Manchester City were victorious in the first WSL Manchester derby as they ran out 1-0 winners over Manchester United on Saturday.
United started the game brightly and created the first clear cut opportunity of the game after 23 minutes. Leah Galton delivered an accurate cross into the path of Jane Ross, but the United striker was unable to divert the ball beyond Ellie Roebuck, who produced a stunning save to keep the scores level.
That saved proved to be vital as, shortly after the interval, City took the lead in spectacular style. Caroline Weir picked the ball up well outside the 18-yard-box and proceeded to slam the ball into the top corner, leaving Mary Earps grasping at thin air.
City dominated the game thereafter, but United were inches away from finding an equaliser with less than ten minutes remaining.
Key Talking Point
City enjoyed a decent 2018/19 season, but were unfortunate to fall short in the WSL, missing out on the title to Arsenal, despite only going the entire season unbeaten.
Starting XI: Roebuck (7); Mannion (6), Houghton (6), Bonner (6), Stokes (7); Scott (6), Walsh (6), Wullaert (6); Weir (8*), Stanway (6), Beckie (5).
Substitutes: Lee (N/A).
Star Player - Caroline Weir
It's only the first game of the WSL season, but you may be hard pressed to find a better goal throughout 2019/20.
Weir turned the game on its head in the second-half and provided a significant threat to the United goal with some sharp, incisive runs and neat footwork in and around the box. She was undoubtedly the game changer.
Key Talking Point
Casey Stoney's United side romped to victory in the WSL Championship last season, so they will be looking to establish themselves in the top flight during this campaign. Expectations will be realistic but, on the basis of their performance in this one, they could be capable of pulling off one or two surprises.
United were comfortably the better side during the first-half and had a number of decent chances to open the scoring, with the most significant being Ross' effort from close range which was brilliantly saved by Roebuck. City grew into the game and soon established their dominance, but Stoney will have plenty of positives to reflect on.
Starting XI: Earps (6), Okvist (6), McManus (6), M. Turner (6), Ladd (6); Groenen (7), Toone (6), Zalem (7); Galton (7), Sigsworth (6), Ross (5).
Substitutes: A. Turner (6), Hanson (N/A), James (N/A).
Star Player - Leah Galton
A tidy performance from Galton, who caused all sorts of problems for
Galton been the brightest spark from a United point of view. Caused havoc on the left for us.— Jake Davies (@jakedavi5) September 7, 2019
#MUWomen much the better team in that first 45 minutes. Galton & Oqvist giving #mancity fits down that left hand side.— Daniel Kerry (@DanKerry1991) September 7, 2019
Given the names in City's line-up United could well regret squandering those opportunities. #FAWSL
City will now turn their attentions to the Champions League as they face off against Lugano on Thursday, while United are back in WSL action against Arsenal next Monday.