Leah Galton celebrates opening the scoring against Man City

City 1 United Women 1

Sunday 11 December 2022 14:48

Manchester United Women earned a point away from home against rivals Manchester City in our final Women's Super League game before the winter break.

Marc Skinner's side took the lead in the first half, after excellent work from Leah Galton and Ella Toone down the left saw the former power the ball home. 

Despite United dominating the early stages of the second half, Laura Coombs was on target to head home City's equaliser on the hour mark. 

The match deserved more goals than it got, with both sides showing much attacking vigour and commitment to go for all three points. This result means United stay three points ahead of our neighbours and just two points below league leaders Chelsea. 
Katie Zelem sporting the One Love captain's armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights.
The derby commenced in tense fashion, with United enjoying the opening spells of possession. 

But the hosts grew into the game as the first period progressed, and threatened the Reds' goal, primarily from set pieces. Mary Earps was forced into a big clearance early on, punching Alex Greenwood's corner off the line before our backline cleared it. 

A competitive first 20 minutes saw the Reds step it up a gear, with Nikita Parris almost through on goal after Toone found her with a remarkable pass, but City defended well. 
Just two minutes later, however, Skinner's side took the lead through a wonderfully crafted goal. The move started and ended with Galton, who linked up well with Toone down the left, before making her way into the box and driving the ball home through the legs of former Reds defender Greenwood.

City attempted to hit back immediately through Lauren Hemp, but her effort was gathered comfortably by Earps. 

Chances were limited in the approach to half-time, with Toone seeing her long-range effort stray wide of Ellie Roebuck's goal, while Deny Castellanos had an effort saved by our own shot stopper. 
Our no.7, Ella Toone, in action against City.
United came into the second half with the steely determination to get a second past our neighbours, and Hannah Blundell's ball into the box almost saw Greenwood turn it into her own net with a diving headed clearance. 

But we couldn't turn our early dominance into an insurance goal before the hosts levelled the score. In City's first real chance of the second 45, Kelly's whipped ball into the box fell perfectly for Coombs, who wandered into the United area seemingly undetected and nodded past Earps from six yards out. 

The Reds came close to restoring our lead moments later, but Hayley Ladd's looping effort was caught with ease by Roebuck. City worked the ball across the midfield before a fantastic ball over top found Khadija Shaw through on goal, but Maya Le Tissier recovered well at the back to prevent the striker from getting a shot on goal. 
Substitute Martha Thomas came close to snatching all three points for United in the closing stages.
Martha Thomas came agonisingly close to snatching a winner late on for the Reds after joining the fray as a second-half substitute, but her header was saved superbly by Roebuck to keep the score level. 

Both sides saw a handful of chances go begging as the game entered stoppage time, and United saw a penalty appeal waved away after the ball appeared to come off Greenwood's hand in the box.

After a thrilling derby, the points were shared in our final league encounter of the year.


City XI: Roebuck; Casparij, Aleixandri, Greenwood, Ouahabi; Castellanos, Hasegawa, Coombs; Kelly (Raso 85), Shaw, Hemp. 

Unused subs: MacIever, Stokes, Houghton, Fowler, Angeldahl, Morgan, Kennedy, Blakstad.

Goals: Coombs 58. 

United XI: Earps; Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Zelem, Ladd; Parris (Thomas 71), Toone, Galton; Russo (Garcia 84). 

Unused subs: Baggaley, Thorisdottir, Tounkara, Moore, Staniforth, Boe Risa, Williams.

Goals: Galton 27.