Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City
Impetus editor Ben Gilby was at Kingsmeadow for this top of the table Barclays FA Women’s Super League clash.
Chelsea showed real determination to come from behind to see off fellow title challengers Manchester City yesterday afternoon.
Two goals in three second half minutes, with Bethany England prominent in both moves were rewarded by the three points after a City side, who were strangely subdued for much of the first half, had taken an earlier lead.
The first half had few chances as the two sides sparred with each other without wanting to take too many risks; not surprising given how much was riding on the game.
Whilst City had marginally more opportunities, largely with Canadian star Janine Beckie and Norfolk’s Lauren Hemp playing a key creative role, Chelsea defended comfortably to the extent that Ellen White was largely anonymous for much of the game, particularly after the break. For their part, the home side, cheered on by another boisterous home crowd, the tigerish Erin Cuthbert once more proved exceptionally difficult to stop on her forays forward.
The first main opportunity in the second half fell to Chelsea’s South Korean international Ji So-yun who hit a powerful shot which came cannoning back off the post with Ellie Roebuck beaten.
The two teams then came out of their shells more, and it was City who hit the mark first. Keira Walsh robbed Romona Bachmann and played a lovely lofted pass which was met on the volley by Caroline Weir for 1-0.
With City, Arsenal and Chelsea starting to move clear of the chasing pack, it has become increasingly evident that the eventual champions will come from the side with the best record in the three team mini league at the top. Emma Hayes’ side knew they had to up the ante. They did so in style.
Bethany England’s creativity came to the fore and, with Drew Spence coming on from the bench, the presence and pressure grew.
Bachmann fired in a powerful shot which brought an outstanding save from Roebuck. Shortly after, Roebuck was out of luck as she could only push Ji So-Yun’s effort into the path of Bethany England who couldn’t miss.
After several efforts fired towards goal that City struggled to clear until Steph Houghton booted it none too elegantly up field, Chelsea got the reward their efforts deserved. A teasing cross was punched out by Roebuck, but it fell to England whose effort was slammed into the net by Maren Mjelde to joyous scenes around Kingsmeadow.
Chelsea have now come from behind to beat both Arsenal and Manchester City at home. How they get on against their fellow title contenders on the road will go a long way to deciding whether or not the Super League trophy will return to South-West London in May.
Our full set of over photos from the match is available to view here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=155003289238134&set=pcb.155006779237785&type=3&theater
CHELSEA: Berger, Mjelde, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson, Cuthbert, Ingle, Ji, Reiten, Bachmann, England. Subs: Spence, Carter, Blundell, Cooper, Telford (GK), Fleming, Murphy.
Scorers: England 79, Mjelde 81.
MANCHESTER CITY: Roebuck, Beckie, Houghton, Bonner, Stokes, Walsh, Weir, Scott, Hemp, White, Wullaert. Subs: Coombs, Lee, Benameur (GK), Fidalgo, Stanway, Campbell.
Scorer: Weir 58.
Referee: Amy Fearn.