Manchester United Women 2, Manchester City Women 2
Ellen White scored a late equaliser for Manchester City in the Manchester derby after Georgia Stanway was sent off at Leigh Sports Village.Embed from Getty Images
City had shipped nine goals in their last three games, and conceded two more in the Manchester derby but managed to avoid defeat with a battling draw at Manchester United after playing for 55 minutes with ten players.
The performance and result turned around a losing streak of three WSL games for City against their hosts for whom United boss Marc Skinner said it was all ‘part of the process.’
He said: “We needed to move the ball quicker and be more patient. I was pleased with what we did in the second half.”
City boss Gareth Taylor claimed City could have won the game if they stayed with 11 players.
He said: “We had some great chances to win it. I suppose it was a roller coaster today, but when you’re staring 2-1 down in the second half, coming away with a draw was a fair result.
Taylor admitted that the red card made things more difficult for City, adding: “I need to see it again. I thought it was a yellow card but I hear it was a little high.
“We showed great determination and spirit, and when you look at the players who we had missing the girls did amazing today.”
City went ahead through Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw after Georgia Stanway was sent off in front of a record United crowd for a home women’s game.
United were indebted to Mary Earps and Maria Thorisdottir who helped keep the scores down as City were top throughout the first half but took the lead after Lucy Staniforth and Alessia Russo scored in the second half.
Indeed, City’s makeshift defence, even after a reshuffle, managed to keep the rejuvenated Reds at bay with Ella Toone going close, until White equalised.
Injury hit Manchester City were bidding to avoid a record fourth consecutive WSL defeat after a shaky start to the season.
City had been undefeated in three previous Manchester derbies in the WSL – winning two and drawing the last one – but they were still without several of their players through injury with captain Steph Houghton and 2020’s FIFA Best Women’s player Lucy Bronze missing from the City defence.
Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw was preferred to Ellen White while Georgia Stanway came in for Jess Park as under pressure boss Gareth Taylor opted to make just two changes from the side that lost to West Ham last weekend.
Kirsty Hanson came in for Lucy Staniforth in the sole change from Manchester United’s win at Birmingham City last week.
City lived dangerously as United tried to get in behind them from the start and were rescued by the offside flag and some well timed tackles.
The Blues lacked intensity in the final third until Janine Beckie’s 13th minute shot when Lauren Hemp’s left wing cross was turned goal wards by the Canadian and tipped away by Mary Earps for the first real chance of the game.
Two minutes later Filippa Angeldahl sent in a cross for Hemp whose header was cleared off the line by Maria Thorisdottir.
Hemp also blazed over from range and saw another cross plucked out of the air by Earps as City produced the best chances in the first half.
But City were guilty of gifting half chances to their hosts who could not find a clear shot until Kirsty Hanson’s 32nd minute shot which was easy enough to collect for Karima Taieb.
Georgia Stanway sent off for badly timed challenge on Leah Galton
The game turned after 35 minutes when Stanway was given her marching orders for a dangerous tackle on Leah Galton with a badly mistimed tackle which left the United winger nursing a nasty thigh injury.
It was Stanway’s second WSL red card but City were not deterred by losing a player.
City took the lead through Shaw’s header after she got away from ex-City defender Aoife Mannion and got on the end of a left wing cross from Demi Stokes.
It was her fifth goal of the season, but only her second WSL goal as City gave themselves something to hold on to.
Earps had to punch out again after Hemp put in another cross as City upped their game to cover the player shortfall.
Demi Stokes ran the ball out of the defence, found Lauren Hemp with a great ball forward, but her ball into the area couldn’t quite find Angeldahl who couldn’t get a good purchase on it as City spurned the chance to take a 2-0 lead at the break with the Reds relieved to go in just 1-0 down.
Galton was thwarted by a poor offside decision while Hannah Boundell’s shot came off Jackie Groenen, while Scott escaped a penalty claim against Galton and Ella Toone had a shot palmed away by Taieb as United started the second half on the front foot, dominating possession.
City’s goalscorer Shaw had gone down a couple of times during the game and was withdrawn after 59 minutes for Ellen White to put some ice on her leg.
The Reds were wasteful in their chances though, Taieb wasn’t challenged as she collected a hard won Reds corner.
Lucy Staniforth came on for Hanson midway through the second half as United reshuffled.
Scott tackled Galton with a well timed sliding challenge as she raced into the box.
And the United change paid dividends when Staniforth turned in a quickly taken short corner by Blundell which was whipped in by Toone and back heeled in by the veteran with City all at sea.
Galton was clean through as City tired with 17 minutes to go but sent her shot wide.
The disappointment was short lived as Alessia Russo had enough time to set herself and roll the ball past Taieb after Jill Scott missed Blundell’s cross from the left.
Taylor’s response was to send on Jess Park for Angeldahl as City now needed the equaliser with 14 minutes to go.
And they got just that with White netting in the 79th minute when Park’s long range rising shot came off Earps and the woodwork and the England striker was there following the shot for the tap-in.
The goal meant that White had scored against all 17 clubs she had faced in the WSL – more than any other player in the competition – and she could have added a winner but glanced a late chance wide after Hemp crossed from the left.
Hayley Ladd was United’s second change with 5 minutes to go, on for Jackie Groenen while Laura Coombs replaced Caroline Weir as City closed out the game to win a hard earned point with United pushing for their own winner.
GOALS – Manchester United Women 2, Manchester City Women 2
Man Utd 0, Man City 1: 38. Khadija Shaw’s firm header put City into the lead after she got away from Aoife Mannion and got on the end of a Demi Stokes cross from the left.
Man Utd 1, Man City 1: 72. Lucy Staniforth was alert to back heel the equaliser at the near post after a short corner by Hannah Blundell was sent into the area by Ella Toone.
Man Utd 2, Man City 1: 75. Alessia Russo had enough time to set herself and roll the ball past Taieb fro the edge of the area after Jill Scott missed Blundell’s cross from the left.
Man Utd 2, Man City 2: 79. Ellen White hit a deserved equaliser when Jess Park’s rising shot came off Mary Earps and the woodwork and the England striker was there for the tap-in from close range.
MATCH STATS – Manchester United Women 2, Manchester City Women 2
Man Utd Women: Earps, Blundell, Mannion, Thorisdottir, Batlle, Groenen (Ladd 85), Zelem (C), Hanson (Staniforth 67), Toone, Galton, Russo
Man Utd Women subs not used: Baggaley, Harris, Risa, Fuso, Jones
Goals: Staniforth 72; Russo 75
Man City Women: Benameur, Stanway, Scott, Greenwood (C), Stokes, Angeldahl (Park 76), Walsh, Weir (Coombs 89), Beckie, Hamp, Shaw (White 59)
Man City Women: Keating, Mace, Kennedy
Booking: Beckie 90+1 (foul on Lucy Staniforth)
Sent Off: Stanway 35 (bad foul on Leah Galton)
Goals: Shaw 38; White 79
Referee: Rebecca Welch