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Manchester City vs Birmingham City Women at Academy Stadium

FT
Academy Stadium Referee : Emily Heaslip
2nd May 2021 3:00 PM (BST)
  • 4 Manchester City

    • ‘10' Chloe Kelly
    • ‘23' Chloe Kelly
    • ‘85' Esme Morgan
    • ‘90'+4' Samantha Mewis
  • 0 Birmingham City Women

#mancity

Commentary By Caroline Oatway

18:00

Over and out 👏

So, that's all from me today, folks.

Another job well done and the FA Women's Super League title race goes to the final day.

City travel to West Ham United next Sunday, while Chelsea visit Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday and then welcome Reading in seven days' time.

All eyes on midweek! Meanwhile, we'll ManCity.com will provide an update on Chloe Kelly as soon as possible.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, guys!

17:52

Meanwhile...

Huge news in the Premier League title race, as Manchester United v Liverpool has been postponed for safety reasons.

Therefore, Pep Guardiola's men cannot win the title today.

17:45

Taylor (on the title race) 💬

"It's great that we're taking it into the final game.

"That's what we wanted, although of course, we would have wanted to be ahead, going into the final day. We had the opportunity against Chelsea.

"We have to make sure we go to West Ham and do a professional job. 

"Everyone is playing at the same time but we'll be concentrating on our end. First thing we'll do if we achieve our objective is see what happens elsewhere.

"We've seen today with Reading - they got a positive result and made it difficult for us when we played there this season.

"But we can't look too much into that. We'll just do what we can against West Ham to give ourselves the best chance.

"If it happens for us, amazing. If it doesn't it was down to us - we had our chance.

"It's been frustrating not to have had supporters. The spectacle put on in the WSL and the excitement to have the title race go to the final game is amazing for women's football."

17:43

Taylor (on Demi Stokes) 💬

"It's a thigh injury, which keeps coming back - a previous injury.

"She played against Chelsea but sustained a bit of a dead leg and a muscle tear in her upper thigh, which will keep her out for a little longer.

"It's a frustrating period for Demi. She comes back for certain games and then picks up another injury.

"She's not quite ready at the moment. We have to see how she is for the next few games."

17:41

Taylor (on Chloe Kelly) 💬

"I've been in to see her, although we haven't been able to fully assess what's going on.

"Most injuries take a scan to find out for certain but she was okay.

"I don't think it seems to be a huge swelling, which is a positive, but at the moment, it's hard to give an idea.

"She was a little bit upset. She wanted to take the penalty! She was on a hat-trick!

"She's okay in herself." 

17:39

Gareth Taylor 💬

"It was a good win - three points. We're the only team in the WSL to go unbeaten at home, which is very impressive. We've created a bit of a fortress.

"We'd have liked to have had more goals potentially - their goalkeeper had an inspired performance. It could have been more but we have to be happy with three points and four goals.

"We had some good moments. It's always difficult against a low block but we scored early on with a couple from Chloe.

"The game took us to 100 goals in all competitions. As much as we want more (we always do), we're happy."

17:25

Analysis 📝

A comprehensive victory for City, who hit 100 goals under Gareth Taylor with another ruthless attacking performance.

Dominant from the off and in truth, once we'd scored the early goal, there was no danger of relinquishing it.

Delighted for Esme Morgan on scoring her first competitive goal for her beloved City...

...but the game was sadly marred by the serious injury to Chloe Kelly, who was stretchered off. We'll provide an update as soon as possible.

We're about to hear from Gareth Taylor...

Open
90'+7'

Would have been a wonderstrike!

Bronze goes for the spectacular, unleashing a powerful half-volley goalward but it just doesn't dip in time.

90'+4'

The Tower of Power!

Literally!

A corner causes pinball in the penalty area and Mewis absolutely smashes the ball into the back of the net from close range!

86'

Her first City goal! 💙

The lifelong Blue scores the goal she's always dreamed of!

From the resulting corner, the defender is on hand to sweep home from close range!

What a moment!

Open
77'

Super save

Hampton with another excellent save to deny Weir, who had done well to create a yard of space.

Our Scotland international tries again - this one deflects just wide.

69'

Update

Kelly is still down receiving treatment.

Hearts must go out to her. This looks serious. She's receiving gas and air.

We may not see her again this season... or in the Olympics...

Really harrowing scenes.

65'

PENALTY CITY!!!

City have the chance to add a third from the spot, as Kelly is brought down by Holloway.

There's cause for concern however because Kelly looks to be in some serious pain. A knee injury?

Could hear her cry from the press box and the paramedics are on the scene.

Really worrying...

Open
64'

Close! 😩

Stanway so unlucky not to make it three!

The forward/midfielder/winger/left-back collects a half-cleared corner, cuts inside and fires narrowly wide!

62'

Good block

White throws herself at a cross to try and head home but her defender does well to deflect the effort and the ball falls kindly for Hampton to collect.

59'

Easy does it 👍

Coming up to an hour gone here and City remain comfortable.

Perhaps not testing Hampton as much in this second half as we'd like but very much in the driving seat.

Open
54'

Ohhh!

Morgan almost had her first City goal there but sees her header from Greenwood's corner deflect agonisingly wide!

That was almost the moment for the lifelong City fan!

47'

No let up!

City continuing where we left off, pleasingly.

White unfortunate not to add a third, as she just misses the connection.

Good chance here with a free-kick in a promising position, after Weir was upended.

HT

Analysis 📝

Really good half for City - fully dominant from the off.

Even with an early advantage gained, we haven't taken our foot off the gas at all, looking to press at every chance - and we've had plenty of joy down the flanks.

Hemp and Kelly starring as they have done all season, while the defence are solid and the midfield are pulling the strings beautifully.

Wouldn't be surprised if we're able to extend our lead in the second half. Let's hope so.

43'

Great to watch

City are producing some lovely passages of play, zipping the ball around with some fine one-touch football.

Hemp almost topped it off then with a delicious backheel into Weir's path but the ball was nicked away in time!

Open
40'

Unlucky!

Kelly goes in search of her hat-trick goal, driving at the Birmingham defence and lets fly... but this one is wayward and well off target.

Open
33'

Worth a go

Bronze tries her luck with a first time strike as the ball falls from the sky but the right-back was leaning back and couldn't get the direction she'd hoped for.

The ball actually sails out for a throw-in.

31'

So far, so good 👏

All going to plan for City at the moment.

Taylor's side well in control, continuing to press for more goals.

That ruthlessness has been a real quality of this campaign - a trait we were perhaps lacking in previous seasons.

100 goals says everything!

24'

Double trouble! 🙌

Another one for our wing wonder, who taps home from close range from another teasing Hemp cross.

Weir played a lovely role in the build-up there too. Facing away from goal, she flicked the ball into Hemp's path and the England star had all the time in the world to pick out a cross.

Excellent vision.

21'

A City Century...? 👀

Another goal for City would mark our 100th under Gareth Taylor...

Including the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Women's FA Cup campaigns, the feat would commemorate the first time we've scored 100 in a single season since we became a professional outfit in 2014.

Open
18'

Good chance!

The goalscorer almost turns provider, clipping in a lovely cross for Hemp, who rises but heads down - which takes the pace out of the effort - and Hampton can gather comfortably.

15'

Wing wonders 🤩

Special mention also to Hemp, who crafted that goal with a trademark mazy run down the left flank.

She's had a lot of joy on that wing so far in this game, using her blistering pace and trickery to great effect.

A pleasure to watch.

13'

Special K 😍

Chloe Kelly has had a direct hand in the majority of City's league goals this season, chipping in with 20 goals or assists!

In her maiden campaign in sky blue, she's bagged 15 goals in 34 games in all competitions.

What a signing! What a talent.

11'

Get in there! 😄

Right place, right time!

Kelly smashes home the opener, after Hampton had parried Weir's initial effort.

City's pressure pays off!

7'

Warning

Birmingham press on the counter as Holloway bypasses Greenwood and crosses to the back post. Thankfully, there was no-one there but that was dangerous...

2'

150 not out 👏

Congratulations to Georgia Stanway on her 150th appearance in all competitions.

Our versatile forward (who seems to have played in every position this season bar goalkeeper!) actually used to play cricket to a decent level. Thankfully for us, she chose to pursue a career in football!

Open
1'

Wow!

Straight from the off, City lay siege to the Birmingham goal as Greenwood releases Coombs.

The ball eventually reaches Kelly at the backpost but her effort is well-saved by Hampton.

14:59

Here we go! 🙌

Out come the two teams!

City sporting our traditional sky blue and white; Birmingham in all red.

Both sides run into huddles. The final preparations.

14:54

Weather update 🌦

Because I'm British, I feel duty bound to discuss the current weather conditions.

It's quite chilly but (for the moment) dry, here in Manchester.

Although, throughout the day, we've had the full variety - heavy rain, glorious sunshine, high wind...

Ah, Manchester...

14:52

Both shades of Blue 🔵

Ellen White faces her former Club today.

During her time in Solihull, England's record World Cup goalscorer finished the 2017/18 season as the WSL’s top scorer, claiming the Golden Boot prize for a prolific campaign. In recognition, she earned the Blues' Player of the Season award.

Whenever strikers are set to face their former employers, much of the pre-match talk centres on whether there is added incentive to score!

For White, although there is a touch more excitement, the focus is clear.

"I was at Birmingham for a few years and I enjoyed my time there," she said.

"I suppose there is a little more excitement but being at Man City, you're just focused on doing what you can do to help the team to win every game.

"It's really important for us to keep our foot on the gas, going forward."

14:47

Keira Walsh 💬

"It probably is my best goal! Although, I got a bit of stick for it afterwards!

"I think a few people were giving a few shouts, asking if it was supposed to be a cross!

"I'm still sticking with my stance that it was a shot!

"I'm not really known for my goalscoring but it was a nice one to score in a season where I hadn't scored much!"

14:42

Shooting practice 🎯

Target practice for City at the moment.

Keira Walsh and Janine Beckie in particular looking sharp.

Two of Keira's seven City goals have come against Birmingham (and six have come outside the box!)

She scored a beauty in Solihull last season - a strike she seems as her best yet, although others weren't so sure!

14:38

High stakes

This game means as much to Birmingham as it does to City.

The Blues currently sit tenth in the table - two points above bottom-placed Bristol City and one above city rivals Aston Villa.

Carla Ward's side have done exceptionally well this season, it has to be said, enduring difficult challenges off the pitch to stay afloat.

In midweek, they salvaged a crucial 1-1 Derby draw against Villa with an injury time goal.

Today, they are only able to field four substitutes but they'll be battling for their lives. Credit to them if they are able to defy the odds and survive relegation.

14:31

Meanwhile...

Chelsea have reached the Champions League Final, where they will face our quarter-final opponents Barcelona.

Emma Hayes' side won 4-1 at Kingsmeadow today to defeat Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate, having fallen to a 2-1 loss in the first leg.

14:23

Caroline Weir 💬

"We'd worked so hard over the season to get to that point - we basically had to win every single game from October - but we're used to that level of expectation and we thrive under pressure.

"Football comes down to such small margins. We were disappointed but in fairness, there are still two games left to play... Although it's unlikely Chelsea will drop points, you never know! The pressure is on them and stranger things have happened...

"As far as we're concerned, the vibe has been fairly positive overall. We're just focused on our last three games. The league is out of our hands now but we still have a job to do over these next few games, especially that FA Cup game on the last day against West Ham.

"Admittedly, it seems a bit weird to finish a season in the middle of a tournament but of course, the FA Cup is a competition we want to win - we want to keep our name on that trophy - so that's a big game.

"We want to win all of our last three games, finishing with some good results to set ourselves up well for next season."

14:18

Warm-ups underway 💪

Out come City for their on-pitch pre-match preparations.

Plenty of smiles in the squad. Gareth Taylor, Steph Houghton and Caroline Weir all asserted the team were in fine spirits, despite the disappointment of drawing to league leaders Chelsea last time out.

Weir in particular said the players took solace in the fact they gave their all and couldn't have done more. She's right - were it not for a sensational save by Ann-Katrin Berger in the late embers, we'd have snatched all three points.

The league title is no longer in our hands but we still have to win our remaining three games (two in the league and our Women's FA Cup fifth round clash) regardless.

14:10

Birmingham team 🔵

XI | Hampton, Scott, Mace, Murray (C), Kelly, Brougham, Walker, Whipp, Napier, Holloway, Murphy.

SUBS | Green, Sarri, Logan, Whitehouse.

Did you know...? Brum defender Georgia Brougham played for City in our debut FA WSL campaign, having represented our City Ladies squad.

She played a key role in our first major trophy success - a surprise Continental Cup Final triumph over Arsenal on 2014.

14:03

Team news and tactics ⚽

So, that's three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Chelsea last time out, as Georgia Stanway, Esme Morgan and Laura Coombs are restored to the starting XI in place of Demi Stokes, Abby Dahlkemper and Sam Mewis.

Ellie Roebuck takes her place in goal, shielded by a backline of Stanway, Alex Greenwood, Morgan and Lucy Bronze.

Keira Walsh protects the defence, employed behind midfield duo Caroline Weir and Coombs, with Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly occupying the wings. Ellen White leads the line upfront against her former Club.

Stanway makes her 150th appearance for the Club.

13:56

Did you know...? 👀

🔹 City have won each of the last five league games with Birmingham by an aggregate score of 13-2, with Gareth Taylor's side keeping a clean sheet in each of the last four.

🔹 Birmingham haven’t won a league match at City since beating their opponents on the very first trip in October 2014 (2-1), drawing two and losing four of the six visits since.

🔹 City’s 12-game winning run came to an end last time out versus Chelsea, drawing 2-2 with the Londoners. However, we remain unbeaten in our last 16 top-flight games (W13 D3).

🔹 After a three-game winning run away from home in the Women’s Super League, Birmingham are winless in their last five top-flight games on their travels (D2 L3), shipping 14 goals.

🔹 Lauren Hemp has either scored (6) or assisted (7) in 10 of her last 11 appearances in the Women’s Super League, with only Chloe Kelly (19) having a direct hand in more league goals for City this season.

13:47

A word from the skipper in her captain's notes...

"Well, here it is: our last home league game of the season! It seems to have come around quickly after what has been a long and busy season, but we're ready and raring to finish off on a high. We're all feeling positive and we're focused on gaining three wins from three in our remaining games.

"Of course, we would have liked all three points in our last game against Chelsea, which would have put us in pole position for the title - and perhaps our performance warranted it - but Chelsea are a good side. Sitting on the sidelines, I was so proud of our team. We did everything we possibly could, taking the game to Chelsea, and it took a world-class save from Ann-Katrin Berger to prevent us from scoring in the final minutes. Now, we have to concentrate on ourselves - we can only control what we can control - to finish the season strongly."

13:45

Greetings from Manchester! 👋

Hello and welcome!

Your City Media Team are in position to bring you live coverage of today's FA Women's Super League clash.

Stay tuned for updates! Team news will be available from 14:00 (UK).

11:26

Form guide 📈

City head into this clash in fine league form, having won 12 of our last 13 league matches; unbeaten in our last five in all competitions.

Birmingham meanwhile are winless in their last six games, falling to a 6-0 reverse to Chelsea last time out.

Since facing City at St George's Park at the end of February, the Solihull outfit suffered three successive 4-0 home defeats (City, Arsenal and Everton) before earning draws with West Ham (2-2) and Bristol City (1-1) before visiting Chelsea.

11:14

Gareth Taylor 💬

“The mood is really good. It’s still an objective to win the final three games (with the FA Cup) – nothing’s changed in that respect.

“Birmingham are fighting for their lives. There aren't any easy games, especially when you approach them. After, you can say if you were really good, creative… all of those things but you never know going into it.

“We’re expecting a tough game like it was at St George’s Park. We just have to work on what we can do. We’ll pay the ultimate respect to Carla and her team. We need to make sure we implement our gameplan on Sunday.

“Hopefully it won’t be different [from the away fixture – a 4-0 win] for our part but Birmingham will make it difficult.

“I remember that game and it was a case of staying calm. Composure will be a big one for us. People expect us to roll over teams at home but it’s not easy and teams make it difficult by blocking up.

“We need to make sure we’re capable of moving the ball quick enough, maintain good speed in possession and hopefully, we’ll take our chances when we get them. I’m expecting a tough game and as long as we maintain our composure, we’ll be okay.”

11:09

Early team news 📋

Gareth Taylor says it is unlikely Steph Houghton will feature for City again in the 2020/21 campaign.

The City and England captain has not featured since March’s victory over Everton – her 200th appearance for the Club – due to an Achilles injury.

With only three games of the season remaining and attentions turning to Olympic squad announcements, Taylor was asked whether the centre-back is likely to return in the coming weeks, and whether her injury could affect her Team GB hopes. He replied he is hopeful of her selection.

Taylor also shared an update on long-term absentee Megan Campbell, hailing the Republic of Ireland defender’s effort during a difficult period.

11:06

It's matchday! ⚽

A very good morning, afternoon or night - wherever you are in the world.

City are back in FA Women's Super League action with the visit of Birmingham to the Academy Stadium in our final home league game of the 2020/21 campaign.

With Chelsea in European action, victory for City would move Gareth Taylor's side top of the table with one game remaining, although the London outfit would have a game in hand.

It's a 15:00 (UK) kick-off and you can watch the game live on the BBC Red Button.

Alternatively, we'll be bringing you live coverage of the game right here in the Matchday Centre so stay tuned for pre-match build-up, match action and post-match reaction.

Come on, City!

Other games that day

  • Everton Women1
    Arsenal Women2
    FT
  • Aston Villa Women0
    West Ham United Women0
    FT
  • Bristol City Women0
    Manchester United Women1
    FT
  • Reading Women3
    Brighton and Hove Albion Women2
    FT
  • Tottenham Hotspur Women0
    Chelsea Women0
    KO

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Chelsea Women 20 +52 51
3 Arsenal Women 21 +48 47
4 Manchester United 21 +22 44
5 Everton Women 21 +11 32
6 Reading Women 21 -11 24
7 Brighton and Hove Albion Women 21 -22 24
8 Tottenham Hotspur Women 20 -22 17
9 West Ham United Women 21 -17 15
10 Birmingham City Women 21 -28 15
11 Aston Villa Women 21 -32 14
12 Bristol City Women 21 -52 12
Link To Full Table