Chelsea became the first side to take points off Manchester City this season, as the WSL 1 top of the table clash finished goalless.
Thursday 1st February
FA WSL 1
Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City (Att: 2,648)
The leaders suffered an early blow through, losing goalkeeper Karen Bardsley after she fell badly following a collision with Drew Spence in only the 3rd minute, Ellie Roebuck eventually replacing the England No.1 after a long delay.
A Fran Kirby threat was snuffed out by Jen Beattie and when Spence flicked the ball on, Ramona Bachmann’s strike was well held by City’s teenage substitute keeper.
At the other end, Nadia Nadim was inches from connecting with Mel Lawley’s cross and Abbie McManus’s glancing header from a corner missed the target.
After the break, Bachmann attempted a cheeky lob to the back post, to which Steph Houghton responded with a free-kick which dipped over the bar.
From a Spence ball Kirby shot inches wide but the Blues then also lost a player, Maren Mjelde replaced by Katie Chapman having not recovered from a Jill Scott tackle.
Kirby fired over the top but from a Spence effort Roebuck required as outstretched leg to deflect the danger.
Chelsea continued to press for a goal as Bachmann’s cross was almost turned in by Millie Bright, Spence’s flick header was only taken at the second attempt by Roebuck and Bachmann was then involved again, as her fierce shot was deflected over by the head of Beattie.
Claire Emslie was a late sub for City and almost set up a winner instantly but from her low delivery Nadim’s effort was blocked.
Into the final 5 minutes Dunn won a free-kick in a good position but City cleared and went straight up the other end, but Dunn won it back and Kirby had a go but hit it straight at Roebuck.
The goalless result means that Manchester City maintain a two-point lead at the top but still within striking distance of Chelsea, with the return game under a month away.