Women's Super League 1
Manchester City Women1Chelsea Ladies0

Manchester City Women 1-0 Chelsea Ladies

Toni Duggan
England striker Toni Duggan has scored 10 goals in her past 10 games against Chelsea

Manchester City Women boosted their bid to win a fourth domestic trophy in less than nine months with a hard-fought 1-0 win over title rivals Chelsea Ladies.

England striker Toni Duggan's drilled first-half strike was enough to lift City above Chelsea into second in the Women's Super League One Spring Series.

City dominated the first half and held off Chelsea's second-half fightback.

Defeat was the visitors' first in the WSL in 2017, as they dropped to third in the table, three points behind City.

The hosts, the reigning league, League Cup and Women's FA Cup winners, remain unbeaten in WSL 1 since April 2015, and move one point below leaders Liverpool - but with a game in hand.

Drew Spence was denied by a fine save from City keeper Karen Bardsley and Beth England's effort was blocked by Lucy Bronze, as Chelsea - who finished second last season - went close.

The hosts thought they had a second before the officials correctly ruled Megan Campbell's long throw had not touched any player on its way in but it did not matter as victory kept their title hopes in their own hands.

Sombre scenes before kick-off

Manchester City Women
A minute's silence was held before kick-off at Manchester's Academy Stadium

The match was played at Manchester's Academy Stadium less than 72 hours after Monday's suicide bomb attack at the Manchester Arena which killed 22 people and injured over 100 and went ahead following consultation with Greater Manchester Police.

Both sets of players wore black armbands for the game and the two clubs paid their respects with an impeccably observed minute's silence before kick-off, after the players had warmed up wearing "We love Manchester" t-shirts.

Applause broke out in the stands on the 22-minute mark, as the fans - several of whom had brought specially made flags - added a further mark of respect.

Soon afterwards, Duggan's fine individual goal lit up an otherwise tactical game, as she turned Mille Bright and - surrounded by three Chelsea defenders - unleashed a low shot that had too much pace for Chelsea keeper Carly Telford.

Steph Houghton (left)
England captain Steph Houghton's Man City side warmed up wearing special t-shirts
Manchester City fans
Fans adapted flags to highlight unity within the city of Manchester
Fans
The game was the first professional football fixture to be held in Manchester since Monday's bombing

Manchester City Women manager Nick Cushing:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families involved in Monday's tragedy, football is irrelevant compared to that.

"We watched Manchester United and we saw their unity and we said to our players that's what we wanted tonight.

"We were at our best with heart and desire and a real will to win. The first half was good, the second half was about our individual ability and individual heart.

"Karen Bardsley made some great saves and Lucy Bronze cleared one off the line, so it was a really good game for us in terms of the desire we showed."

Chelsea Ladies defender Gilly Flaherty:

"In the first half we were too far away from Manchester City, the second balls we weren't winning and that's frustrating.

"We all know the belief we have in this team - the individual players and collectively - but we didn't show it. We've got world-class players but we didn't show it.

"We came in at half-time and picked it back up and we were much better in the second half. We had chances to get back in the game but the team that takes their chances wins the game and City have learnt to do that and they did it tonight."

Line-ups

Manchester City Women

  • 1Bardsley
  • 2Bronze
  • 6Houghton
  • 20Campbell
  • 3Stokes
  • 8Scott
  • 24Walsh
  • 11ChristiansenSubstituted forAsllaniat 63'minutes
  • 17Parris
  • 9Duggan
  • 14LawleySubstituted forStanwayat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Asllani
  • 12Stanway
  • 16Ross
  • 21Hourihan
  • 23McManus

Chelsea Ladies

  • 28Telford
  • 5Flaherty
  • 21Cooper
  • 4Bright
  • 3BlundellSubstituted forDavisonat 71'minutes
  • 17Chapman
  • 18Mjelde
  • 15EnglandSubstituted forCarneyat 67'minutes
  • 24Spence
  • 23BachmannSubstituted forKirbyat 63'minutes
  • 19Dunn

Substitutes

  • 6Fahey
  • 7Davison
  • 8Carney
  • 10Ji
  • 14Kirby
  • 22Cuthbert
  • 40Kitching
Referee:
Simeon Lucas
Attendance:
1,069

Match Stats

Home TeamManchester City WomenAway TeamChelsea Ladies
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home15
Away16
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City Women 1, Chelsea Ladies 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City Women 1, Chelsea Ladies 0.

Attempt missed. Nikita Parris (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt blocked. Nikita Parris (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kosovare Asllani.

Lucy Bronze (Manchester City Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Drew Spence (Chelsea Ladies).

Attempt missed. Georgia Stanway (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Maren Mjelde (Chelsea Ladies) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Karen Carney with a cross following a set piece situation.

Hand ball by Keira Walsh (Manchester City Women).

Attempt missed. Katie Chapman (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Karen Carney.

Attempt blocked. Lucy Bronze (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Manchester City Women. Conceded by Millie Bright.

Attempt saved. Drew Spence (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Drew Spence (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Francesca Kirby (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Karen Carney.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea Ladies. Gemma Davison replaces Hannah Blundell.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City Women. Georgia Stanway replaces Melissa Lawley.

Foul by Jill Scott (Manchester City Women).

Maren Mjelde (Chelsea Ladies) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea Ladies. Karen Carney replaces Bethany England.

Foul by Lucy Bronze (Manchester City Women).

Drew Spence (Chelsea Ladies) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Manchester City Women. Conceded by Maren Mjelde.

Attempt saved. Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea Ladies) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Maren Mjelde with a cross.

Foul by Stephanie Houghton (Manchester City Women).

Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Toni Duggan (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Demi Stokes.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City Women. Kosovare Asllani replaces Isobel Christiansen.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea Ladies. Francesca Kirby replaces Ramona Bachmann.

Attempt saved. Nikita Parris (Manchester City Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Lucy Bronze.

Attempt missed. Hannah Blundell (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Chelsea Ladies. Conceded by Demi Stokes.

Attempt missed. Millie Bright (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Chelsea Ladies. Conceded by Stephanie Houghton.

Attempt missed. Maren Mjelde (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ramona Bachmann.

Corner, Chelsea Ladies. Conceded by Karen Bardsley.

Attempt saved. Drew Spence (Chelsea Ladies) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Hannah Blundell.

Attempt blocked. Bethany England (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Bethany England (Chelsea Ladies) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Maren Mjelde with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Megan Campbell (Manchester City Women).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool Ladies64201981114
2Manchester City Women5410134913
3Chelsea Ladies53111931610
4Arsenal Ladies523015969
5Reading Women5203812-46
6Birmingham City Ladies512257-25
7Sunderland Ladies5122111-105
8Bristol City Women6114512-74
9Yeovil Town Ladies6006524-190
View full Women's Super League 1 table

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