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Women's Football News
Chelsea 0 Manchester City 2 (Stokes 44, Beattie 48)
Manchester City maintained their 100% record in FAWSL 1 and ended champions Chelsea's own flawless league record with a convincing 2-0 victory at Staines.
Goals either side of the break gave the visitors the edge which they rarely looked like relinquishing. Chelsea threatened briefly after the introduction of Ji So-Yun and Gemma Davison but City soon regained their grip on the match.
City made all the early running, Lucy Bronze firing just wide, Jane Ross going close, then.Toni Duggan heading over from ten yards. Millie Bright had Chelsea's first attempt on goal on 23 minutes but it took a good Hedvig Lindahl tip over to deny Duggan on the half hour.
Drew Spence burst through the City defence but her shot was too close to City keeper Karen Bardsley on 31 minutes.
City finished the half well and took the lead on 44 minutes when Demi Stokes found herself free on the left edge of the area and rolled a neat finish wide of Lindahl.
City doubled their lead within two minutes of the restart when Jennifer Beattie rose high to power home a right wing corner with the aid of a deflection.
Chelsea's substitutes gave them real impetus and they combined for Ji to crash a shot against the underside of the bar on 55 minutes. Another attacking substitution brought Karen Carney into the fray and she went close with a curling 20-yard effort on 69 minutes.
However City were always threatening at the other end. Parris was denied by a fine Lindahl save after a defensive error left her clear on goal, another Parris effort was ruled out for offside and City saw out time very effectively as Chelsea were unable to carve out any clear chances until Katie Chapman's header from a Carney cross in added time, well saved by Bardsley.
After the SSE Women's FA Cup Final defeat, this was another blow to Chelsea. However, City were excellent on the night. solid in defence and quick to press Chelsea's attempts to play out from the back. The timing of the goals was crucial as was the Ji shot which found the bar. City gained revenge for their 120th minute defeat in the FA Cup semi final but, more importantly, went six points clear at the top of the WSL 1 table.
Chelsea: Hedvig Lindahl, Hannah Blundell, Niamh Fahey, Gilly Flaherty, Claire Rafferty, Katie Chapman, Beth England (sub Gemma Davison 52mins), Drew Spence (sub Karen Carney 63mins), Mille Bright (sub Ji So-Yun 52mins), Eniola Aluko, Fran Kirby. Subs not used: Rebecca Spencer, Ana Borges, Jade Bailey, Laura Rafferty.
Manchester City: Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Abbie McManus, Demi Stokes, Jennifer Beattie, Jill Scott, Kosovare Asllani (sub Isiobel Christiansen 61mins), Nikita Parris, Jane Ross (sub Georgia Stanway 88mins), Toni Duggan (sub Daphne Corboz 81mins). Subs not used: Marie Hourihan, Megan Campbell, Zoe Tynan.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Drew Spence tries to escape the attentions of Abbie McManus
(middle) Jill Scott battles with Millie Bright
(bottom) Katie Chapman slides in to tackle Jennifer Beattie
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