Wasteful City punished as Brighton claim historic win
Brighton dealt Manchester City a crushing blow to their WSL title hopes with a smash-and-grab style 1-0 victory, where two former City players combined to score the only goal of the game.
Pauline Bremer, signed from Wolfsburg in the summer, escaped down the left to find Geum-Min Lee unmarked at the back post in the 81st minute, as Brighton soaked up untold pressure before launching an impressive match-winning counter offensive.
Perhaps the victory will have been made all the sweeter by the fact both players were once on the books of City, but in truth the hero of the afternoon was another former Manchester resident Sophie Baggaley – who joined the Seagulls from Manchester United in the summer.
The goalkeeper touched the ball 49 times – far more than is desirable for a ‘keeper – and faced a total of 13 shots on target, but was equal to each and every one of them, denying Bunny Shaw and Chloe Kelly on numerous occasions.
City huffed and puffed, and were particularly bright in their build-up play, composed and patient too, but simply couldn’t beat a formidable Baggaley, as Brighton registered one of their greatest ever WSL triumphs.
As a result, Gareth Taylor’s side, who only have themselves to blame for wastefulness in the final third, have slumped to back-to-back league defeats for the first time since the start of last season and drop to fifth, while Brighton rise to seventh – three points behind.
Man Utd hit five past West Ham
Manchester United swept past West Ham with a 5-0 win at Leigh Sports Village.
It took just three minutes for Geyse to find the net for her first WSL goal. Mackenzie Arnold came off her line to collect Hinata Miyazawa’s attempt, but the Brazilian was lurking to nod home the opener.
Millie Turner then netted a rare goal, but it was one of real quality. She collected the ball on the left after a super surging run before curling a lovely effort into the far corner.
Nikita Parris then followed up her hat-trick in midweek Conti Cup action with a goal late in the first half. She made a brilliant run in the box to latch on to Ella Toone’s superb pass, before slotting past Arnold.
West Ham kept the hosts at bay for much of the second half, but United added two quick goals as the game drew to a close. The first was from Lucia Garcia, who was afforded far too much time to set herself before sending a low shot into the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Melvine Malard added the fifth. Arnold initially did well to save Garcia’s stinging effort from a corner, but Malard was lurking to poke home and seal a fine three points for Marc Skinner’s side.
Spurs held after Liverpool comeback
Tottenham and Liverpool shared the points in an entertaining encounter in London, which ended 1-1.
The pair went into the game level on 10 points, with Matt Beard’s Reds just ahead in third on goal difference.
Spurs took the advantage in the first half, as Celin Bizet Ildhusoy scored a fine solo goal. She won the midfield battle in her own half, driving forward before hammering past Rachel Laws.
Liverpool were guilty of wasting a series of chances in the opening 45 minutes with Sophie Roman Haug and Marie Hobinger both firing wide. But the Reds could have given away a late own goal, but Jenna Clark luckily directed Bizet’s effort onto the post.
The Reds finally found the net in the 66th minute. Yana Daniels had been on for a matter of minutes before she swept a fine cross into the area, where Roman Haug rose between two defenders to plant her header decisively.
It seemed to give Tottenham the impetus they needed to score another, but Laws made two fine saves to deny Jess Naz and Grace Clinton, with Gemma Bonner twice firing wide at the other end for Liverpool.
The game then ended on a sour note for Spurs as midfielder Olga Ahtinen was stretched off with what appeared to be a nasty knee injury.