Manchester City Women 2-2 Chelsea Women
A late world-class save from Chelsea’s Ann-Katrin Berger preserved an invaluable point at Manchester City and kept the reigning champions in position to defend their Women’s Super League title.
The German goalkeeper showed incredible reactions as she tipped a Lauren Hemp header onto the bar from a corner in the 79th minute, soon after the City forward had equalised in a dramatic game.
As Chelsea began two points ahead, City needed the win more and showed their intent early with Chloe Kelly and Sam Mewis both making inroads down the right.
Chelsea worked their way into the game and Sam Kerr headed them in front in the 25th minute when she powered Erin Cuthbert’s corner in past Alex Greenwood on the line for her league-leading 18th goal of the season.Embed from Getty Images
With respective centre-back captains, Steph Houghton and Magdalena Eriksson, missing through injury both sides looked susceptible at the back, and after Kerr fired wide minutes later, City responded with a 29th minute equaliser as the game exploded into life.
Hemp drove down the left and when stand-in Chelsea captain Millie Bright failed to cut out the ball into the box Kelly was there to tap in.
The pace did not let up and when Kerr turned inside Greenwood on a solo run before nudging the ball past Roebuck, with the City keeper brought the Australian down for a 34th minute penalty.Embed from Getty Images
UEFA Player of the Year Pernille Harder stepped up to fire the Champions League semi-finalists back ahead.
FIFA Best Player Lucy Bronze almost hooked City level again four minutes later but a fantastic save from Berger tipped it over on her 50th Chelsea appearance.
Bright then under-hit a back-pass and almost let in Ellen White but Berger just about managed to clear as Chelsea took their lead into the half under heavy City pressure.
City maintained the pressure into the second half with Chelsea doing well to prevent clear chances and content to play on the break.
But the defensive work was undone when they gifted City the equaliser in the 74th minute.
Fran Kirby’s loose pass played in Kelly on the right and Bright mis-kicked her clearance on the cross, allowing Hemp to capitalise and slam home.
City sensed the opportunity for a crucial winner but Berger’s wonder-save kept them at bay.
As with the first, the half became end to end as Guro Reiten fired inches wide for Chelsea before Berger palmed away a shot from Caroline Weir.
Bronze headed narrowly wide with City’s final chance in injury time and Roebuck kept out Kerr in the final seconds as Chelsea held on.
There are two games remaining but Emma Hayes’ celebration as the final whistle went, and the dejection on the faces of the City players suggested the title is now Chelsea’s to lose.Embed from Getty Images