Match Reports

Title-chasing Manchester City too strong for Albion

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Geummin Lee scores against her old club for the second time this season but Seagulls are beaten 4-1 by high-flying City.

By Bruce Talbot • 17 March 2024

By Kyle Hemsley
Katie Robinson wins a foot race with City's Yui Hasegawa.

Albion couldn’t prevent Manchester City from equalling their own WSL record of ten straight wins at the Broadfield Stadium on Sunday.

Albion had won 1-0 against City in November – City's last league defeat - and competed well until Lauren Hemp opened the scoring after 26 minutes. Mary Fowler was let unmarked to get the second City goal just before the break and the league’s top scorer Bunny Shaw added her 16th of the season midway through the second half. Laura Coombes then scored a fourth as City moved level on points with Chelsea at the top of the table.

Albion never stopped working and substitute Geummin Lee got a consolation goal in the final minute to reward their efforts, but interim head coach Mikey Harris will be relieved that there is a run of kinder-looking fixtures to come, starting at Leicester City next Sunday, after facing the two Manchester clubs back to back.

By Kyle Hemsley
Jorelyn Carabali clears her lines under pressure from Lauren Hemp.

There were two changes to the team knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United last week with Jorelyn Carabali and Madison Haley coming in for the injured Pauline Bremer and Vea Sarri, who dropped to the bench.

Carabali lined up at right-back and enjoyed the challenge of facing up to Lauren Hemp, who was at the heart of City’s best moves as they dominated the ball in the opening stages.

The visitors didn’t seriously threaten Sophie Baggaley’s goal in the opening quarter of the contest and Albion gradually began to get a foothold in the game. Elisabeth Terland tested Khiara Keating with a powerful shot from the right-hand side of the box while Katie Robinson and Madison Haley began to stretch the visitors.

By Kyle Hemsley
City's Alex Greenwood clears under pressure from Elisbaeth Terland and Madison Haley.

But City took the lead on 26 minutes with their first shot on target. Jess Park spread the ball out wide on the left to Hemp and she beat Baggaley with a low shot to the keeper’s left.

Hemp provided another assist when Albion went 2-0 down after 41 minutes. This time her cross picked out the unmarked Fowler, who lashed the ball past Baggaley from close range.

Maria Thorisdottir had to be replaced at the break after appearing to pick up an ankle injury with Carabali switching to central defence.

City picked up where they had left off, dominating possession and probing for openings. Hemp chopped past Li Mengwen six minutes into the second half and beat Baggaley with a right-foot shot which came back off the far post.

Albion were left to rely on breakaways but struggled with City’s slick offside trap and it was no surprise when City stretched their lead in the 69th minute. There was no pressure on Yui Hasegawa as he lined up a left-wing cross which Shaw met at the far post with a powerful header for her 16th goal of the season.

By Kyle Hemsley
Elisabeth Terland gets in a cross.

As Albion tired City sensed more goals and Coombes made it 4-0 with ten minutes to go after Fowler’s pull-back set her up.

Grace McEwen came on for the closing stages to become Albion’s youngest WSL player and was booked for bringing down Shaw before Albion got one back in the 90th minute. Vea Sarri created it with a great cross from the left and Lee got in front of her marker to steer the ball home.

Albion: Baggaley; Carabali (McEwen 83), Thorisdottir (Mengwen 45), Bergsvand, Kullberg, Losada (Symonds 60), Zigiotti, Haley (Lee 60), Pinto (Sarri 80), Robinson, Terland.

Subs not used: Johnson, Startup, Dent.

Referee: Megan Wilson

Attendance: 3,490

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