Manchester City returned to winning ways with a precious 4-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Broadfield Stadium.

Having lost to Chelsea (Continental Cup) and Spurs (FA Cup) in our previous two outings before the match, a victory in the Barclays Women’s Super League was imperative to maintain our fierce title bid.

In an evenly contested first half, Lauren Hemp broke the deadlock 15 minutes before the interval with a prodded effort– representing the England international’s ninth of the season in all competitions.

She was then joined on the scoresheet by Mary Fowler on the cusp of the break before Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw’s record-equalling 67th for the Club.

Laura Coombs then rubber-stamped the success when she drilled into the net with just over 10 minutes remaining before Lee Geum-min pulled a goal back in stoppage time.

It represented our 10th successive WSL win and means we are once again level on points with league leaders Chelsea, with only goal difference keeping us from the WSL’s summit.


Due to heavy rain the night before the clash, City arrived at a sodden Broadfield Stadium to complete our pre-match schedule.

Although the fixture was never in serious doubt, the meeting went ahead thanks to the hard-working ground staff who removed the bulk of standing water from the pitch.

The conditions meant Taylor’s team faced an uphill battle to play our effective, aesthetically pleasing passing football, though.

Regardless, the visitors started strongly and Hemp tested the hands of Sophie Baggaley inside seven minutes when she collected Alex Greenwood’s superb diagonal ball before the winger’s first-time effort was held.

In November’s reverse fixture, Brighton profited from a counter-attacking blueprint which saw them defend deep and hit City on turnovers to record a battling 1-0 win at the Joie Stadium.

Under the tutelage of interim boss Mikey Harris, the hosts looked to replicate that performance by thwarting the Blues’ attacks with heroic defending before looking to break quickly.

This almost paid dividends for Brighton when they regained possession in the middle of the pitch before the ball was slid into the path of Elisabeth Terland, who had just strayed into an offside position, before unleashing a powerful effort on goal.

This sparked Harris’ team’s best spell in the first half as they pinned City into our own half.

But we then took a page from the hosts’ book by igniting a clinical counter-attack of our own which saw Hemp receive a forward ball inside the box before expertly poking home to break the deadlock.

Not content with one goal before half-time, City relentlessly pushed for a second and found it on the cusp of the interval when Coombs’ pinpoint cross found Fowler who coolly slotted into the bottom corner.

Buoyed by our performance at the end of the first half, we restarted brightly and came agonisingly close to a third when Hemp chopped inside and curled an effort off the far post with Baggaley well beaten.

Brighton entered the meeting yet to win at home under interim boss Harris, but it appeared City wouldn’t be the first to fall against the former Portsmouth and Southampton youth coach’s side at Broadfield Stadium.

Taylor’s side continued to look more productive in attack and were denied a third by Baggaley’s brilliance who denied Greenwood’s venomous free-kick. 

We wouldn’t be kept out for long, though, when a clipped ball to the back post was met by Shaw who made no mistake with a close-range header. 

The Jamaican’s goal was her 17th of the season in all competitions and her 67th for the Club in total - matching Gerogia Stanway’s record City tally. 

Knowing goal difference could play a vital part in the title race, we kept our foot on the accelerator and extended our lead further when the ball fell to Coombs on the edge of the area, who drilled home.

However, undeterred by the scoreline, the hosts continued to hit City on the counter attack and pulled a goal back when our former forward Lee Geum-Min fired home from close range.

But it did little to dampen the visitors’ spirits, though, as we recorded our 10th-straight WSL victory.


A sublime performance by the England international, Hemp was often unplayable and broke the deadlock with an impressive, improvised finish. 

The winger was also the architect of much of City’s impressive attacking play and raised her goalscoring tally to nine this term in all competitions.


Gareth Taylor made one change to the team who lost on penalties to Spurs in the FA Cup last time out with Laura Coombs replacing Filippa Angeldahl in the engine room.

This meant Khiara Keating was protected by a backline of Kerstin Casparij, Laia Aleixandri, Alex Greenwood and Leila Ouahabi.

Coombs was joined in the centre of the field by Yui Hasegawa and Jess Park.

And Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw led the line with Lauren Hemp and Mary Fowler operating on the wings.

Brighton XI: Baggaley, Thorisdottir (Mengwen 46’), Bergsvand, Losada (C) (Symonds 62’), Zigiotti, Terland, Carabali (McEwen 82’), Kullberg, Pinto (Sarri 79’) Haley (Lee Guem-Min 62’), Robinson.

Unused substitutes: Johnson, Startup, Dent.

City XI: Keating, Casparij (Morgan 83’), Aleixandri (Kennedy 83’), Greenwood (C), Ouahabi, Hasegawa (Mace 83’), Park, Coombs (Blindkilde Brown 79’), Fowler, Bunny, Hemp (Kelly 79’).

Unused substitutes: MacIver, Stokes, Houghton, Pritchard.


City move to level points with league leaders Chelsea following the victory - with only goal difference keeping us from the WSL’s summit.


Our next assignment sees City lock horns with city-rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday 23 March, with kick-off scheduled for 12:30 (UK).

Tickets are still available to purchase ahead of the latest showdown between the teams, with adults priced from £10 and Under-18s from just £5.


For more information on how to secure your seat and cheer on Gareth Taylor’s side, click here.

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