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Chelsea Women vs Manchester City at Kingsmeadow

Kingsmeadow Referee : Abigail Byrne
25th September 2022 4:00 PM (BST)
  • 2 Chelsea Women

    • ‘42' Fran Kirby
    • ‘78' Maren Mjelde (Pen)
  • 0 Manchester City


Commentary By George Kelsey


Goodbye 👋

That's all from us here at Kingsmeadow.

A frustrating day at the office, which sees City lose 2-0 away to Chelsea.

Despite the defeat, there were plenty of positives to take, particularly from that first half display.

The focus now turns towards Leicester City in two weeks' time. Thanks for your company this afternoon - make sure to keep across and the official Man City app for the best stats and reaction to the game.


Taylor on international break 🗣

"I'd probably rather continue if I’m honest, I’d say that with two wins as well.

"You want rhythm. Unfortunately you play two games, then international break, you lose the rhythm. You lose control in terms of injuries or knocks.

"I’d always say regardless of if we were doing well, we’d want to continue and the opposite as well."


Taylor on start to the season 🗣

"It’s not great, but we’ve had two tough away games, we've gone to Villa who did tremendously well.

"Coming here is always difficult, they don’t give much away.

"They lost last week too but the attitude and levels we showed were impressive.

"It gives us something to build on."


Taylor on first and second half displays 🗣

"We played really well first half, really good reaction winning first and second balls.

"They're a good opposition, their keeper made a couple of saves.

"It was disappointing to concede the goal when we looked the more likely to score but it didn't change the half-time message.

"Potentially the high energy we put in saw us drop a bit in the second half, which gave Chelsea more time on the ball."


Positive signpost

There has bound to be an element of transition for City given the summer's signings and departures.

But plenty of evidence this afternon that Gareth Taylor's squad are on the cusp of clicking into gear.


Tough to take

Altogether there were 15 shots in total from City including five on target but we just couldn't find that finishing touch this afternoon.

Fine margins at this level -  but a lot of positives to build on.


Elsewhere today

A busy day in the Barclays WSL.

Brighton beat Reading 2-1, Aston Villa made it two wins out of two with a 2-0 success at Leicester, Manchester United are also on six points after their 2-0 triumph at West Ham while the late game sees Liverpool play host to Everton in the Merseyside derby.


Fine margins

Chloe Kelly tries a ball in behind the Chelsea defence, but it's got too much on it to find Steph Houghton after the winger's initial free-kick was cleared.

It's just not fallen our way today. But there's still time!



Heart in mouth moment for Ann-Katrin Berger!

She lets a pass slip under her foot, and gets back just in time to clear the ball off the line!

That would've been one of the strangest routes back into the game for City!


No complaints

Just seen a replay of the Chelsea penalty.

It's definitely struck the hand of Leilia Ouahabi as she's tried to block an effort on goal.

Unfortunate, but no complaints.


Kelly on the case

Chloe Kelly whips a vicious effort towards goal after cutting in on her right foot, but Millie Bright is in the right place to head away the strike.

Still time for City to turn this one around.


Roebuck to the rescue

Great save from Ellie Roebuck down to her right.

Lauren James had scampered away on the flank and had accelerated into the box with Leila Ouahabi in hot pursuit.

But the City stopper was at her best to keep it at 1-0.


Close from the hosts

Inches wide from Chelsea.

Lauren James pounces on Leila Ouahabi's header away at the far post, opens up her body and curls towards goal.

The effort goes just beyond Ellie Roebuck's post, but it's a demonstration of the hosts' dominance in the past few minutes.


Defensive diligence

Great covering from Laia Aleixandri, who ushers the ball away from Fran Kirby inside the City area.

Meanwhile, an attendance of 4,403 is announced!


Chelsea pressure

The hosts have been slowly gaining a foothold in the last five or so minutes, with Leila Ouahabi doing just enough to knock the ball behind for a corner.

Could the boss be about to turn to the bench?


Well claimed

A looping cross into the back post almost catches Ellie Roebuck out, but the stopper does just enough to tip it away from danger.

She's called into action again soon after, and comfortably claims another ball in from the opposite wing soon after.


City booking

A great ball in behind from Laia Aleixandri finds Laura Coombs, but the midfielder's effort from a tight angle is claimed by Ann-Katrin Berger.

Meanwhile Leila Ouahabi is cautioned after pulling back Lauren James.


City pressure

City counter after a Guro Reiten slip, with Lauren Hemp clipping a teasing ball into Bunny's chest.

The forward claims it, but then the ball just doesn't fall in time for her to pull the trigger.

Another close call!

Laia Aleixandri tries to flick the ball in at the near post from the corner, but it flashes wide.


Close call

Ann-Katrin Berger shows excellent composure to bring the ball out under pressure from Lauren Hemp.

The City winger came steaming in to put her under pressure but credit where it's due - the goalkeeper got out of that one excellently.

Another bright start from Gareth Taylor's side in these early stages.


Chances go begging

City will be frustrated to have gone in a goal behind at half-time.

Lauren Hemp, Laura Coombs and Bunny Shaw have all gone close at Kingsmeadow, while the hosts' main chances were restricted to the opening 15 minutes or so.

We've looked confident in possession and tenacious when out of it, but all of that counts for nothing if the score doesn't reflect it.

Time for the players to regroup and get ready for a big 45 minutes here at Kingsmeadow.



How's that not gone in?!

Kelly loops a brilliant ball to the back post, where Coombs is waiting in space.

Her volley is expertly saved by Ann-Katrin Berger, with the ball eventually going behind for a corner.

So close from City.



Harsh on City, who have edged this first half on the balance of play.

Fran Kirby taps home into an empty net after Guro Reiten squares the ball to her.

It's great work from Chelsea down the left, dragging City out of position to create the opening.

A sickener just before the break, but there's still plenty of time!


Diligent defending

End to end stuff here.

Lauren James scampers in behind and plays a low ball into the box from the left, but Alex Greenwood is on hand to clear the danger.



All Lauren Hemp's work!

The winger hounds Maren Mjelde into a heavy pass back to Ann-Katrin Berger, who spanners the ball to the City winger.

She races in from a tight angle and forces a save from the Chelsea stopper.

Textbook Hemp tenacity!


Anyone's game!

It's a case of who blinks first at the moment - with neither side able to properly break down the other as of yet.

Guro Reiten looks a real threat down the Chelsea left, but none of her dangerous balls in have found their target as of yet.

But we're always ready to pounce on a loose touch or heavy pass and spring a counter.

This is anyone's game!


Tenacious play

Tenacious play from Castellanos once again, who comes away with the ball from a 50:50 challenge.

She releases Kelly, but her effort is blocked behind for a corner.


High press

Castellanos claims a miscued pass deep in the Chelsea half on her chest, before volleying a vicious effort towards goal.

It's just over the bar, but again demonstrates that we've had our tails up in the past ten minutes or so.

We need to make these chances count though!


Positive play

Some more promising play from City down the right as Casparij releases Kelly in behind.

The winger cuts in back to Bunny, but the Jamaican's effort is just over the bar.

Gareth Taylor's side are looking really composed in possession but the hosts, of course, are always a threat.


Over the bar ⬆️

Some more impressive holdup play from Bunny, who plucks the ball out of the air with her chest before firing on the turn from distance.

It sails over the bar, but it's got the travelling City fans going!


City corner

Swift counter from City as Coombs releases Bunny down the left.

The Jamaican cuts inside and tries her luck, but it's deflected behind for a corner.

City's centre-forward looks dangerous whenever she gets on the ball.


Penalty claim?

Was it inside the area? Not sure from here, but there were strong claims for a penalty from City just then!

Bunny Shaw picks up the ball off Lauren Hemp and races towards goal, slaloming her way through several Chelsea challenges.

She's eventually stopped in her tracks, but it looked from here like she'd been tripped - Abigail Byrne wasn't convinced though.

The Jamaican is receiving treatment now, hopefully nothing too serious.


Chelsea chance

Big chance for the hosts squandered.

The ball is played in behind the City defence and Steph Houghton fails to make proper contact with the back pass.

Sam Kerr latches on to it, but opts to square to Fran Kirby rather than pull the trigger.

But the England international can't get a proper contact on her effort, and it's cleared away.

A warning for City.


Captain fantastic 💪

Well defended by Steph Houghton, who gets in there just ahead of Guro Reiten to meet Lauren James' cutback.

Chelsea found a little pocket down the City right just then, but we did just enough to cut out the danger.


Midfield maestro

Play is pulled back as Deyna Castellanos brings down Chelsea captain Magda Eriksson as she releases the ball.

It's just a talking to from referee Abigail Byrne, but a signal of our new signing's energy in these early stages.


City chance

Ooooh! Close from Chloe!

The City winger wriggled away from her marker in the centre of the box and fired towards goal on the turn.

It was too close to Ann-Katrin Berger to trouble the net, but a signal of intent from City.


Safe hands 🧤

Well watched by Ellie Roebuck, who is quick off her line to claim Sam Kerr's scuffed effort.

The Australian was forced wide by Steph Houghton, and her shot was smothered by the City stopper before Guro Reiten could pounce.


City on the ball

Decent little spell on the ball for City, with Castellanos in the thick of the action.

Bunny bustles her way to the by-line, forcing a corner for the visitors.


Early excitement

Early chance for Chelsea from kick-off as Millie Bright's looping ball is knocked into the centre by Guro Reiten.

The ball trickles just wide of Ellie Roebuck's post.

Exciting start!


Here we go 👏

Out come both sets of players ahead of what promises to be a thrilling encounter.

Chelsea's iconic song 'Liquidator' rings out around Kingsmeadow as both sides line up for the pre-match pleasantries.


Tension building...

Both teams make their way back into the changing room ahead of kick-off.

The teams are read out one last time, as the tunnel is extended out onto the pitch.

The atmosphere is building here at Kingsmeadow... COME ON CITY  💙


Taylor on Chelsea 🗣

"We need to make sure we’re potent at the top end of the game and keeping it tight at the back.

"We know if we can do that then we can win this game."


Taylor on Casparij, Ouahabi and Castellanos WSL starts 🗣

"They’re good players and from a different environment and different leagues, they're good players and hopefully they can show that today.

"Hopefully they (gel) as soon as possible. You can either hit the ground running or it takes time.

"The intention for us is the same and these players are at the forefront of that."


Scoring sensations ️⚽️

Chloe Kelly and Sam Kerr both start this afternoon - and they bring impressive scoring records against their opponents with them.

Kelly has scored in both her WSL matches for City against Chelsea, with Birmingham (3) the only side she's found the net against with more regularity in the competition.

However, it's a similar story for Australian international Kerr, who has scored in three of her last four WSL matches against Gareth Taylor's side.

It's safe to assume that they'll be heavily involved at the sharp end once again today...


Sharpening up 💪

Some sharp touches in a pass and move exercise involving the City substitutes in front of us in the press box.

On the far side, the starting XI are taking part in some small possession-based exercises as kick-off approaches.

Meanwhile, our goalkeepers' handling is being tested with some looping crosses.


London calling 🗣

A stat to put you in a positive mood ahead of kick-off...

City have won five of our last seven WSL games in London (L2), having won just two of their previous nine in the capital beforehand (D2 L5).

Fingers crossed we'll be extending that record today!


Ann-Katrin Berger

Great news to see Ann-Katrin Berger making her first start of the campaign for the hosts.

The Chelsea stopper confirmed back in August that she experienced a reoccurrence of thyroid cancer.

But she's back between the sticks for Emma Hayes' side today. Brilliant news 💙 


Three changes 🔄

So Gareth Taylor has made three changes from the side who began our WSL campaign last week, with Kerstin Casparij and Leilia Ouahabi making their league debuts, while Deyna Castellanos is handed her first start in the competition.

Making way are Esme Morgan, Demi Stokes and Filippa Angeldahl.

Laia Aleixandri will sit in front of the defence, giving Laura Coombs and Castellanos licence to get forward.

At the sharp end, it's the usual suspects of Lauren Hemp, Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw and Chloe Kelly.

A very strong City side - with kick-off just under an hour away!


Three changes

City make three changes from last weekend and are set to be deployed in line up in our usual 4-3-3 formation.

Kerstin Casparij, Deyna Castellanos and Leila Ouahabi all come in to the starting line up with Esme Morgan, Demi Stokes and Filippa Angeldahl reverting to the bench.


🚨Team news🚨

City XI: Roebuck, Casparij, Houghton, Greenwood, Ouahabi, Aleixandri, Coombs, Castellanos, Hemp, Shaw, Kelly

 Subs: MacIver, Keating, Stokes, Fowler, Angeldahl, Raso, Losada, Hutchings, Blakstad.


Roebuck's pride in the shirt...

Ellie Roebuck has been speaking of her pride at taking over City's number one shirt this season from the now retired Karen Bardsley.

"I think the opportunity to be number one was too good to miss.

“I’ve worked really hard for the past however many seasons I’ve been here now. 

“It’s just a number but you work hard for it, and I feel like I’ve earned it. I wouldn’t have taken it if I didn’t think that because KB’s obviously left a huge legacy behind. 

“I’m really proud to continue that at this football Club. I always said I’d never take it because I always said 26 was my number, but when you then get the opportunity to do so for a club of this magnitude, it’s a no-brainer really!”


'It's one the players are looking forward to'

Gareth Taylor on today's test:

“It’s one that the players are looking forward to.

“Regardless of the team we pick, we’re expecting a good level and will try to make it difficult for Chelsea on their own patch but also show our best version with the ball.”


Early team news

City's starting XI will be announced at 15:00 (UK), but Gareth Taylor provided a squad update during Friday's pre-match press conference.

The boss said that Australian international Alanna Kennedy could return to the squad after overcoming a thigh injury picked up on international duty.

Taylor also said that he and his staff are keeping a close eye on the condition of other players beyond Kennedy, but insisted that there had been little change in terms of the squad’s overall shape ahead of this weekend.


A very good afternoon 🙌

Hello and welcome to today's Matchday Centre ahead of City's Barclays Women's Super League clash with Chelsea.

Kick-off at Kingsmeadow is scheduled for 16:00 (UK), for what is one of the most eagerly-anticipated matches of the season

Both sides will rightly be considered among the favourites for the WSL title this season, but were each dealt opening day defeats on the road in our opening fixtures.

So there will be no lack of incentive for both sides ahead of what should be a compelling encounter.

I'll be here to bring you all the build, team news and action once the game gets underway as well as post match reaction and analysis.

Come on, City!!

Other games that day

  • Leicester City Women0
    Aston Villa Women2
  • West Ham United Women0
    Manchester United Women2
  • Liverpool Women0
    Everton Women3
  • Brighton and Hove Albion Women2
    Reading Women1
  • Chelsea Women0
    West Ham United Women0

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 Arsenal Women 2 +8 6
2 Manchester United 2 +6 6
3 Aston Villa Women 2 +3 6
4 Everton Women 2 +2 3
5 Chelsea Women 2 +1 3
6 West Ham United Women 2 -1 3
7 Liverpool Women 2 -2 3
8 Brighton and Hove Albion Women 2 -3 3
9 Tottenham Hotspur Women 2 -3 3
11 Leicester City Women 2 -3 0
12 Reading Women 2 -5 0
Link To Full Table