Manchester City 1 United Women 0

Sunday 13 February 2022 14:30

Caroline Weir's late winner for Manchester City condemned United Women to a narrow 1-0 defeat in Sunday's WSL derby at the Academy Stadium.

The City midfielder came off the bench to produce a lobbed effort nine minutes from time that would prove to be the difference.

United had earlier gone close to the breakthrough via attempts from Ella Toone and Martha Thomas, but it was unfortunately to be an afternoon on which Marc Skinner's Reds would suffer a first league defeat in six matches.


Backed by the majority of a sell-out crowd at the Academy Stadium, it was the hosts who had the better of the contest's early chances. City's Vicky Losada had Mary Earps worried for a moment with the first of two opportunities for the Blues inside the opening 10 minutes, a volley from the edge of the penalty area that grazed the top of the netting on its way over. That came just before Lauren Hemp lifted over the target from close range with an opportunity that she really ought to have scored. 

Having ridden that early wave of home pressure, the Reds began to settle into the game and registered our first attempt at the other end. January loan signing Signe Bruun, who made her debut for the club in last weekend's draw at Arsenal, drove forward and fired an effort at goal, which was momentarily fumbled by City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck before being gathered. 

Despite that opening, Skinner's Reds were having to absorb some first-half pressure from the hosts that garnered two headed efforts at goal for home captain Ellen White. The first, created by a cross from the right, flew over before the England forward nodded a corner from the left wide a few minutes later. 

Just before half-time, and prior to a short pause in play while former United captain Alex Greenwood received treatment for an injury, White was again eyeing the opener. This time, she headed Lucy Bronze's ball from the right off target, with the half-time whistle of referee Kirsty Dowle going soon after.


Following the interval, Earps was forced into her first real save of the contest, getting down low to her left to deny Park's diversion of Stokes's cross from the left, which looked to be creeping inside the bottom corner.

Moments later, it was Park that was at the heart of the play once again, as she had the game's best effort at an opener so far. The City winger cut inside from the right and struck the ball with her left foot onto the far post.

With that attempt being cleared to safety, the Reds then put together our own most dangerous attack of the encounter's first 63 minutes. Ella Toone carried the ball forward down the left before shifting inside and curling a low strike, angling for the far bottom corner, that Ellie Roebuck was equal to.

Soon after, Skinner opted for our first change of the match, introducing Martha Thomas in place of Vilde Boe Risa and the Scotland international nearly made an instant impact in the minutes that followed. Thomas latched onto Katie Zelem's corner from the right and headed just wide. 

With the game still level at 0-0 entering the final 10 minutes, it was to be one of the home side's substitutes that would get the all-important go-ahead goal. Weir, who had been brought on for City a short time before, picked up the ball around 25 yards out before producing a chipped effort that would beat Earps and find the net to break the deadlock. 

At the other end, the Reds nearly levelled instantly. Bruun was inches away from connecting with substitute Kirsty Hanson's low ball in from the left, but the Dane couldn't quite connect with what turned out to be our final clear-cut opening of the afternoon.


City: Roebuck; Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood, Stokes; Walsh, Losada (Weir 75), Stanway; Park (Raso 84), White (c), Hemp. 

Substitutes not used: Keating; Shaw, Beckie, Mace, Blakstad, Angeldahl.

Goals: Weir 81.

United: Earps; Batlle, Caldwell, Thorisdottir, Blundell; Ladd, Zelem (c), Boe Risa (Thomas 64); Russo (Hanson 78), Bruun (Fuso 90), Toone.

Substitutes not used: Baggaley, Harris, Smith, Groenen, Jones.

Bookings: Caldwell 54.