Saturday, December 4, 2021

Manchester derby thriller as Ellen White strike saves City against United

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Oct 2021

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Ellen White rescued Manchester City in a fierce derby as the England striker hit a landmark goal to secure a 2-2 draw with Manchester United.

Staring at a fourth successive defeat in the Women’s Super League, City trailed and were down to 10 players after Georgia Stanway’s red card.

But White was on hand to slot in her first goal of the season after 79 minutes, when Jess Park’s thumping strike was pushed against the crossbar by Mary Earps.

The tap-in means White has now scored against all 17 clubs she has faced in the WSL, netting against more different sides in the league than any other player.

She has previously played for Arsenal, Notts County and Birmingham in the competition, which began in 2011.

This season’s WSL title is already probably beyond City, the 2016 champions, and they entered Saturday’s derby six points behind United after just four matches of the 22-game campaign. Injuries to the likes of FIFA Best Women’s Player winner Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton have left their ranks depleted, and both were absent again.

Stanway was dismissed after 35 minutes when her dangerously high boot caught Leah Galton high on the thigh in midfield, but City snatched the lead three minutes later when Khadija Shaw headed in a cross from the left by Demi Stokes.

City’s run of three defeats was their worst in the WSL, and a fourth was on the cards when Lucy Staniforth’s backheeled flick for a 72nd-minute equaliser was followed by Alessia Russo firing hosts United ahead.

At that stage, United were on course for their first win over City in the WSL, having previously managed just one point from three games.

The tussle at Leigh Sports Village had another twist in store though, and White, who had replaced Shaw just before the hour mark, showed her poacher’s instinct to tuck away the loose ball after Earps saved from Park.

City star Lauren Hemp told the BBC: “The fight and determination throughout the whole game was top drawer. I’m so proud of how we’ve turned it around this week. It just shows how together the team is and hopefully this will be the turning point.

“We showed the quality this team has and that we deserved to put on a show. That’s what you want in Manchester derbies, and we did it justice. I’m so proud of the team.”

City boss Gareth Taylor wanted a win but said: “It was a roller coaster and when you’re potentially staring at a loss at 2-1 down, I think you have to say reluctantly it’s a fair point.”

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