Tag Archives: Gareth Taylor

Thrilling Manchester Derby ends all square

Kirsty Hanson came off the bench to secure a crucial 2-2 draw for Manchester United, in an absorbing WSL Manchester Derby contest.

The build up to the game was all about how United could potentially close the gap to the big three sides following their terrific 1-0 victory Arsenal last weekend. 

Indeed, Casey Stoney just made one change from that impressive display last weekend, with Jess Singsworth coming in to the Red Devils midfield in place of Kirsty Hanson.

It was, however, City who took the early initiative in the derby encounter as Georgia Stanway caused Stoney’s side a number of problems and forced a relatively cheep corner.

What followed was Chloe Kelly opening the scoring for Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City after United’s failure to deal with the resulting corner. The former Everton striker was able to produce a clever finish into the far corner past the goalkeeper Mary Earps. 

The England striker has been particularly impressive for her new club having scored four WSL goals already this campaign in six league appearances. 

Following the opening goal, City completely controlled the first half with American Sam Mewis once again impressing in midfield. Taylor’s side created a number of chances to put the game beyond the Red Devils.  Former United captain and City defender Alex Greenwood particularly causing problems with her deliveries from set pieces. 

The best of the chances fell to Stanway in the 30thminute, when she ended up taking one touch too many while one on one with Earps, who subsequently made an important save. 

Indeed, just when United thought they would get to half time with only a 1-0 deficit, in first half added time Laura Coombs produced terrific shot from the edge of the area giving Earps absolutely no chance.  

Coombs’ strike made it three goals in her last three games for the midfielder and meant that City held a 2-0 lead at half time in the derby.  

Hanson subsequently came on for Singsworth at half time for the Red Devils in a bid to halt City’s first half momentum. The change certainly produced the reaction that Stoney would have wanted. 

The new Red Devils’ NWSL signing, Tobin Heath produced an unbelievable strike giving Ellie Roebuck no chance in the City goal to half the deficit.  

From there, United continued to increase the pressure on City goal and there efforts were rewarded through substitute Hanson, who bundled in a corner, which the defence failed to deal with.

The home side could have snatched what would have been an unlikely winner at half time, as full back Demi Stokes made a crucial goal line clearance to deny Stoney’s United in second half injury time.

The game, however, finished with both Manchester clubs having to be content with a point a piece.

Derby Reaction

Manchester United Manager Casey Stoney told BT Sport:

 “It [being top of the table] doesn’t matter, it’s November.

“It’s about performing and being at that consistent level week in week out.

That first half was enough motivation to make sure we keep going.

“That second half performance was for our fans, to make sure we got that result in the Manchester derby which is really important for them.

Manchester City’s midfielder and player of the match, Sam Mewis said:

“What we did in the first half was working, but I give Man Utd a lot of credit, they did well [to come back]. It’s testament to the derby and the rivalry.

“I’m definitely feeling the animosity. I was fighting back at the end, and had this feeling of pride for City and wanted to win.

“We’re still growing, we have so much potential as a group, and every game is a learning opportunity for us.

What next?

United’s next WSL game sees them travel to newly promoted Aston Villa on Saturday 5thDecember.  Before then, however, they have another encounter with Taylor’s City in the Continental Tyres League Cup match on Thursday night.   

For City, meanwhile, they travel to Everton in the WSL on Sunday 6thDecember and remain five points behind their city rivals in fifth.

Womens FA Cup Final Preview

Everton V Manchester City

This Sunday will see the Womens FA Cup Final from Wembley between Everton and Manchester City. A cup final in November is something new as last season FA Cup will come to its conclusion. The competition was at the Quarter Final stage when the FA ruled there would be no restart to the women’s game after lockdown. Finally, however, the FA Cup is to be concluded.

Road to Final

Everton came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the quarter finals. After Erin Cuthbert gave Chelsea an early lead goals from Lucy Graham and Valerie Gauvin sent them though. Another goal from Gauvin plus goals form Nicoline Sorensen and Simone Magill ensured a 3-0 semi final win over Carla Ward’s Birmingham City.

City, meanwhile, knocked out Championship side Leicester in the quarter final winning 2-1. A penalty from Chloe Kelly and a Georgia Stanway goal in the first half proving enough despite Charlie Devlin’s 78 minute penalty for Leicester. Steph Houghton gave City the lead in the semi final against Arsenal with a stunning free kick. That was cancelled out by a Jordan Nobbs strike. Sam Mewis restored the lead three minutes later and City comfortably saw out the game.

Current Form

Everton are currently second in the WSL with six wins and one draw. Two big away wins have helped them, however, a four nil at Bristol City and six nil at Aston Villa.

These side have met this season in the Continental League Cup. Danielle Turner gave Everton the lead on 20 minutes, but City staged a second half come back. Rose Lavelle, Chloe Kelly, and Jessica Park securing a 3-1 victory.

After losing to Chelsea in the Community Shield, City won their opening WSL game. They were then held to a shock draw at home by Brighton but bounced back with a win against Spurs. In the last two WSL matches City lost 3-1 at Chelsea and were held to a 1-1 draw at Reading, leaving them 5th in the league.

Managers Thoughts

Everton manager Willie Kirk spoke ahead of the game of wanting to win trophies and using the Cup Final to build success for the club:

“We are building a group of winners and Sunday can be a launchpad for success in the next five years. The players felt when this competition was resurrected it was written in the stars (they would reach the final).

“We did fantastically well against Chelsea and the belief grew and grew”.

“The Challenge for me is to make sure we are not happy just being at Wembley because we have reached our objectives. We want to go one better. There is no point going to Wembley unless you’re going to win”.

Kirk is under no illusions of the challenge his side face this weekend:

“We have to play at our absolute best levels to get success on Sunday.

“We are determined to get back to the days of Everton winning silverware and this is huge for us. It would be even bigger managing to topple one of the teams who are serial trophy winners but winning it regardless of who it is against, would be massive for this club”.

City boss Gareth Taylor also described the prospect of winning the FA Cup as

“One of the biggest things I’ve done.

“It would mean a lot to win the trophy”.

The City manager has said everyone has their part to play if they are to win:

“Everyone wants to be involved on Sunday and everyone will be involved – whether they start the game, are on the bench or even in the stand.

“Everyone has a role to play, its about supporting the team, making sure the team comes first and then going there and competing to bring home a trophy.

“We have a squad of really good players, who want to be part of it, making a difference out there and that’s great for me as a manager.

“We have some good selection choices to make in lots of positions and that’s what you want”.

He also talked about his side being labelled as the favourites for this game:

“I can understand why we’re favorites – when it comes to Cup Finals, there’s often a favorite and an underdog – but its a one-off game and we’ve worked hard to get there”.

Key Players

Everton midfielder Lucy Graham is enjoying a fine start to the season with four goals in five games. Also chipping in with two assists. She will need to be sharpe defensively against the many options Man City have in the middle of the park. The Scotland international has the chance to be the first Everton player to lift the FA Cup since 2010.

Striker Chloe Kelly has manged four goals in her last five games for City. Kelly was an Everton player last season and even featured for them in the earlier rounds. (Players would not normally be able to play for two sides in the FA Cup, but as the competition is being finished this season it is allowed). Speaking to BBC Sport ahead of the game Chloe said:

“I’m absolutely buzzing and can’t wait to get going”.

How To Watch

The match will be played at Wembley but will be behind closed doors. Its a shame as last years final saw a crowd of 43,264 watch Man City beat West Ham 3-0. With the popularity of the Women’s game growing another big crowd would be expected.

The game is being shown live by both BBC One and on BT Sport. Kick off is at 14:00 Sunday 1st November.

Prediction; Everton 1 v 2 Manchester City

Both teams want to win this trophy and will give it everything. Everton have been in great form and it won’t be easy for City. Given their last few results City will want to win and hopefully kick start them moving up the WSL.

Womens super league weekend preview

The Women’s Super League has been awash with action across its opening three weekends with Arsenal and Everton setting the early pace with their perfect records.

Here’s your preview for the fourth round of matches including the huge clash between two teams full of world stars, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United 10/10 12.30pm

Spurs go in search of their first win of the season as they host Manchester United at the Hive Stadium to get the weekend’s fixtures underway at 12.30pm on Saturday.

Having won their previous two league matches, United were well beaten by Championship side Liverpool in their opening Continental Tyres Cup match midweek and will be looking to bounce back with a win.

Brighton v Arsenal 11/10 12.30pm

Sunday’s early kick off sees seventh place Brighton welcome table topping Arsenal to the Broadfield Stadium in what looks to be a difficult task for the south coast club.

The Gunners have started the 2020/21 season in scintillating form and currently occupy the top three goal scorers in the league with Dutch midfielder Jill Roord setting the pace with six goals in the first three games.

Everton v West Ham 11/10 13.00pm

Everton are the only other side with a 100% record, not unlike the men’s side, and will be hopeful of continuing in the same vein at Walton Hall Park.

New signing’s Claire Emslie and Hayley Raso have spearheaded the Toffee’s strong start with two goals apiece. Whilst The Hammers need to recapture their form after back to back losses in the Super League.

Reading v Birmingham City 11/10 14.00pm

The Royals will be hoping for home advantage as they look to move up the table following an improvement in their performances of late leading to consecutive wins and a well earned place in sixth position.

For Birmingham City, manager Carla Ward knows her side need a victory sooner rather than later following a dismal start to their season has seen the midlands club lose all three of their league fixtures.

Chelsea v Manchester City 11/10 14.30pm

Perhaps the clash of the weekend as the defending champions Chelsea host the much fancied Man City at Kingsmeadow to round off the weekends action. Both sides have taken seven points from the opening three matches and will be hopeful of cutting the gap to the leaders.

Two teams brimmed full of star quality, Chelsea, managed by Emma Hayes, will look to the likes of Fran Kirby, Magdalena Eriksson and new arrival Pernille Harder to be pivotal to the home sides chances.

For Man City boss Gareth Taylor, he will be looking towards star signing Rose Lavelle to fire them to victory. Forward Georgia Stanway is the sides leading scorer this term with two goals from the first three games.

WSL 2

Lewes v Blackburn Rovers, Durham v Crystal Palace, Leicester City v Liverpool, Coventry City v Sheffield United, London City v London Bees.

WSL RoundUp Week Three: Everton maintain unbeaten start

The latest round of Women Super League matches saw Everton maintain their impressive start to the WSL by beating newly promoted Aston Villa 6-0 at the Walsall’s Bescot Stadium. 

Indeed, this victory marked a brilliant week for Willie Kirk’s side, which also secured their spot in the FA Cup final by overcoming League Champions Chelsea and two-time cup winners Birmingham City to set up an encounter with Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City. 

The Australian international Hayley Raso opened the scoring for the Toffees in the 20thminute, before quickly making it two by pouncing on a goalkeeping error from Villa keeper Lisa Weiss.

Things went from bad to worse for Gemma Davies’ team as Claire Emslie added a third for the Merseyside club with a curling 20 yard effort before Valerie Gauvin finished off a fine counter attacking move for Everton’s fourth, five minutes before half time. 

The second half saw Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah’s attempted cross sail in and Emslie rounded off the scoring with her second of the game and the Toffee’s sixth. 

Champions Chelsea return to winning ways

Emma Hayes’ West London side secured a hard fought 1-0 at Birmingham thanks to England international Fran Kirby.  

Kirby headed in Scotland’s Erin Cuthbert’s free kick after eight minutes to ensure Chelsea maintained their unbeaten start in the league. 

Beth England should have added a second for the Blues but it was controversially ruled out for offside. 

In Carla Ward’s third match in charge of Birmingham, they did almost manage to snatch a point late on as Claudia Walker headed Harriet Scott’s cross-just wide. 

Ward, however, is still waiting for her first WSL victory in charge of her new team. 

Chloe Kelly stars for Manchester City

This weekend, meanwhile, also proved a good weekend for former Everton striker Chloe Kelly

Kelly helped her new club, Manchester City, to a 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur by scoring two goals.  The first was a terrific effort from outside the area and the second was from the penalty spot.

American international Sam Mewis, also capped off an impressive week for her new club with her second goal in the space of four days and England striker Ellen White headed in City’s fourth.  

Anna Filbey scored a late consolation for the North London based club, who were still without marque signing Alex Morgan as she still is working her way up to match sharpness, having not played a competitive game for over a year. 

The Gunners go top of the WSL

Arsenal recovered from conceding an early goal to Bristol City to secure a 3-1 win.   

Jordan Nobbs equalised for Joe Montemurro’s team just before half-time, before Caitlin Foord made it two early in the second half, to ensure that she maintained her impressive early season form.

Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema sealed the victory for the Gunners late on after running onto Beth Mead’s through ball before using the outside of her foot to guide the ball past Sophie Baggaley in the Bristol City goal. 

Alessia Russo scores on Manchester United debut

England striker Alessia Russo marked her first start for Casey Stoney’s United with a terrific solo goal as the Red Devils secured a 3-0 win over Hope Powell’s Brighton.  

The Seagulls never looked liked getting anything from this one as Ellie Toone’s early penalty helped set United up to clinch a second consecutive victory in the Women Super League. 

The Royals edge past the Hammers at Dagenham

Elsewhere, a goal from Lauren Bruton gave Reading a 1-0 victory at West Ham.

Bruton was able to convert Natasha Harding’s cross in the 26thminute of the game, but the result was however marred by an injury to their influential midfielder, Fara Williams.

West Ham, meanwhile, in the second half missed a terrific chance to secure a share of the spoils as Royals’ keeper, Grace Moloney, saved Kenza Dali’s penalty.  

What next?

The fourth round of matches features an intriguing encounter as Champions Chelsea host last season’s runners-up Manchester City, while league leaders Arsenal travel to Brighton. 

Everton will look to maintain their unbeaten start as they host West Ham United and Casey Stoney’s Manchester United travel to face Tottenham Hotspur. 

Elsewhere, newly promoted Aston Villa are away at Bristol City and Reading host Carla Ward’s Birmingham City.  

Saturday 10thOctober

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United (12:30pm)

Sunday 11thOctober

Brighton and Hove Albion vs Arsenal (12:30pm)

Everton vs West Ham United (1pm)

Bristol City vs Aston Villa (2pm)

Reading vs Birmingham City (2pm)

Chelsea vs Manchester City (2:30pm)

Manchester city book wembley place

Manchester City secured their place in the FA Cup Final with a 2-1 win over Arsenal at The Academy Stadium. Sam Mewis scored the winner with her first goal in English football. Steph Houghton had given City the lead before a stunning strike from Jordan Nobbs leveled the game.

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro commented during his pre match interview that the game would go to who took control early. This turned out to be the case as City started the brightest, getting their passing game going early. Arsenal struggled to gain a foothold in the early exchanges.

City Start strong

City created some early half chances Mewis shooting wide after some good interplay with Lucy Bronze. Sam Mewis was pulling the strings in midfield linking up well with Chole Kelly as City continue to work down the right side. A long cross field pass from Houghton finding Kelly deep inside the Arsenal half, but her shot from the right side went over the bar.

Despite their good work down the right, City’s opening goal came from the left. City won a freekick five/six yards from the Arsenal 18 yard box, just left of the goal. Houghton fired the ball over the wall and into the corner of the goal giving Arsenal keeper Zinsberger no chance.

City 1-0 Arsenal 19′

Arsenal struggling to get their passing flowing and were chasing shadows for long periods of the first half. Vivianne Miedema cut a lonely figure as the Gunners were unable to get the dutch forward in to the game. They did get level slightly against the run of play. Jordan Nobbs with a stunning first time strike looping the ball up and over Ellie Roebuck from 30 yards.

City 1-1 Arsenal 38′

Arsenals parity lasted just two minutes as City fired straight back. A fast pass cross along the six yard box form Chole Kelly towards the incoming Ellen White, who was blocked from goal by Leah Williamson. White managed to play the ball back towards the incoming Mewis who fired home. Arsenal players clamed a handball as White pulled the ball back but the referee gave the goal.

City 2-1 Arsenal 40′

Arsenal pressed for a second equaliser in the second half, Miedema latched on to a through ball and looked to be clear. Demi Stokes followed the run and made a superb challenge in the box, forcing Miedema inside but Stokes was there again to deny the Arsenal forward.

Arsenal kept going and had their best chance in stoppage time. A McCabe free kick straight into the wall fell back to her and she drove into the city box. Whipping a cross along the city six yard box towards Miedema charging in for a free header. With the goal wide open for Miedema to level the game, City keeper Ellie Roebuck’s outstretched hand pushed the ball away from the Arsenal player.

Full-Time City 2-1 Arsenal

After the game Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro told BBC Two:

“They dominated the first 60 minutes, they were better than us and we have no excuses”. “Its disappointing because we had the capacity to play well but tonight wasn’t the night”.

Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs also offered no excuse telling BBC Two:

“They dominated in the first half and were the better team. We didn’t keep the ball very well at times but in the second half we showed we can play football and if we played like that in the first half we would have been the better team”.

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor said:

“We played really well in the first half and I was really impressed with the performance and it could arguably have been a bigger lead going into half time”.

Speaking to BBC Two he went on:

“Arsenal had a really good go in the second half and it was fairly tight at the end but we came through”.

A deserved win for Manchester City that sees them head to Wembley to face Everton in the final. Arsenal gave a decent showing in the second half but overall the better team won.

Player of the Match

Sam Mewis gave a player of the match performance getting the winning goal but also pulling the strings in the middle of the park. She linked up well with Chole Kelly and looks to be one of the star players in the WSL this season.