City march closer to title with 2-0 win over Reading

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the WSL table with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Reading.

City created their first chance after just two minutes as Demi Stokes ran the length of the field playing in Jane Ross but WSL’s leading goalscorer fired just over. Two minutes later Ross turned provider as she exchanged passes with Daphne Corboz at the edge of the area but the American curled over. The two would create the first halves best chance as Corboz latched onto a loose Reading pass playing in Ross who took a touch and cannoned her shot off the crossbar from 20 yards out on 11 minutes.

City continued to dominate as a free flowing move from Bronze on the right, her first time cross found the head of Ross but she headed just over. Reading were happy to play on the counter as they tried to release Jade Boho Sayo and Kylie Davies but they were thwarted by excellent defending from Bronze and Steph Houghton. For all City’s dominance they reached half time level without having forced Mary Earps into a save.

The second half was just three minutes old when the deadlock was broken as Jill Scott fired in a deep free kick allowing Jenny Beattie to rise highest and head home inside the penalty area.

Set pieces continued to trouble Reading as Mary Earps was forced to push away a series of corners with Beattie a constant threat in the air. City should have wrapped up the game with 10 minutes remaining when they broke from a rare Reading attack as Ross ran the length of the field played in Scott on the right; her cross found Parris unmarked at the far post but despite time and space she blazed over from 10 yards out.

The points were sealed with three minutes remaining when Houghton powered a free kick into the bottom right hand corner after Ross had been dragged to the floor at the edge of the area.

The victory see’s City all but guarantee Champions League qualification with Arsenal only able to catch them on goal difference with five games remaining. The win leaves City needing just five points from their remaining five games with the title likely to be decided at the Academy Stadium on Sunday 25th September when City host Chelsea.

Player of the Match: Lucy Bronze (Manchester City)


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