Spurs Women strike late to stun City
Manchester City Women 1-2 Spurs Women
Sun 12 September 2021, 22:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Women fought back in spectacular fashion, coming from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Academy Stadium in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Sunday (12 September).
A second-half goal from Rachel Williams and a late own goal by goalkeeper Karima Benameur Taieb amid deflections in the box handed City their first home loss in 33 games after Lauren Hemp had given them an early lead from a corner.
It marked our first-ever victory over City and was one of our most significant results since earning promotion to the WSL in 2019.
Rehanne Skinner made two changes from the side that beat Birmingham City 1-0 last weekend at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Summer signing Kyah Simon made her debut in place of Kit Graham, while Becky Spencer made her first start of the campaign in goal, marking the occasion with a string of fine saves to contribute to the victory.
The hosts got off to a quick start as Hemp converted an Alex Greenwood corner with a looping header to make it 1-0. After an unfortunate coming together between Ashleigh Neville and Esme Morgan shortly after the goal, the City defender was stretchered off - we wish her a speedy recovery.
City came close twice in quick succession mid-way through the first half. First Janine Beckie struck the post with a low effort, before Ellen White was denied superbly by Spencer, who tipped the forward’s close-range effort over the crossbar. Spencer then kept out former Spur Alanna Kennedy’s header which looked destined for the back of the net in added time with an outstretched left palm.
Ria Percival broke in behind the City defence 10 minutes into the second half but she couldn’t direct her angled shot either side of Benameur Taieb.
We managed to level the scores just minutes later when substitute Kit Graham released Chioma Ugobagu down the left, she cut the ball back across the area and it was turned in by Williams.
Jess Naz had a glorious opportunity to put us ahead after Williams slipped her in behind the City back line, but she was unable to steer her low effort on target. As the second half progressed, City pressed for a winning goal but saw their attempts shut out by Spencer who pushed out a long-range attempt from Jess Park.
We then took the lead in the 86th minute, completing our comeback in dramatic fashion. Angela Addison swung a cross into the box which was met by Rosella Ayane and deflected off of Steph Houghton before hitting the post, the ball rebounding onto Benameur Taieb and ending up in the back of the net.
In the seven additional minutes added on, Spencer made another great save to this time deny Khadija Shaw, before White sent a header wide.
We defended our lead superbly as the clock ticked away, the result leaving us in fourth place in the WSL with maximum points from our opening two games. Our next match is after the international break against Reading on 26 September at the Hive.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'It took a lot of resilience and character'
Rehanne told Spurs TV after the game: "I’m just delighted for the players and for the staff. Everybody’s worked really hard in pre-season, we probably weren’t quite where we wanted to be last week (against Birmingham City) and so today, we’ve come out and wanted to put on a performance that the players knew we were capable of. It took a lot of resilience and character and we had to do a lot of the stuff that people don’t really talk about very often in order to get a result. I’m so proud of the way the players applied themselves, I couldn’t have asked for any more from them."
Highlights on Spurs TV
Manchester City Women 1-2 Spurs Women
Manchester City Women: Benameur Taieb, Greenwood, Houghton (c), Coombs, Stanway, Beckie (Park 62), Morgan (Angeldahl 15), Hemp, Losada, White, Kennedy (Shaw 73). Substitutes (not used): Keating, Stokes, Scott, Mace.
Spurs Women: Spencer, Zadorsky (c) (Harrop 90+5), Green (Ubogagu 46), Bartrip, Naz (Addison 82), Williams (Ayane 81), Percival, Ale, Simon (Graham 61) , Clemaron, Neville. Substitutes (not used): Korpela, Morgan, Cho, Tang.
Goals: Manchester City - Hemp 5; Spurs - Williams 61, Benameur Taieb (OG) 86.
Yellow cards: Manchester City - Morgan 11; Spurs - Neville 90+6.
Referee: Abigail Byrne.
Venue: Academy Stadium.
Weather: Raining, 16 degrees at kick-off.