Steph Houghton says Man City the 'better team' despite cup defeat

By Jo CurrieBBC Sport
Steph Houghton
England and Manchester City captain Steph Houghton made her first start of the season on Monday

Manchester City captain Steph Houghton says her side were the better team in Monday's FA Women's Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea.

Houghton's side were beaten 1-0 at Adams Park to miss out on a place in the final against Notts County.

"I think we grew as the game went on," Houghton told BBC Sport. "In the second half we probably limited them to just the chance that they scored from.

"If you look at our performance, I think we were the better team."

City manager Nick Cushing agreed with Houghton's assessment of the match against a team who have failed to win just once this season.

"To dominate them and put them to the sword is pleasing," he added.

"I'm really proud of the players, the performance was exceptional. We did everything apart from score. It feels horrible but it's not a bad place to be in."

City host leaders Chelsea in their final Women's Super League One match before the international break on Sunday.

"I said to the players afterwards, you've got two choices," said Cushing. "You can throw the towel in and give up or keep going.

"None of them are going to throw the towel in because they're professional footballers and they have a passion to play football.

"It's all about picking ourselves up, we've got to move on. We want to end this part of the season on a high and with three points."

Despite recruiting several players with international experience in the close season, City have had a mixed start to their WSL1 campaign.

They are sixth in the table, with just four points from their opening four games.

Houghton, who made her first start of the season against Chelsea after recovering from a knee injury, says she "felt good" after playing the full match.

"It's great to eventually get a start, it's been a long time and now it's just about getting my match sharpness back," added the England captain.

"It's all about looking forward and just making sure I work hard in training and get back to where I was before."