Reds shown up by City’s ti­tle hope­fuls

YOUNG­STERS STAR IN EASY WIN

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Aaron Fowler

ISO­BEL CHRIS­TIANSEN be­lieves Manch­ester City’s vic­tory over Liver­pool at the Academy Sta­dium on Thurs­day shows her side have the strength of char­ac­ter to win the WSL 1 ti­tle.

Goals from Chris­tiansen and Natasha Hard­ing earned City a 2-0 win against the soon-to-be de­throned cham­pi­ons, mov­ing them two points be­hind cur­rent lead­ers Chelsea with two games re­main­ing.

It also ex­tended City’s un­beaten run to 13 matches and Chris­tiansen is im­pressed their form has not wa­vered with the pres­sure on, par­tic­u­larly with star for­ward Toni Dug­gan side­lined by an an­kle in­jury.

Per­for­mance

“The credit goes to the team.We’ve done ex­actly what we aimed to do at the start of the game and we did ex­cep­tion­ally well,” she said.

“We moved the ball around re­ally well and we scored two goals and I’m de­lighted we’ve man­aged to main­tain our form de­spite some bad in­juries.

“The coach has spo­ken to us about the busi­ness end of the sea­son and it’s im­por­tant we get re­sults and we’ve done that again with a great team per­for­mance un­der our belts.”

City’s fi­nal two league fix­tures are at home against bot­tom side Bristol Academy and FA Cup run­ners-up Notts County, while lead­ers Chelsea face a trip to Liver­pool be­fore host­ing fourth-placed Sun­der­land on the fi­nal day of the sea­son.

At the top of WSL 2, Don­caster Rovers con­ceded twice to throw away two points against Ever­ton, but midfielder Ka­sia Lipka be­lieves the league lead­ers will still achieve pro­mo­tion.

The Belles, three points clear of Read­ing and, cru­cially, nine points ahead of third­placed Yeovil Town, took the lead af­ter goals from Lipka and Court­ney Sweet­man-Kirk, be­fore Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah scored for the visi­tors.

Sweet­man-Kirk made it 3-1 in the 78th minute, but two late goals from El­lie Stewart and Boye-Hlorkah snatched an un­likely point.

Lipka, though, still ex­pects her team to at­tain pro­mo­tion.

“We were so dis­ap­pointed to have lost the win at the end like that,” said Lipka. “We thought we had done enough, but un­for­tu­nately we’ve grown com­pla­cent and let it slip.

“We’re still top of the league, so we feel there’s noth­ing re­ally to worry about. We’ve just got to push on, there’s only a few games left, we just have to keep the per­for­mances high.”

The draw was Ever­ton’s sec­ond in a week af­ter they were held at home by As­ton Villa on Sun­day.

Else­where in the di­vi­sion, Ox­ford United came from be­hind to se­cure a 3-2 away win at Mill­wall Lionesses.

United took an early lead through Destiney Touis­sant be­fore Lilli Maple and Rin­sola Babadige put the home side ahead.

Con­so­la­tion

Kat Nut­man then lev­elled be­fore Lau­ren Al­li­son com­pleted Ox­ford’s im­pres­sive come­back.

Natasha Knap­man's win­ner kept Yeovil’s faint pro­mo­tion hopes alive as they won 1-0 away at Durham last Sun­day.

In the top flight, goals from the im­pres­sive Gilly Fla­herty and Clare Raf­ferty helped Chelsea se­cure a 2-1 home vic­tory against Notts County.

In-form Jess Clarke scored a sec­ond-half con­so­la­tion goal for the visi­tors.

YOUNG STARS: Hard­ing, left, and Chris­tiansen, right, inspired Manch­ester City to a win against Liver­pool GOAL BURST: Don­caster’s Sweet­man-Kirk

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