Women's Football

Man Utd 1-4 Man City: Player ratings as Sky Blues win Manchester derby of two halves

Jamie Spencer
Man City blew Man Utd away in the second half in the FA Cup
Man City blew Man Utd away in the second half in the FA Cup / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages

Manchester City completed an emphatic second half comeback to beat Manchester United and progress to the quarter-finals of the Women’s FA Cup.

It may be a cliché but this was most definitely a game of two halves, with key substitutions from City manager Gareth Taylor ultimately proving decisive after Katie Zelem had scored direct from a corner to give United what had been a deserved half-time lead.

Quickfire goals in the second half from Lauren Hemp, Ellen White and Caroline Weir turned the game on its head, with Bunny Shaw adding to the rout later on.

City saw plenty of the ball early in the game but found it hard to beat the tenacious press in midfield, with United players quickly swarming around any sky blue shirt in possession. As such, the best early chances all went the way of the hosts. Maria Thorisdottir saw a close-range header loop over the crossbar from a dangerous corner taken by Zelem.

Only moments later, Ella Toone forced Ellie Roebuck into a top save, and it was from the resultant corner that United got their early goal. Again, Zelem’s delivery right into the six-yard box was on point, this time evading everyone before nestling in the far corner.

Martha Thomas later tested Roebuck’s handling with a low shot. Alex Greenwood also denied a certain second United goal with a crucial block from a Zelem attempt. City, meanwhile, had struggled to muster much in the way of clear chances by the time the interval came.

That changed once the game restarted as the hitherto sluggish visitors woke up. A double substitution from City saw Caroline Weir and Hayley Raso thrown into the contest, with the latter making an instant impact when she crossed for Hemp to turn in.

Then came the collapse as United gifted City two goals in quick succession. First, White gratefully latched onto a short header back from Hannah Blundell to fire her team into a lead, before Mary Earps failed to make what should have been an easy save at her post from Weir.

The goals were a severe body blow for United, handing full control to City, who went on to extend their lead to 4-1 in the closing stages when Shaw, another Taylor substitution, scored a tap-in rebound just 39 seconds after coming on.

Julie Blakstad thought she had added a fifth for City but it was ruled out for a foul on Ona Batlle.

Man Utd player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Mary Earps had a very poor moment in the second half
Mary Earps had a very poor moment in the second half / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages

Mary Earps (GK) - 3/10 - Didn't have much to do in the first half but made a grave error in the second that ultimately put the game beyond United.

Ona Batlle (RB) - 6/10 - Handled Hemp well in the first half, although she didn't get forward as often as she usually likes to.

Diane Caldwell (CB) - 5/10 - Stood tall in the first half but it seemed like City were starting to give her the run around later on.

Maria Thorisdottir (CB) - 5/10 - Should have scored at an early corner. Saw off White in a crucial 1vs1 moment when it was still 1-0.

Hannah Blundell (LB) - 4/10 - Seemingly panicked by Raso, her weak header was punished with City's second goal.

2. Midfielders

Katie Zelem (CM) - 6/10 - Looked up for it right from the start. Her set-piece delivery was also outstanding and she scored straight from a corner but struggled to keep up once City assumed control.

Jackie Groenen (CM) - 5/10 - All over City in the first half. On the back foot after that.

Ella Toone (AM) - 6/10 - Good with and without the ball. Won the corner that produced Zelem's goal and her presence in the six-yard box also caused enough panic to help it go in. Faded in the second half.

3. Forwards

Alessia Russo (RW) - 5/10 - Worked hard while she was on the pitch, although didn't get the joy she wanted while United were on top.

Martha Thomas (ST) - 6/10 - Willingly ran and pressed. Good link up play in the first half.

Leah Galton (LW) - 5/10 - Contained City well in the first half but arguably didn't do enough of the direct running that usually makes her so good.

4. Substitutes

Kirsty Hanson (RW) - 4/10 - The game was arguably already gone by the time she arrived and it was a big ask to change that.

Signe Bruun (ST) - 4/10 - Didn't get the service to make a difference.

Ivana Fuso (ST) - N/A

Vilde Boe Risa (CM) - N/A

Man City player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Ellie Roebuck (GK) - 5/10 - Will ask questions of herself over the early goal.

Lucy Bronze (RB) - 6/10 - Took a while to get going but her class eventually showed.

Alanna Kennedy (CB) - 6/10 - Looked nervy at times in the first half. More in control as City became stronger.

Alex Greenwood (CB) - 8/10 - Excellent distribution out from the back and was effectively City's quarterback.

Demi Stokes (LB) - 6/10 - Better in the second half like the rest of her team.

6. Midfielders

Keira Walsh (CM) - 6/10 - Didn't get any time on the ball in the opening 45 minutes. Once she could get her foot on the ball it was a factor in City growing in strength and confidence.

Vicky Losada (CM) - 4/10 - Couldn't gain a foothold or make an impact and only lasted 45 minutes.

Georgia Stanway (CM) - 6/10 - Off the pace early on but much better after the break. Showed her versatility later on as well.

7. Forwards

Jess Park (RW) - 4/10 - Struggled to get into the game in the opening 45 minutes and was taken off at half-time.

Ellen White (ST) - 7/10 - Had to feed off scraps in the first half but was sharp when her chance finally presented itself.

Lauren Hemp (LW) - 7/10 - Too quiet in the first half but changed that with a well-timed equaliser soon after the break.

8. Substitutes

Hayley Raso (RW) - 9/10 - Made a huge difference with her pace and energy. Set up the equaliser and forced the mistake for her team's second.

Caroline Weir (CM) - 9/10 - Has a reputation for scoring world class goals in this fixture but will still take a strike that killed the game off. Gave City what they were missing in the first half.

Julie Blakstad (CM) - 6/10 - Had the ball in the net but it was ruled out. Slotted in well and impressed.

Bunny Shaw (ST) - 7/10 - Scored a tap-in 39 seconds after coming on.

Filippa Angeldahl (CM) - N/A

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