attack a few times, they have done little to rival the Red Devils, and Nick Cushing will definitely be looking for a change in his team in the second half as the players head inside for half time.

Whatever Cushing says to his players at half time must have worked, as City open the second half with an extraordinary goal from winger, Caroline Weir at 48 minutes.

United’s defense repeatedly failing to clear the ball results in it eventually falling to Weir just outside the box. After switching the ball onto her left side, she pelts a left-footed strike into the top right corner, edging it’s way past United keeper Mary Earns. Ellie Roebuck later comments: “Caz does that in training every week against me, so I knew it was going in as soon as it left her left foot”.

ellie-roebuck (1)
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The tables seem to have turned, as City display the same amount of dominance that the Red devils showed in the first half.

At 83 minutes, Manchester United’s midfielder Jackie Groenen comes inches from a late equalizer. She picks up the ball in the City half, after driving at goal. As she comes face to face with Manchester City defender and captain Steph Houghton, she gets her feet tangled and slips. However, City defender Mannion’s clearance goes pelting into Groenen’s shins and almost rolling into the corner of the goal. Luckily for the blues, it ends up bouncing off the post, before being collected up by Roebuck.

Photo Credit: George Wood/Getty Images

As the full time whistle is heard, both sides of Manchester walk off the pitch with smiles on their faces, following a sportsmanlike exchange between the two managers. Despite the match having been won by City, it is a collective win for everyone on and off the pitch, as women’s soccer gains another 3 points and moves up the table once more.

Photo Credit: Phil Oldham/BPI/REX/Shutterstock