Manchester City 1-0 Reading: Chloe Kelly the late heroine at the CFA

Manchester City kept up their WSL title hopes with a late win over Reading at the City Football Academy.

It had looked as if the match would end as a goalless draw, but a partnership of Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly resulted in an 88th-minute opener.

The game

 

In both halves, Manchester City were ultimately their own worst enemy as they consistently failed to please in front of goal, yet the result was rescued by Chloe Kelly.

In the dying minutes of the game, Lauren Hemp danced through the defence before squaring it to Kelly who tapped past Grace Moloney.

An argument could possibly be made that the windswept conditions at the Academy Stadium made it difficult for the blues to utilise their usual crossing football, but nevertheless, they should have done better.

First, Rose Lavelle was denied by Grace Moloney. Then Caroline Weir wasn't able to curl her shot into an open net from outside of the box. Lucy Bronze, Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp also found themselves squandering good opportunities to score.

On occasion, Reading broke forward and caused their own threats, the largest of which was when Amalie Eikeland was denied only by the foot of Ellie Roebuck, who made herself big to equal the shot.

Without Steph Houghton, whose injury woes will keep her sidelined for at least another fortnight, a central pairing of Alex Greenwood and Abby Dahlkemper was instead opted for.

They did not find themselves having to do much work, but they still marshalled the side from the back as City focussed on their build-up play.

In the second half, Reading came out revitalised after being on the back foot for the majority of the first period and began to move forwards, but only for a short period of time.

Manchester City brought on Ellen White in an attempt to bolster their chances in front of goal, but it was two starters who combined to earn the victory.

Takeaways from the match

City not clinical enough

Manchester City's finishing woes were firmly on display as they failed to put the ball into the back of the net until the dying minutes of the game.

There were a number of times in which they should have scored, yet they often failed to do so.

Grace Moloney excells

Reading and Ireland goalkeeper Grace Moloney proved her worth as she consistently kept out Manchester City's attacks.

City's own attacking issues did not help their efforts, but Reading's shot-stopper did just that and provided solidity in goal.

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