MAN UNITED WOMEN 1, MAN CITY WOMEN 4
Manchester City produced a devastating second-half display to overturn a half-time deficit and comprehensively beat Manchester United and claim a quarter-final place in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
Three goals in a deadly 12-minute spell from Lauren Hemp, Ellen White and Caroline Weir cancelled out the Katie Zelem strike direct from a corner which had given United an interval lead.
Three times FA Cup winners City, second best in the opening period, were a totally different proposition in the second period when they hit four goals without reply, the last coming from substitute Khadija Shaw.Embed from Getty Images
Gareth Taylor, City’s manager, was delighted with his side’s second-half display.
He said: “We needed to step up and be more street wise in our pressing and we also tweaked one of teo other things at half time.
“The way we turned the game around in 12 or 13 minutes was superb. The things which were missing in the first half were there in the second half.
“It was a really good performance against United two weeks ago and my worry was that we would be complacent and wait for things to happen.
“We put them to the sword. It was a very good performance in the second half.”
United manager Marc Skinner was disappointed by the second-half collapse.
“We didn’t compete in the second half,” he admitted.
“We didn’t mix it physically and we didn’t match them. If you lose too many one-to-one duels, you lose it. And we lost too many duels in the second half, and that is where we lost the game, though the goals we conceded were not good and we weren’t happy with them.”
There were three changes to the United side that started in their derby defeat by City earlier this month.
Martha Thomas, Jackie Groenen and Leah Galton won call ups as Hayley Ladd missed out while Vilde Risa and Signe Bruun dropped to the bench.
City were unchanged from the side that won the WSL derby thanks to a spectacular late goal from substitute Weir.
United played a high intensity pressing game from the start, not letting City impose themselves on the game.
And their efforts were rewarded when United took a 14th minute lead through Zelem.
Ella Toone’s drive was excellently tipped over by Ellie Roebuck, but it was only a temporary reprieve as Zelem scored directly from a corner. As everybody went to the near post, the ball floated over everybody’s heads into the far corner for her fourth goal of the season.
City’s only clear chance of the opening period came shortly before the break when United failed to clear a corner and Lucy Bronze’s shot flashed wide.
Taylor’s response to the opening period was to make a double change for the restart as Jess Park and Vicky Losada were replaced by Hayley Raso and Weir.
And it paid dividends as City were level inside five minutes as they took the game to the hosts, something they had failed to do in the opening period.
White failed to connect with a cross from Raso, but the ball ran free to Hemp who side-footed home a low angled shot.
City were ahead just short of the hour when United’s Hannah Blundell failed to head the ball back to Mary Earps and White found herself clean through before rounding the goalkeeper to slot home the easiest of chances.
And they effectively sealed victory with a third goal in the space of 12 minutes to turn the game on its head.
Hemp cut the ball back from the left for Weir whose shot squirmed under the body of Earps at the near post and trickled into the net.
Skinner’s response was to make a double change as Martha Thomas and Alessia Russo were replaced by Kirsty Hanson and Bruun.
City had the luxury of replacing Hemp and White with Julie Blakstad and Shaw.
And the two substitutes combined for City’s fourth goal barely one minute after making their entrance.
Blakstad’s shot was parried by Earps into the path of Shaw who fired high into the net, the easiest of finishes for her seventh goal of the season and third in the FA Cup.
Blakstad also had the ball in the net in the dying minutes, but the effort was ruled out for a foul on Ona Batlle in the build-up.