Brighton 1-4 Manchester City: Cityzens trail Chelsea by just two goals in fierce WSL title race

After Chelsea’s dominant victory against Arsenal on Friday, Manchester City would look to keep pace with Emma Hayes’ side at the top of the Barclays Women’s Super League table by picking up three points against Brighton at Broadfield Stadium.

BHA: Baggaley; Kullberg, Thorisdóttir, Bergsvand, Carabalí; Olme, Losada, Terland; Pinto, Haley, Robinson

MCI: Keating; Ouahabi, Greenwood, Aleixandri, Casparij; Coombs, Hasegawa, Park; Hemp, Shaw, Fowler

With Manchester City having fallen to consecutive losses that have seen them bow out of both domestic cup competitions in the space of just a week, Gareth Taylor’s side were keen to return to winning ways with a statement win against Brighton.

That’s certainly what they did, taking the lead in Crawley just before the half-hour mark as Lauren Hemp raced onto the end of a Jess Park through ball and buried the ball past Sophie Baggaley from six yards out.

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Mary Fowler doubled that lead before the break, bringing the desired end to a smooth passage of play – Hemp turned provider on this occasion, fizzing in a fine cross from the left flank that was met by the Australian inside the box.

Hemp could have recorded her third goal contribution of the afternoon early in the second half, but she could merely stand and watch as her effort struck the post – although the disappointment was short-lived, as Khadija Shaw added City’s third from a Yui Hasegawa cross in the 69th minute.

Fowler would, like Hemp, claim a second goal involvement as the clock neared ninety minutes. Her cutback from the edge of the box was slotted home by Laura Coombs, before Brighton clinched a consolatory goal in stoppage time through ex-Cityzen Lee Geum-min.

Manchester City remain level on points with Chelsea, but are left chasing goals if they’re to finish ahead of Emma Hayes’ side come the end of the season. The Cityzens host Manchester United next week at Etihad Stadium.