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Women's Manchester derby: The best ever moments - ranked

Ali Rampling
Ellie Roebuck celebrates in the WSL's first ever Manchester derby
Ellie Roebuck celebrates in the WSL's first ever Manchester derby / George Wood/GettyImages
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Despite Manchester City and Manchester United only meeting for the first time as professional sides in 2019, the Manchester derby has already established itself as one of the WSL's most hotly contested rivalries.

The fixture may still be in its infancy, but it already boasts a back catalogue of stunning goals, dramatic comebacks and entertaining encounters.

Here are the greatest ever Manchester derby moments to date.


10. Laura Coombs nets a stunner - November 2020

The first Manchester derby of the 2020/21 season was an absolute corker (more on that later), and Laura Coombs was in the thick of the action as she doubled City's advantage on the stroke of half time.

The midfielder unleashed a fierce strike on the edge of the area, with the Covid-enforced lack of spectators resulting in a very satisfying thwack as the ball found the top corner.


9. Manchester City triumph in five-goal FA Cup thriller - January 2020

Ellen White
Ellen White scored twice to seal an FA Cup victory for City / Morgan Harlow/GettyImages

City and United met in English football's most prestigious cup competition for the first time in 2020, and served up an all-action matchup.

Ellen White was the hero as she netted a brace to give City a comfortable 2-0 lead, before the introduction of Lauren James kickstarted the United comeback. The striker pulled one back for United, who then thought they'd levelled moments later but Abbie McManus' effort was judged to not have crossed the line.

There was still time for Jill Scott to get on the scoresheet and Lauren Hemp to put one in her own net before the game was out.


8. United and City play out dramatic 2-2 draw - October 2021

The first Manchester derby of the 2021/22 WSL season had a bit of everything; a red card, a flurry of late goals and plenty of drama.

Georgia Stanway was dismissed for an ugly challenge in the first half, but despite being a player down City found themselves a goal up at half time thanks to Khadija Shaw.

United turned the game on its head in the space of three second half minutes, Lucy Staniforth equalising before Alessia Russo curved one in from the edge of the area to give the hosts the lead. White tapped in the rebound after Jess Park's audacious long range effort had rattled the bar 11 minutes from time to bring an end to a frantic encounter.


7. Katie Zelem's fabulous free kick - October 2019

This trademark Katie Zelem free-kick©️ is a contender for United's October Goal of the Month award! Get voting here: http://manutd.co/D82

Posted by Manchester United Women's Team on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Katie Zelem had the honour of scoring United's first ever goal against City since the club reformed in 2018 - and what a goal it was.

The United midfielder bent home a sumptuous first half free kick in the pair's 2019 Continental Cup encounter, giving Ellie Roebuck in the City goal absolutely no chance.


6. Manchester United secure first derby win - October 2019

Jess Sigsworth
United have beaten City twice in the Continental Cup / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages

United registered their first win over City since the women's team's 2018 reform with a 2-0 victory in the 2019/20 Continental Cup group stages.

Zelem kicked off proceedings in style with a stunning free kick, and Jess Sigsworth sealed the win with a near post finish in the second half. Keira Walsh saw red for a hefty challenge late on.


5. Tobin Heath's mind bending goal - November 2020

The November 2020 WSL meeting between City and United was a scintillating affair (more on that later), and Tobin Heath netted the goal of the game to spark her side's comeback.

The USWNT icon capitalised on a loose City pass and with her first touch sent a fierce, swerving effort into the top corner.


4. Caroline Weir's outrageous chip - February 2021

Manchester City ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in the WSL's second Manchester derby of the 2020/21 season, and Caroline Weir put the icing on the victory with a quite frankly outrageous piece of skill.

On the edge of the United area, the midfielder had the vision to spot Mary Earps marginally off her line, the sheer nerve to attempt to chip the United keeper, and the endless technical ability to actually pull it off.

Cheeky, audacious, sublime from the Scotland international, it earned her a Puskas nomination - and it's not even the best goal she's scored in the Manchester derby...


3. Manchester United complete comeback in classic encounter - November 2020

The November 2020 WSL matchup between United and City is an all-time classic encounter. United were the league's form side at the time, while City were beginning to find their groove under new boss Gareth Taylor.

City led 2-0 at the break thanks to Chloe Kelly's improvised finish and Coombs' wonderful solo effort, only for a much improved United to leap into action in the second half. Heath kickstarted the comeback with a stunning finish of her own, before Kirsty Hanson popped up with the equaliser 16 minutes from time. And breathe.


2. Caroline Weir replicates outrageous chip - February 2022

Practically a year from the day that Weir put the icing on City's 3-0 victory over United in 2021, she came off the bench to net the winner in almost identical circumstances.

With the score finely poised at 0-0, the Scotland international won possession back for her side and then had the absolute cheek to attempt to chip Earps again.

As the ball hits the back of the net, you gasp twice - firstly at the quality of the goal, and secondly when you realise it's Weir and she's only gone and done it again.


1. Caroline Weir nets memorable Etihad winner

The opening day of the 2019/20 WSL season was a Saturday to savour. Buoyed by the success of the 2019 Women's World Cup, an all-time high league attendance of 31,000 poured into the Etihad Stadium for the WSL's first ever Manchester derby.

Weir conjured up a moment of magic befitting of the occasion, sending an absolute rocket of a strike soaring into the top corner as City ran out 1-0 winners. The goal would go on to be nominated for the Puskas Award.

The occasion, the stage, the crowd and the outrageous quality of the strike ensure Weir will go down in Manchester derby folklore.


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