Report: Man City Women 0-1 Arsenal
- 28 May 2017 14:28
- Posted by @Roline_MCFC
Man City Women suffered a blow to their league title defence, having suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal.
Jordan Nobbs’ stunning long-range free-kick separated the sides at the Academy Stadium, as the Blues suffered their first league home loss since the two sides met in April 2015.
With only three games remaining in an eight-game campaign, both sides sought nothing less than what would be a crucial three points.
A crowd of 1,808 turned out to witness the Blues’ third game in a week – their last of the tournament on home turf.
Arsenal enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening 25 minutes and created the better chances.
Danielle Van De Donk saw an effort cleared off the line from Megan Campbell, having rounded Marie Hourihan, while Beth Mead dragged an effort wide.
City responded well to the warning. The Blues had already gone close as Steph Houghton’s header from a Campbell corner was scrambled away but Nick Cushing’s side gained control around the half-hour mark.
Opportunities soon arrived, as Mel Lawley skewed an attempt wayward and an off-balance Toni Duggan fired over.
The Gunners threatened on the counter-attack, as Hourihan thwarted Mead from range.
The best chance of the half arrived courtesy of Lucy Bronze, who drove the ball across goal with Izzy Christiansen sliding in – but the midfielder was inches away from converting.
Rejuvenated by their half-time team talk, City looked brighter in the second half.
Nikita Parris proved the main threat down the right flank. The winger had two sights on goal before the hour but fired off-target, while Jill Scott headed straight at Sari van Veenendaal.
At the other end, Nobbs’ deflected strike from distance almost looped into the bottom corner but bounced just wide.
The Arsenal star would open the scoring though with a moment of individual brilliance, arrowing a 35-yard free-kick past Hourihan and into the top corner.
It was a goal worthy of winning any game.
City almost found an immediate leveller as Scott did excellently to keep the ball in play and cut back for Duggan but the shot lacked power and was comfortably saved.
It was the closest the Blues came to an equaliser as the title race swung wide open.
What it means…
City slip to third on goal difference behind Chelsea and table-topping Liverpool.
The Blues still have a game in hand over the Reds – Wednesday night’s trip to Sunderland (7pm).
Cushing’s side travel to Liverpool on the final game of the Spring Series (3:30pm, Saturday 3 June).
Cushing made just one change to the side that defeated Chelsea on Thursday, as Hourihan replaced Karen Bardsley in goal.
Hourihan was shielded by a backline of Demi Stokes, Campbell, Houghton and Bronze.
Keira Walsh protected the back four, behind Christiansen and Scott while Lawley and Parris operated on the wings and Duggan led the line upfront.