Manchester United and Manchester City could not be separated as they played to a 2-2 draw in an action packed game in the Women’s Super League.
Georgia Stanway was red carded for a stamp on Leah Galton, making the task of gaining any kind of positive result harder.
City however reacted positively to it and took the lead as an unmarked Khadija Shaw nodded home.
In a manic six minutes, three goals were scored. Substitute Lucy Staniforth equalised for the hosts with a neat backheel after a quickly taken corner. United then took the lead as Alessia Russo scored with a low finish under Karima Benaemeur with Hannah Blundell assisting both goals.
City then equalised as substitute Ellen White tapped home from two-yards out on the rebound after Earps had tipped Jess Park’s rasping shot onto the crossbar.
The result stops City’s rot of three straight defeats but keeps them winless in the league since the opening day.
United overtake Chelsea but remain winless against their city rivals since their promotion to the WSL.
- Lauren Hemp: Throughout the whole match, Hemp was causing plenty of problems for the United defence with her well-delivered crosses. Time and time again, the opposition failed to keep up with her as she tried to incorporate all her teammates in their attacks. In the second-half she had some joy of her own, forcing Mary Earps into some saves.
- Rebecca Welch: The referee got her decisions right in what was a well-tempered Derby. She rightfully sent off Stanway for a reckless challenge and then dealt with players who pleaded with her to give a foul in their favour. Welch was also well placed to judge one of the key decisions of the match, as she deemed Jill Scott’s tackle on Leah Galton fair. In total, she managed the game well and there were no complaints about her performance.
- The substitutes: Until the introduction of Lucy Staniforth, United were struggling to test the goalkeeper. Her introduction brought a positive influence and she played a part in the second. City meanwhile had their equaliser was mainly down to their substitutes as Parker’s shot was well saved but White was on hand to score. For both managers it was almost like a chess game and on this occasion both cancelled each other out.
- Georgia Stanway: With no attempt to play the ball, Stanway studded Leah Galton, giving Rebecca Welch no option to dismiss her. City are already in an injury crisis and given the nature of the foul, she could find herself missing more games, giving Taylor some selection issues.
- Karima Benaemeu: Perhaps the City goalkeeper should have done more for both goals, though it is a harsh inclusion. City’s defence completely switched off for the first goal but ultimately the last line of defence is the goalkeeper. The defence should have been well marshalled. For United’s second goal, Benaemeu perhaps should have reached the shot given the amount of bodies in the way of the shot.
- United’s attack: This was a missed opportunity for United ahead of their rivals. Psychologically, the Red Devils were the favourites given the injury issues in the City camp. Stanway’s red card on the half-hour mark gave the home side the numerical advantage but they failed to make the most of it.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Mary Earps 7, Hannah Blundell 8, Aoife Mannion 6, Maria Thorisdottir 6, Ona Battle 6, Jackie Groenen 6 (Hayley Ladd, 84), Katie Zelem 7, Leah Galton 6, Alessia Russo 6, Ella Toone 6, Kirsty Hanson 6, (Lucy Staniforth, 67)
Manchester City (3-5-2): Karima Benaemeur 6, Jill Scott, 7 Alex Greenwood, 7 Georgia Stanway 1, Janine Beckie, 6, Filippa Angeldal, 6 (Jess Park, 76), Keira Walsh, 6 Caroline Weir 6 (Lauren Coombes, 87), Demi Stokes, 7 Khadija Shaw, 8 (Ellen White, 58), Lauren Hemp, 7
Player of the match:
Not a goal to her name but two assists, including a quick-witted corner-kick, Hannah Blundell is the Player of the Match. The first goal was a set-piece straight off the training ground, but the equaliser put Alessia Russo in a good position for her goal.
Both sides are in Conti Cup action before a month’s long break as a result of the international period.
Man City play Everton at the Academy Stadium on Wednesday, 13 October.
Meanwhile United travel to Durham on Thursday 14 October.