Bristol City 0-4 Manchester City: Robins relegated but will play 2024/25 home games at Ashton Gate

Bristol City’s relegation from the Barclays Women’s Super League was officially confirmed on Sunday, as Lauren Smith’s side fell to a 0-4 defeat against table-topping Manchester City. In a statement issued shortly after the match, the club stated that ‘City Women will continue to play their home games at Ashton Gate next season.’

The Robins held on throughout the first hour of Sunday’s clash in BS3, despite Shae Yañez’s goal being peppered by unrelenting waves of attack from the visitors – but Mary Fowler finally found a way to open the scoring, kickstarting a late rout that would ultimately see the Cityzens record a comfortable victory despite the absence of Khadija Shaw.

Manchester City remain at the helm of the WSL, six points ahead of Chelsea – though the Blues have two games in hand left to play. City will hope that their +7 gap in goal difference is enough to lift their first league title since 2016.

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As it happened

Despite drawing sizeable crowds to Ashton Gate throughout the season, Bristol City have failed to pick up a point in BS3 – with their only league win of the season coming on the road against West Ham United in November.

As they prepared for the visit of Manchester City, Lauren Smith’s side knew that only a win would be enough to keep their slender chances of Barclays Women’s Super League survival alive. It looked, during the first half at least, as though the Robins were on course to secure a shock draw, with the visitors failing to test Shae Yañez.

The goalkeeper was able to collect a tame effort from Chloe Kelly, before Lauren Hemp’s headed effort in first-half stoppage time flew straight into the arms of the ‘keeper.

But Yañez would be rendered helpless shortly after the hour mark, left merely to stand and watch as Mary Fowler’s sublime effort from range rippled the back of the net. She’d bag her second goal of the evening fifteen minutes later, turning home from a Hemp cross.

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Bristol City’s woes would worsen as the darkness set over Ashton Gate, with Amy Rodgers sending an attempted clearance into her won net before Alex Greenwood headed home from a corner deep inside stoppage time.

Post-match reactions

The lineups

BCI: Yañez; Layzell, Connolly, Aspin, Bull; Napier, Furness, Rodgers, Syme, Morgan; Thestrup

MCI: Keating; Ouahabi, Greenwood, Kennedy, Aleixandri; Coombs, Hasegawa, Park; Hemp, Kelly, Fowler