Man City 3-1 Brighton: Hot start keeps hosts in touch with WSL top three

Manchester City were rampant in the first half as they knocked out Brighton

Manchester City kept the pressure on the top three of the Women’s Super League with a comfortable home win against Brighton.

All three of the hosts’ goals came in the opening 26 minutes as fourth-placed Gareth Taylor’s side got off to a flying start at the Academy Stadium.

City were imperious in the first half with England striker Chloe Kelly at the heart of it all.

Kelly’s corner led to the first goal as Brighton keeper Megan Walsh escaped a legal catch and the ball went past Seagulls midfielder Veatriki Sarri in the 11th minute.

Julie Blakstad doubled the lead eight minutes later with a superb diving header to deflect Kelly’s left-footed cross shot into the bottom corner.

Then, with Brighton reeling, Laura Coombs added a 26th-minute third with a ferocious strike from 20 yards that gave Walsh no chance.

City could have increased their lead before the break and would have done so had it not been for a fine save from Walsh to keep Coombs in stoppage time, while Deyna Castellanos hit the post early in the second period.

Brighton improved a lot after the restart, however, and were rewarded for their efforts with Lee Geum-min’s scrambled consolation in the final minute.

The victory moved City within three points of Manchester United and Arsenal in second and third places, while Brighton fell to second.

Kelly shows star quality to torment Brighton

Chances are, Lionesses forward Kelly has already had the moment she will remember the most.

To score to win England in extra time at Wembley was truly a dream.

But at 24, Kelly has time to create plenty of other memorable moments, and on this show, you’d expect them not to be too far away.

Super sub in that famous triumph over Germany, everything she did against Brighton suggests Kelly can shine brighter on the international stage.

You had to feel Brighton left-back Poppy Pattinson with the way Kelly seemed to play with her throughout the first half, cutting inside one minute before passing her outside the next.

One particular run early in the game had Pattinson in such a tangle that it was impressive she even managed to stay on her feet.

With the match won, Kelly was retired on the hour mark, but still created seven chances in the match – four more than anyone else.

She might not have been able to top off her performance with purpose, but she was the ultimate creator, both for herself and for others.

Alignments

Manchester City Women

Training 4-3-3

  • 1deer
  • 2CasparijReplaced byMorganat 61′minutesBooked at 90 minutes
  • 4alexander
  • 5Green wood
  • 15OuahabiBooked at 52 mins
  • 25Hasegawa
  • tencastellanosReplaced bymassat 73′minutes
  • sevenCombesReplaced byAngeldahlat 45′minutes
  • 9KellyReplaced byrasoat 61′minutes
  • 21Shaw
  • 41Blakstad

Substitutes

  • 3Stokes
  • 6Houghton
  • 12Angeldahl
  • 13raso
  • 14Morgan
  • 22MacIver
  • 30mass
  • 33kennedy
  • 36hutches

Brighton Women

Training 4-4-2

  • 1Walsh
  • 2Fox
  • 20williams
  • 15Green
  • 3pattinson
  • 22Robinson
  • 8Connolly
  • tenOlme
  • sevenSarriBooked at 33 minsReplaced bybankedat 85′minutes
  • 18Carter
  • 9Lee

Substitutes

  • 11Terland
  • 12banked
  • 13Stott
  • 14To park
  • 17Symonds
  • 23Jarvis
  • 40start

Arbitrator:
Cheryl Foster

Presence:
1,696

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