Leicester City 5-2 Bristol City: Robins remain five points from WSL safety after 10th league defeat

With Lauren Smith’s Bristol City desperately in need of points to avoid a seemingly impending return to the Barclays Women’s Championship, the Robins ventured to Leicester City’s King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

LEI: Kop; Cayman, Thibaud, Green, Bott; Tierney, Takarada, Momiki; Whelan, O’Brien, Rantala

BCI: Yañez; Layzell, Struck, Connolly, Aspin, Powell; Napier, Jones, Rodgers, Whelan; Thestrup

Against a desperate Robins side, Willie Kirk’s Leicester City looked to be the dominant force from the very start of Sunday’s league clash on the banks of the River Soar – but they found themselves trailing against the run of play after twenty minutes as Ffion Morgan capitalised on a poor Lize Kop clearance to chip the goalkeeper.

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But less than fifteen minutes later, Yuka Momiki had restored parity with a chipped finish of her own – this time launching the ball over Shae Yañez from a tight angle to bring the Foxes level on home turf.

By the time the two sides headed down the tunnel for half-time, Willie Kirk’s side had completed their impressive first-half comeback. Saori Takarada slammed home in injury time, taking full advantage of a half-hearted clearance from Aileen Whelan’s initial effort.

Bristol City emerged from the break as a rejuvenated side though, and forward Amalie Thestrup brought the Robins level after four second-half minutes with a low strike into the bottom corner.

They’d remain level for just five minutes though, before Janice Cayman latched onto a Sam Tierney ball to fire past Yañez and restore Leicester City’s lead.

Jutta Rantala netted an impressive finish with a quarter-hour remaining, curling a stunning effort into the top corner before teeing up 16-year-old Denny Draper for her first senior Foxes goal in the 89th minute.

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A tenth defeat of the Barclays Women’s Super League season sees Bristol City remain five points from provisional safety, and their trip to 11th-placed Brighton on March 3 now carries added significance for both teams.

As for Leicester City, they now sit seventh in the Barclays Women’s Super League and trail sixth-placed Tottenham by three points. Willie Kirk’s Foxes face Chelsea after the upcoming international break.