Citizens continue promising league start
Manchester City Women continued their 100% start to the new FA WSL campaign with an entertaining 2-0 home win over title challengers Arsenal Ladies. With both sides fielding strong starting line-up's, it was clear that neither was willing to relinquish points in a game that promised to be an Easter Monday cracker.
Arsenal come close before Rose's controversial dismissal
Fara Williams saw her free-kick effort cannon back off the crossbar after ten minutes, before Jemma Rose was controversially given her marching orders after a clash with Jane Ross. On first viewing, it seemed a definite freekick because of the contact, but not much else in-between. Referee, Michael Salisbury, was quick to brandish the red card, and although it was harsh, his judgment was probably hindered by the fact Rose was the last defender between Jane and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.
Demi Stokes forced an unorthodox save from van Veenendaal minutes later, and it was clear that the momentum shifted slightly as the visitors' boss, Pedro Martinez Losa, sacrificed Danielle Carter in place of some defensive cover - in the form of Leah Williamson. Lucy Bronze and Ross both came close, the latter saw a header flash wide after the fullback's delivery evaded the visitors' backline.
Toni Duggan struck the post on the stroke of half-time after some well-worked play in the final third, and the referee eventually blew his whistle to signal the end of an unpredictable 45 minutes in Manchester. Asisat Oshoala was replaced at the break in place of the versatile Dominique Janssen, whilst the hosts came close twice in quick succession at the start of the second-half.
Nikita Parris was denied by a save from close-range by van Veenendaal whilst Duggan was unfortunate not to break the deadlock too. But eventually, after all of their pressure, the scoring was opened by Ross. Tireless work on the flank saw Duggan dispossess Williamson, before her cross met Ross' head - leaving van Veenendaal helpless. Kosovare Asllani forced an excellent diving stop shortly afterward, before Parris was bundled down in the area - and Duggan cooly dispatched her spot-kick to double the lead.
This result leaves the visitors scratching their head, especially after a morale-boosting victory over Reading the previous week. As for the Citizens, they will be definitely happy with snatching all three points. Chelsea's intriguing clash against Liverpool was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, so as it stands, the sky Blues are atop the FA WSL table.