Manchester City Women 3-3 Chelsea Women: points shared in pivotal tie
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Bethany England of Chelsea celebrates after scoring her team's third goal during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at The Academy Stadium on February 23, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

In what could prove to be a pivotal game in the Women's Super League title race, neither were victorious despite it being what was one of the most entertaining games of the season so far.

Story of the match

Chelsea came close to having the perfect start to the game just thirty seconds in. Guro Reiten broke past the defence on the right and slipped in Australian international Sam Kerr. Her shot was stopped by Ellie Roebuck at close range and Beth England failed to convert from inside of the six-yard box, her foot flying over the ball.

Despite Chelsea's dominance, Ellen White marked her 100th WSL game with the game's opening goal in the 22nd minute. After a period of strong attacking play from City that was only held out by the away side's impressive defence, Janine Beckie picked up the ball on the right-hand side of the box and fed in a pass that dissected the backline which was then was easily converted by White from close range and into the back of Ann-Katrin Berger's box.

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Of course, there is no usage of VAR in the Women's game, but White's goal is one that would have been a close call if the technology was available to the officials. She was playing on the shoulder of her defender, and although a tight call the linesman's flag stayed down.

Ji So-Yun pulled the scores back level as the clock was nearing the half-time mark. The ball fell to the South-Korean midfielder on the edge of the box who unleashed a wonderful dipping volley. A deflection off of the head of Demi Stokes and a hand from Ellie Roebuck helped to guide it into the bottom-right corner, but it was given as a goal to the Chelsea player.

Second Half

Manchester City youngster Georgia Stanway got the blues in front in the 60th minute, netting the 2000th goal the WSL history. Lauren Hemp had been one of the best City players all game, she ran down the left flank and fed a perfect curling ball into Stanway who fired home with power at the near post, leaving Ann-Katrin Berger with no opportunity to save.

It didn't take long for Chelsea to equalise. After a corner, the ball was fired back in and captain Magdelena Eriksson diving header saw put the ball into the net, via a very uncharacteristic fumble from Ellie Roebuck that saw the ball go straight through their hands.

In a game that just kept on giving, it was less than a minute later when Manchester City received a penalty when Caroline Weir was brought down in the box. Georgia Stanway stepped up, but her effort that was directed low and to the left was met by the hands of Berger.

To carry on the good run in the game from Chelsea, Beth England provided the away side with what was one of the goals of the season and brought them in front for the first time of the game. Running forward around 35 yards out from the goal, she let fly and her shot cannoned into the top-left corner of the goal.

Sunday's game was one that was more than eventful, and it took only three more minutes for another goal to be scored. With City struggling to get the ball onto the ground, Beckie brought it down and the interplay between herself and Weir resulted in Lauren Hemp receiving inside of the box, who slid on the ground and turned the ball into the back of the net.

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Manuela Zinzberger replaced the injured Ellie Roebuck in the final few minutes of extra-time.

Takeaways

Roebuck's mistake uncharacteristic

Replacing Karen Bardsley this season after she received an injury before the campaign started, Ellie Roebuck has now cemented herself as one of, if not the best goalkeepers in the WSL. In the match against Chelsea, she made a mistake and failed to hold onto the ball, letting in Chelsea's second, but was her usual self for the rest of the game.

She has been called up alongside Sandy MacIver and Carly Telford for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup, and she is one of the greatest shot-stoppers that Phil Neville has at his disposal. With Bardsley expected to be fit and Lee Alexander providing a new option, it will be a tough competition for the 20-year-old to get the spot in Tokyo.

Her current form will most likely be leaving her compatriot Bardsley looking over her shoulder, as it currently seems like it would not make much sense for Alan Mahon to replace Roebuck when the 35-year-old returns.

However, she will now be an injury worry for both. She was struggling before the game with a brace on her foot and was stretchered off of the pitch whilst in a lot of pain late on in the match. It will be interesting to see who now replaces her for the SheBelieves.

Chelsea's attack perfect

Emma Hayes' Chelsea side are up there with the best sides in the world for attacking prowess. A mixture of Ji, Kerr, England and Reiten has provided them with incredible firepower this season.

The Norweigan Guro Reiten was exceptional as always on the wing and helped to make a number of good chances for Chelsea, although not scoring herself before being substituted off in the second half.

Weir dominates for City

Phil Neville will have difficult a difficult enough time picking a Team GB squad to take to Tokyo for the Olympics this summer with the sheer number of strong midfield players available to him, but it would be incredibly surprising not to see the Scottish International on the teamsheet.

Her display for City on Sunday was brilliant, consistently controlling the midfield and her brilliant vision to pick out Janine Beckie was as much of a contributing factor to Ellen White's opener as the assist. 

Player of the match

Caroline Weir

The Scottish international is easily one of the greatest midfielders that Manchester City have, and was exceptional on Sunday. She played a very large part in the first and third goals for Alan Mahon's side, as well as being taken down to give the penalty which was eventually missed by Stanway.

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