After a long week of uni work, more uni work, and even more uni work… We’re back with new Women’s Super League action! And oh boy; what a game between Manchester City and Chelsea yesterday.
A 3-3 tie between the first and second place in the league, with 40 and 39 respectively, but with the Blues having still one match to play; which could mean this single point against the Citizens is more important than it may seem to claim the final prize at the end of the season.
Without a doubt, this was an action-packed opening to this top-of-the-table clash, indicating to everyone that this was going to be one heck of an afternoon, but little could prepare the fans, and the players, for a final half-hour which could mark this out as the most entertaining game of the WSL era.
It all started very fast, with both sides missing clear opportunities; Bethany England had failed to finish a glorious early chance from inside the six-yard box for Chelsea, and that’s why Ellen White was the first to open the score in favor of the home side, after blasting the ball into Berger’s net, thanks to Janine Beckie’s low cross (22nd minute).
Yet, Chelsea didn’t give up, and after a very ferocious attack, Ji So-Yun made it 1-1, after she stroke a wonderful volley pass all City’s defense (39th minute). Nothing else happened during the first half between both teams, but plenty of goals were coming on the next.
Fifteen minutes into the second part of the game, Georgia Stanway elaborated a thumping near-post shot, after she had previously feinted to shape her body to curl the ball into the far corner, restored Manchester City’s advantage (60th minute).
But just 8 minutes later, Chelsea drew level for the second time in the game when Magdalena Eriksson powered home a diving header from Sophie Ingle’s flick-on.
Chelsea, who were hungry for the win and who have not lost in the WSL since January 2019, finally turned the game on its head when captain Magdalena Eriksson nodded in from close range this time, and England picked out the ball to the top corner from distance (74th minute).
In between those two goals, Stanway had squandered a golden opportunity to put City in front for the 3rd time in the match when Berger kept her penalty out after Sophie Ingle’s foul on Caroline Weir. However, two minutes later, it was all good news for the host team as Lauren Hemp had the final say, guiding Weir’s clever reverse pass into the corner to make it 3-3 (76th minute). In the end, with 102 minutes on the clock, Rebecca Welch blew the full-time whistle.
For all that had gone before, the title race remained as delicately poised as before kick-off, but with a game in hand and only one point between Chelsea and City, with the first looking marginally best placed to win the title, unbeaten and a point behind with a game in hand.
So, undoubtedly, the Blues know that their fate relies on their own hands. Will they be able to achieve the glory?