Manchester United dropped points against their neighbours today as a close fought match with Manchester City ended in defeat.
United looked comfortable out of possession in the opening five minutes, managing to cut out a City attack before it could really threaten them.
A couple of set pieces for United troubled City’s defenders. First a free kick delivered by captain Katie Zelem was headed out for a corner and then the blue side of Manchester struggled to clear the ensuing coorner with the wind whipping around the ground.
The first real chance came for the Blues though, as Lauren Hemp from just a couple of yards out chipped it over the bar.
City were finding spaces as United pressed high and it opened up a few chances for the home side that, to United’s relief, they squandered.
United’s pressing paid off occasionally though, Toone and Risa combined to win it back from City’s defence and played it quickly to Bruun who took a shot but it was tame and straight at Roebuck.
Just over twenty minutes had been played with the scores still deadlocked. Ellen White had a chance in the box for City but it was well blocked by Ladd and Caldwell, who got it away.
At the other end Toone made a good run into the box and danced around the defence before playing it across the goal but Alex Greenwood was there to clear it for City.
There was a lengthy injury time at the end of the first half due to Greenwood being down with a head injury for a while but the two teams went in all square at the break.
Both came out fighting in the second half, with City having the better chances again but they blasted them high and wide.
Earps made some good saves too and came out to meet the ball well.
Jess Parks came close around sixty minutes in as her shot hit the woodwork and White couldn’t get the tap in.
It was United’s turn to attack as Toone surged forward and forced the save from Roebuck. It was United’s best chance of the game.
A corner for the Reds saw Martha Thomas’ header go just wide of the post, she had really made an impact since coming on.
It was City that made the breakthrough though in the 80th minute, substitute Caroline Weir found the top corner with a strike from the edge of the area.
United tried to find the equaliser right away but were denied by Roebuck who pushed it out wide.
City have closed the gap on United, whose Champions League hopes for next season are looking more precarious.
Team: Earps, Thoridottir, Batlle, Caldwell, Blundell, Zelem, Ladd, Toone, Boe Risa (Thomas 64), Bruun (Fuso 90), Russo (Hanson 78)