Man City Women’s coach Gareth Taylor unconcerned about position after dismal run

The Blues have struggled in 2021/22, but their boss says ‘nothing has changed’ from his perspective.

Manchester City Women’s manager Gareth Taylor. Credit: Getty.

A ruthless Chelsea capitalised on defensive errors by a stuttering Manchester City side to cruise to a 4-0 victory at the Academy Stadium on Sunday.

Olympic gold medallist Jessie Fleming opened the scoring, quickly reacting to an early mistake to put her side ahead on two minutes.

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Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby and Magda Eriksson also made their mark on the scoresheet in the title defenders’ sixth straight Barclays FA WSL win.

Jessie Fleming got Chelsea off to the best start. Credit: Getty.

Emma Hayes’s side kept the pressure firmly on league leaders Arsenal with the win, while injury-plagued City are left searching for even more answers.

The Blues, looking to avoid a third straight home league defeat for the first time ever, got off to a disastrous start.

Only 67 seconds were on the clock when keeper Karima Taieb, looking to find Alex Greenwood, instead presented the ball to Fleming, and the Blues’ Canadian ace was able to take control before slotting easily into an unguarded net.

That was certainly not what manager Gareth Taylor needed, and the woes continued in the ninth minute when Caroline Weir fluffed a one-on-one opportunity against Chelsea keeper Ann-Katrin Berger.

City settled in, and rallied encouragingly following the early errors.

Berger saved well from Greenwood and Lauren Hemp, and saw strong penalty appeals waved away after the Chelsea keeper looked to have clattered into Hemp.

It was an afternoon for Manchester City to forget. Credit: Getty.

Persistent Chelsea then reasserted their dominance, striking again deep into added time.

Following a swift break, Guro Reiten headed the ball into the path of Kerr, who bundled home from close range.

Chelsea turned up the temperature early in the second period, Kirby hooking home from an angle and skipper Eriksson nodding in Erin Cuthbert’s corner.

Hemp was denied twice in the later stages by smart saves from Berger, but Chelsea walked away comfortable victors to keep them just a point below the Gunners.

Match reaction

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor said, when asked about his future: “I feel fine about things. I feel the same way as I always have. We just need to be better in terms of errors we’re making, but nothing is changing in my mind.

“There’s nothing for me to consider as I see it, so until I’m told any different, I’ll carry on here. I can see that the players are putting in the performances for me.”

On the game, Taylor said: “We were quite clearly punished for our errors again, but I was pleased with the players showing the quality to fight back.

“In the first half we were very good, and although the second half was a bit more even, on another day we would have stayed in the game. The players did exactly what I asked of them, but it wasn’t to be today.”

The pressure is on Gareth Taylor after a poor start to the 2021/22 season. Credit: Getty.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said: “We were poor in the first half. We struggled to press them back. I was worried before this one after five away games on the bump, but in the first 20 minutes of the second half we really played like champions.

“Overall the team delivered a top, top performance, on the back of a lot of travelling in recent weeks, and we got what we deserved today.

“Erin Cuthbert did an exceptional job when up against Lauren Hemp. When facing Hemp it was always going to be tough, but Erin was awesome.

“We’ve played better here in the past and not won so that’s good, but we’ve all shown the ability to adapt and to change the game when we needed to.

“The girls carried out their instructions to the letter and we’ve come away with a great result. I will take my hat to all of the team tonight.”

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