WSL 1: Arsenal Ladies 2-3 Manchester City Women

By Tom GarryBBC Sport at Borehamwood
Toni Duggan
Toni Duggan's goal against Arsenal was her seventh for the season

Manchester City Women continued their 100% winning record since the Women's World Cup with a thrilling victory at title rivals Arsenal Ladies.

England defender Lucy Bronze headed City into a deserved first-half lead.

Arsenal drew level straight after half-time thanks to Alex Scott's dipping effort from the top corner of the box.

Izzie Christiansen restored the visitors' lead, before Toni Duggan curled in a stunning third and Natalia pulled one back for Arsenal.

The result sees City move to within three points of Women's Super League One leaders Chelsea, with a game in hand.

Duggan does it again
Toni Duggan has now scored five goals in four league appearances since the Women's Super League re-started after the World Cup.

Man City created the better of the chances in the first half and, after Duggan had dragged a shot wide, they went ahead when Bronze's header was deemed to have crossed the line by the referee's assistant.

Nikita Parris went close to doubling the visitors' lead but saw one effort blocked and another tipped away by Arsenal goalkeeper Emma Byrne.

After the break, Arsenal came to life and equalised immediately, Dan Carter squaring to Scott, whose cross-come-shot looped over Karen Bardsley and nestled into the far corner of the net.

City soon restored their lead with a simple finish from Christiansen after good work from Bronze and Daphne Corboz down their right flank.

Then Duggan continued her fine goalscoring form since returning from the Women's World Cup, curling into the top corner with a brilliant effort after neat build-up play with Demi Stokes.

The result leaves Arsenal third in the table and two points adrift of leaders Chelsea, who eased to a 4-0 win over Birmingham City earlier in the day.

Arsenal boss Pedro Martinez Losa told BBC Sport:

"We knew the difficulty of the game. Manchester City have a fantastic roster and they had their best starting line-up.

"We have to learn from this one. Today we were competitive for parts of the game but not enough in other parts of the game."

Manchester City boss Nick Cushing told BBC Sport:

"I'm disappointed at aspects of the game where we've let Arsenal back into it but, realistically, Arsenal are going to have good periods. They're a very good team.

"In the first half, we were exceptional again. We're disappointed we've conceded two but pleased we've scored three today, away at Arsenal."

Arsenal Ladies: Byrne, Scott (c), Mitchell, Stoney, Natalia, Carter, Ubogagu (Yankey), Corredera, Rose, Janssen, Bailey (Allen).

Substitutes not used: Van Veenendaal, Nobbs, Humphrey, Kelly, Wubben-Moy.

Manchester City Women: Bardsley, Bronze, Stokes, Beattie, Houghton (c), Scott, Duggan, Corboz (Johnston), Christiansen, Parris (McManus), Radtke.

Substitutes not used: Brooks, Lipman, Flint, Brougham.

Attendance: 1,422.

Referee: Sam Purkiss.

Arsenal's defence trying to clear the ball off the line
Arsenal's defence trying to clear Lucy Bronze's header off the line for the opening goal
Manchester City's Isobel Christiansen (centre) celebrates scoring her sides second goal with teammates
Isobel Christiansen (centre) has scored three goals in 12 games in all competitions this season
Manchester City Women team talk
Manchester City Women's boss Nick Cushing talks to his players before kick-off

As It Stood

1Chelsea Women10622189920
2Sunderland Ladies106132215719
3Arsenal Women105321510518
4Man City Women9522127517
5Notts County Ladies104241613314
6Liverpool Women93151112-110
7B'ham City Women10136212-106
8Bristol City Women10127725-185
View full The FA Women's Super League table

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