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Report: Manchester United Women 0-1 Bristol City Women

Ebony Salmon’s first half strike saw the Robins overcome Manchester United Women 1-0 in an inspired performance at Leigh Sports Village.

What Happened?

After a cagey opening to the game the hosts had the first chance of the half as Pattinson’s miscued clearance was picked up by Groenen in the box, but as the United forward looked to fire a shot on goal Matthews bravely flung herself in front of the ball to turn her effort behind.

Soon after Salmon looked to get her eye in as she shot from distance, but her effort failed to trouble Earps in the United net. Then with United pressing to open the scoring Hanson fizzed a ball across the face of the City goal, which flashed past the onrushing James and Groenen.

As the half hour mark passed the game’s decisive moment unfolded. Pattinson fired the ball into the feet of Salmon with her back to goal thirty yards out, the speedster then turned Abbie McManus and put on the after burners to jet past the centre back and tuck the ball past Earps to give City Women the lead.

United had one big chance before the half was up as the ball bounced around in the box from a corner and Galton instinctively fired a shot on goal, which flew past Baggaley, but Dykes was well placed on the line to head the ball clear and keep City's lead intact going into the break.

Liv Chance battles for the ball in midfield.

City Women started the second half well and almost bagged second as a swift counter attacking move saw Salmon break into the United box, however, the angle got too tight for the forward as she drove her effort into the side netting.

As the second half progressed the hosts piled on the pressure but they were met by a resolute Bristol City defence, who fought for every second ball and put their bodies on the line and when United managed to break through they were met by an inspired Sophie Baggaley between the sticks.

The City Women shot-stopper made a string of fine saves in the fifteen minutes, including a spectacular one-on-one save with Galton as well as a rocket from the left boot off Toone that looked destined to nestle in the top corner but for an acrobatic intervention.

United had one final chance as Ladd picked out Toone with a long diagonal but the substitutes effort bounced off the post and clear of danger.

Bristol City held on to record a momentous victory that would lift Tanya Oxtoby’s side three points clear of Liverpool at the foot of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.


Teams:

Bristol City Women: Baggaley, Dykes (C), Evans, Matthews, Pattinson , Salmon, Daniels, Wellings, Sargeant, Wilson, Chance

Subs: Cumings (GK), Van der Linden, Collis, Robinson, Hughes

Manchester United Women: Earps, A. Turner, M. Turner, Harris, Ladd, Zelem (C), Groenen, Hanson, James, Galton

Subs: Ramsey (GK), Okvist, Toone, Sigsworth, Arnot, Ross, Smith


Key moment: Ebony Salmon 

With the game finely balanced it needed a moment of brilliance to break the deadlock and Ebony Salmon provided.

Poppy Pattinson punched the ball into the feet of the forward who - with her back to goal thirty yards out - swivelled and attacked McManus, driving towards the United box before skipping past the centre-back and sliding the ball under the helpless Earps.

Lethal.


Player of the match: Jasmine Matthews and Sophie Baggaley

There were stellar performances across the park for Bristol City this afternoon which lead to this afternoon’s result but two in particular proved pivotal in City maintaining their lead after Salmon’s electric opener.

Due to injuries Jas Matthews was pushed up in to the midfield and she was exceptional. Her composure on the ball in a congested midfield was exemplary and the club stalwart was constantly breaking up play and fighting for every ball.

Cool. Calm. Collected.

The other player was Sophie Baggaley. The City Women shot-stopper was in inspired form making a number of key saves as Manchester United threw everything they had at the Robins in the closing stages.

The Lionesses prospect made two phenomenal stops in the space of five minutes as she denied Galton one-on-one in the box, before acrobatically tipping Toone’s thunderbolt of a strike over the bar to maintain a clean sheet.

Brick wall.


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