Man City 2-1 Arsenal WSL: Player ratings as City leapfrog Gunners into third

Ali Rampling
City ran out 2-1 winners over Arsenal
City ran out 2-1 winners over Arsenal / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Manchester City leapfrogged Arsenal into the WSL's final Champions League spot with a 2-1 victory at the Academy Stadium on Saturday.

A combination of City being superb and Arsenal being dismal saw the hosts take a 2-0 half time lead thanks to goals from Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly.

The Gunners improved in the second and a Rafaelle header after an hour offered them a glimmer of hope. However, Jonas Eidevall's side didn't do enough to find an equaliser, and City ran out deserved winners.

Arsenal spent much of the opening exchanges in the City half, Frida Maanum fizzing an effort narrowly wide from range after winning the ball back on the edge of the City box. However, it would be a rare sighting of goal for the Gunners in an opening 45 that City dominated.

The hosts took the lead after just four minutes, Kelly's teasing low cross poked home at the back post by Hemp after the Cityzens had regained possession on the edge of the Arsenal box.

The Gunners were frequently guilty of playing themselves into trouble, and City should have capitalised to double their advantage. Lotte Wubben-Moy gifted the ball to Bunny Shaw, but Manuela Zinsberger stood her ground to keep out the forward when one v one.

Leah Williamson was the culprit as Arsenal again shot themselves in the foot when attempting to play out from the back, but Kelly was denied by the feet of Zinsberger.

Fillipa Angeldahl saw a stinging strike from the edge of the box palmed away by the stretching Arsenal keeper, and Zinsberger was again on hand to come to her side's rescue, staying on her feet to prevent Shaw from rounding her after the City striker had been played through by Kelly.

City deservedly added a second before the first half was out - and again Arsenal had no one but themselves to blame. Shaw dispossessed Wubben-Moy and charged towards goal, before putting it on a plate for Kelly to apply the finishing touch.

The Gunners made a pair of changes and reverted back to a back four at half time in an attempt to salvage something from the game. The impact was almost instant, Stina Blackstenius latching onto a superb ball in behind from Williamson and beating Steph Houghton for pace, before rattling the post.

Arsenal did halve the deficit just before the hour mark, Rafaelle rising unchallenged to head home Maanum's free kick to set up an exciting final 30.

Yui Hasegawa cracked the crossbar with a rocket from the edge of the area, while Alex Greenwood made a superb last ditch tackle to keep out Gio Queiroz at the other end as City secured all three points and moved into third.

Manchester City (4-3-3)

Ellie Roebuck
Roebuck returned to the City starting XI / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

GK: Ellie Roebuck - 6/10 - Comfortably held onto a Little effort from range in a quiet first half, and read a potentially dangerous Walti ball in behind well in the second.

RB: Kerstin Casparij - 7/10 - Did a really good defensive job on the usually destructive Foord in the first half, with the Australia international not returning for the second.

CB: Steph Houghton - 6/10 - Solid defensively and strong playing out from the back in the first half. Appeared to lose the run of Rafaelle in the build up to Arsenal's opening goal, before making a big block to keep out Maanum.

CB: Alex Greenwood - 7/10 - Won the ball back with a high press deep in the Arsenal half in the build up to City's opener. Solid defensively, making a superb challenge to deny Gio in the second half.

LB: Laia Aleixandri - 7/10 - Did a good defensive job on Pelova in the first half. Steady defensively, tidy in possession and strong playing out from the back and breaking the lines.

CM: Yui Hasegawa - 9/10 - Fed Kelly in the build up to City's opener and was the beating heart of the City midfield, so effortlessly good in possession when under pressure in her own half, helping the hosts play out time and time again. Read the game so well to break up play.

CM: Laura Coombs - 6/10 - Denied a goal by a Williamson block in the second half. Smart on the ball, helped City dominate the midfield in the first half.

CM: Filippa Angeldahl - 8/10 - Saw a fizzing effort palmed away by Zinsberger in the first half, and drove City forward with her bursts from midfield, really impressing with her ability to wriggle away from challenges.

RW: Chloe Kelly - 9/10 - Set up City's opener with a fabulous, low cross to the back post, evading the Arsenal backline and finding Hemp, before getting on the scoresheet herself. Lively throughout, a real threat.

ST: Bunny Shaw - 7/10 - Missed a huge chance to double City's lead in the first half, blasting straight at Zinsberger when one v one. Redeemed herself by unselfishly slipping in Kelly for City's second.

LW: Lauren Hemp - 8/10 - Ghosted in at the back post to tap home City's opener and was a live wire throughout.


SUB: Hayley Raso (91' for Kelly) - N/A

Arsenal (3-4-3)

Leah Williamson, Laura Coombs
Leah Williamson started as part of an Arsenal back three / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

GK: Manuela Zinsberger - 7/10 - Question marks over whether she could have claimed Kelly's cross in the build up to City's opener, but went on to have an inspired first half, making big saves to deny Shaw, Kelly and Angeldahl to bail her side out of trouble.

CB: Rafaelle - 6/10 - Had a tough time against Kelly in the first half, but looked more assured after moving into a back two. Halved the deficit by finding the bottom corner with a powerful header.

CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy - 4/10 - Fortunate to not be punished after being robbed by Shaw on the edge of her own box - but didn't learn her lesson as the exact same thing happened in the build up to City's second. Replaced at half time after looking well below par.

CB: Leah Williamson - 5/10 - Uncharacteristically sloppy in possession when playing out from the back in the first half. Improved in the second, playing Blackstenius through on goal with a superb lofted pass and making an important block to keep out Coombs.

RWB: Noelle Maritz - 5/10 - Lost the run of Hemp in the build up to City's opener and struggled to keep track of the City winger throughout. Found the head of Blackstenius for a rare Arsenal first half chance, and made an important intervention to keep out Hemp in the second.

CM: Kim Little - 6/10 - Saw a strike from the edge of the area comfortably saved. Good in tight spaces, but unable to have her usual impact on the game.

CM: Frida Maanum - 6/10 - Fizzed an effort from range narrowly wide, having worked the opening herself in the first half. Set up Arsenal's opener with a wicked set piece delivery onto the head of Rafaelle.

LWB: Steph Catley - 5/10 - Had a tough time of it up against the impressive Kelly, as City wreaked havoc down the right in the first half. Unable to get forward as frequently and dangerously as usual.

RW: Victoria Pelova - 5/10 - Kept quiet in the first half, before switching to the left flank in the second, where she was again pretty quiet, before being replaced with 20 minutes remaining.

ST: Stina Blackstenius - 5/10 - Lost possession in her own half in the build up to City's opener. Mistimed a header with her first clear sighting of goal. Rattled the upright when one v one early in the second half.

LW: Caitlin Foord - 5/10 - Struggled to get into the game and have her usual impact on proceedings, before being replaced at half time.


SUB: Katie McCabe (46' for Foord) - 5/10

SUB: Lia Walti (46' for Wubben-Moy) - 5/10

SUB: Kathrine Kuhl (69' for Pelova) - 5/10

SUB: Laura Wienroither (81' for Maritz) - 5/10

SUB: Gio Queiroz (81' for Blackstenius) - 5/10

Player of the Match: Chloe Kelly (Manchester City)