Manchester City Women 1-0 Chelsea Ladies: Duggan fires City past Chelsea

Toni Duggan's first half strike and Karen Bardsley's terrific performance in goal proved to be the difference as Manchester City defeated Chelsea at the Academy Stadium.

City dominate the ball

The hosts came out playing the football of champions. City's interlocking passing between the full-backs and the midfield made for some pretty great combinations in the first fifteen minutes, but the delivery into the final third lacked any real cutting edge.

Chelsea's back-line did well in the most part to clear away the slew of crosses from both Lucy Bronze and Demi Stokes, but with the form of the home side it seemed if the opener from the Manchester club was imminent.

City's pressure finally paid off when Toni Duggan dribbled two Blues, spun, and shot the ball into the back of the Chelsea net to give the home side a one-nil lead. Steph Houghton's free-kick then rattled the cross bar in the 36th minute, almost doubling City's lead.

Chelsea's vest chance at goal in the first half came from Bethany England, though her effort chance was saved by City's Bardsley. The Blues failed to have much thrown at the opposition 'keeper, although Crystal Dunn almost caught the experienced Bardsley out.

The US International gave the home side a scare when she slid and made contact with the ball, albeit for the desperate effort to go out for a goal kick. In the end, City went into the break with the lead.

Second half push

The visitors put a slow and uninspired first half behind them by dominating play to open the second half. The Chelsea Ladies' passing and tempo caused for Bardsley to come off the line to save two chances in the first twenty minutes.

The visitors were given a gift when City's second goal was disallowed for not having touched any player from a trademark Megan Campbell throw-in.

Drew Spence had the bulk of Chelsea's quality chances in the final quarter of the match, with attempts on goal coming back to back in the 72nd and 75th minute. Millie Bright's deflection off a free kick also gave the chance for the visitors to steal a point, but England's number one insured that the home side would take all three points from the match.

Manchester City Women host Arsenal on Sunday while Chlesea are at home to face Liverpool.