Report: Manchester City 2 United Women 1

Wednesday 24 January 2024 22:01

Manchester United Women have been beaten 2-1 in the Continental League Cup this evening, away to rivals Manchester City.

Despite a promising start from the Reds, the hosts broke the deadlock immediately after the interval through Chloe Kelly, whose effort rattled the back of the net. 

Their second would come from fellow forward Lauren Hemp who, unmarked at the back post, was able to knock in the rebound from Phallon Tullis-Joyce's initial save. 

Nikita Parris scored her 11th goal of the season late on, but it would prove to only be a consolation, as the home side saw out the remainder of the contest to take all three points.

After a short trip across the city to the Joie Stadium, Marc Skinner’s side started brightly against our rivals in our final Conti Cup group-stage outing. Despite a flurry of attacks that piled the pressure on this evening’s hosts, it would be Parris who forced the game’s first save from Khiara Keating. At point-blank range, the City ‘keeper was equal to the strike from our in-form forward. 

Just moments later, Lucia Garcia came close to breaking the deadlock with an audacious effort from range. Regaining possession high up, the Spaniard noticed Keating off her line and opted for a lob from distance, but could only watch on as it bounced wide of the mark. 
After a great start from the Reds, our hosts eventually grew into the game following the early substitution of key midfielder Jill Roord through injury, with Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw bringing shot-stopper Tullis-Joyce into the game. Our no.91 was down quick to her right-hand side to deny the blue side of Manchester an opener. 

Tullis-Joyce was called into action once more in the lead up to half-time, denying Shaw for a second time. The Jamaican forward shrugged off a challenge from Millie Turner before being met with the outstretched arms of our keeper to keep her strike at bay. Despite being quickest to the rebound, Shaw’s second chance in quick succession bounced past the woodwork. 

Both Irene Guerrero and Lisa Naalsund came close to scoring before the interval, the former’s strike bouncing narrowly wide before the latter was found through on goal courtesy of a lovely piece of skill from Garcia, but her effort was straight at Keating. City, meanwhile, went even closer, when Kelly’s fizzing shot ricocheted off the post.
Nikita Parris got United's goal on the evening.
After finishing the first half strongly, City came out for the second 45 in similar form. Just minutes after the restart, the hosts broke the deadlock through a thunderous Kelly effort. Picking the ball up in our area, the England forward rifled her shot into the roof of the net leaving Tullis-Joyce with no chance. 

Serving as somewhat of a wake-up call for Skinner’s side, who immediately went in search of an equaliser. We came close to hitting back almost immediately, when Garcia slipped an excellent pass into the path of Parris. Our no.22 had a clear sight of goal, but her effort could only sting the gloves of Keating. 

In an end-to-end game full of action, Tullis-Joyce made another excellent save to tip Hemp’s volley over the bar, while second-half substitute Ella Toone saw her headed attempt blazed over soon after her introduction. In the immediate aftermath to that miss, however, saw City double their advantage through Hemp. Kerstin Casparij fired a ball across the face of goal, forcing Tullis-Joyce to parry into the path of Hemp who, unmarked at the back post, just helped the ball over the line. 
Katie Zelem rallies the Reds.

Following a second blow from the hosts, United struggled to get a foothold in the contest but continued to chase a comeback.

We did have a glimmer of hope when Parris flicked home to halve the deficit in the fifth of nine added minutes. Excellent work down the right from Geyse saw her pick out Ladd, whose effort was finished off by our no.22.

In the dying moments, we continued our push for an equaliser, with Geyse forcing Keating into a save to deny us a point on the night.

Lisa Naalsund strikes at goal.

Man City: Keating; Casparij, Aleixandri (Houghton 84), Greenwood (Morgan 84), Ouahabi; Coombs (Park 77), Hasegawa, Roord (Angeldahl 9); Hemp, Shaw (Fowler 77), Kelly. 

Unused substitutes: Roebuck, McIver, Stokes, Mace.

Goals: Kelly 47, Hemp 70.

Bookings: Greenwood 41.

United: Tullis-Joyce; Evans, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Zelem (Ladd 77), Naalsund, Guerrero (Toone 65); Parris, Williams (Geyse 65), Garcia (Malard 77).

Unused substitutes: Earps, Chadwick, Galton.

Goal: Parris 90+5.