United Women 1 Manchester City 4
Manchester United Women were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City Women in the Women’s FA Cup fifth round at Leigh Sports Village.
Marc Skinner’s side edged the first half thanks to a goal from Katie Zelem, but second-half goals from Lauren Hemp, Ellen White, Caroline Weir and Khadija Shaw saw the visitors proceed to the next round.
The defeat means that the Reds’ only remaining chance of silverware is the Women’s Super League, where we currently sit fourth, six points off the top.
The opening exchanges were cagey, with the only opening falling to Manchester City striker Ellen White, whose long-range effort was held well by Mary Earps.
The first clear-cut chance of the match fell to Marc Skinner’s side, but Maria Thorisdottir headed over following Katie Zelem’s dangerous corner.
Ella Toone almost broke the deadlock after 13 minutes when Martha Thomas brilliantly created an opening for the midfielder, but her powerful drive was saved well by Ellie Roebuck.
And United took the lead from the resulting corner; Katie Zelem’s delivery evading the Manchester City defence and going all the way into the back of the net.
Marc Skinner’s side looked to double the lead soon after the opener, with both Thomas and Zelem seeing shots blocked.
As half-time approached, the visitors pushed hard for an equaliser, and Lucy Bronze came closest. The right-back controlled a corner delivery well before firing a fierce shot just wide of the post.
Manchester City equalised within five minutes of the restart, when substitute Hayley Raso broke down the right and provided an inviting cross which Lauren Hemp finished.
The visitors continued to press as the half progressed and took the lead just before the hour-mark, when a misunderstanding between Hannah Blundell and Earps gifted an opportunity to White, who finished clinically.
Moments later, City doubled their advantage when substitute Caroline Weir’s effort from outside the box squeezed past Earps and into the back of the net.
United looked to respond, but Alessia Russo could only glance her header wide after being found by Leah Galton’s cross.
As the Reds pushed for a way back into the match, Toone curled an effort just over the bar after the ball fell to the England international on the edge of the box.
But as the match entered the final stages, substitute Khadija Shaw pounced on Earps’ parry of fellow substitute Julie Blakstad’s left-footed strike to further extend City’s lead.
The visitors had the ball in the net again in the final minute, but the referee ruled it out for a foul on Batlle.
United: Earps; Batlle, Caldwell, Thorisdottir, Blundell; Groenen (Boe Risa 85), Zelem (c); Russo (Hanson 67), Toone, Galton (F. Fuso 85); Thomas (Bruun 67).
Subs not used: Baggaley, Jones, Harris, Smith.
Goal: Zelem 13.
Booked: Batlle 45.
Manchester City: Roebuck; Bronze, Kennedy (Angeldahl 85), Greenwood, Stokes; Walsh, Losada (Raso 46), Stanway; Park (Weir 46), White (c) (Shaw 79), Hemp (Blakstad 79).
Subs not used: Keating, Beckie.
Goals: Hemp 50, White 59, Weir 60, Shaw 79.
Booked: White 54, Stanway 82.