MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN 2, ARSENAL WOMEN 0
Georgia Stanway scored twice in front of watching England manager Phil Neville as Manchester City’s women’s team ended Arsenal’s 100% winning record in the Women’s Super League with a confident 2-0 win at the City Football Academy.
Arsenal were without creative talents Jordan Nobbs and Kim Little and City took full advantage of their pace to unsettle the visitors.
Stanway was the star of the show as City took the lead against the Gunners in the 18th minute after a strong start against the league leaders.
Demi Stokes delivered a cross from the left which was helped along by Nikita Parris into the path of Stanway who fired in from seven yards out.
Stanway had earlier missed twice when laid on by Parris minutes before and had an early deflected chance collected by Pauline Peyraud-Magnin after Katie McCabe’s header fell to her.
The England youngster wasn’t going to need a fourth invitation to score her eighth WSL goal of the season in front of national team manager Phil Neville.
Arsenal were stunned but they worked City hard and McCabe rattled the woodwork with a superb effort soon afterwards while Beth Mead forced a Ellie Roebuck into a save from her 30 yard dipping shot.
Danielle Van de Donk also tested City’s young goalkeeper while Steph Houghton and Jen Beattie, who had an effort cleared off the line from a City corner, had their work cut out defending from wave after wave of Arsenal attacks.
Nikita Parris was handed a golden opportunity to double City’s lead when a sliced clearance by Peyraud-Magnin fell to her but she snatched at the chance and sent it wide.
Caroline Weir replaced after injury knock in the first half
Caroline Weir had taken a knock in the first half and was replaced by Claire Emslie at half time and Arsenal came out and started the stretch City again – committing more players to attack.
Arsenal overcommitted after 64 minutes, though, and Keira Walsh’s long clearance found Stanway in space on City’s right flank. She skipped past the challenges of Dominique Bloodworth and Louise Quinn and beat Peyraud-Magnin from 12 yards out for her ninth WSL goal of the season.
Arsenal redoubled their efforts but found Houghton and Beattie in uncompromising mood and, as their heads dropped towards the end, Stanway was denied a hat trick by a save from Peyraud-Magnin.
Abbie McManus came on late on for Tessa Wullaert, joining Keira Walsh on 100 appearances for the Blues who shut up shop to make sure of the points as the Gunners were reduced to half hearted shots from range.
The result means that City have the only unbeaten record in the WSL now and lie poised just three points behind the Gunners with the return showdown on the last day of the season.
GOALS – Manchester City Women 2, Arsenal Women 0
Man City Women 1, Arsenal Women 0: 18. Georgia Stanway found herself in front of goal with the ball which fell nicely for her and she fired it in from seven yards out after Demi Stokes’ left wing cross found Nikita Parris who helped it along to her.
Man City Women 2, Arsenal Women 0: 64. Georgia Stanway scored her second of the game from an acute angle on the right after a long ball forward from Keira Walsh. Stanway skipped past Dominique Bloodworth and Louise Quinn and beat Peyraud-Magnin from 12 yards out.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City Women 2, Arsenal Women 0
Man City Women: Roebuck, Bonner, Houghton, Beattie, Stokes, Scott, Walsh, Wullaert (McManus 86), Parris (Beckie 76), Weir (Emslie 46), Stanway
Man City Women Subs not used: Bardsley, Jans, Morgan
Goals: Stanway 18, 64
Arsenal Women: Peyraud-Magnin, Evans, Williamson, Quinn, Gayle (Hazard 78), Mead, Bloodworth, Walti, van de Donk, Miedema, McCabe
Arsenal Women Subs not used: van Veenendaal, Mitchell, Kuyken, Grant
Booked: van de Donk, Williamson, McCabe, Mead