What better feeling than a Manchester Derby win! The Etihad was rocking with over 31,000 fans as the first game of the WSL season found Manchester City and Manchester United locking horns in which Weir stole the show as Manchester City won 1-0.
The game started at a slow pace with both sides feeling each other out. Georgia Stanway had a snapshot from the edge of the box that didn’t find the top corner she found for the Lionesses in midweek.
It was United however who had the best chance of the first half after a cross from the left found Jane Ross who must’ve thought she had a certain goal. Her stabbed effort was brilliantly pushed away by Ellie Roebuck who in the absence of Karen Bardsley, showed we’re in safe hands indeed.
United, who are newcomers to the WSL, were passing the ball around well and enjoyed the majority of the play before the break and were quite unlucky their efforts didn’t result in the lead.
But whatever was said by Nick Cushing at half time certainly worked as the Blues came out firing. And it only took them three minutes before Caroline Weir picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box before firing the ball passed the helpless Earps into the top right corner. A simply stunning strike.
Weir grew and grew in confidence after her goal, becoming central to everything that was happening for City. Her free-kick from the edge of the box nearly found the bottom corner and also nearly danced through the whole United backline before just being cut off before she could get her shot away.
City dominated most of the second half with Stanway also going close but on the 83rd minute a brilliant run by the United winger saw the ball deflect off Mannion and off the Manchester City post. Luckily the ball bounced straight back into the gleeful arms of Roebuck.
The Blues managed to survive a late onslaught of pressure from Manchester United and hold on to a massive opening day win against their rivals. Manchester is well and truly blue again.
Aside from the result, this was a truly massive day for women’s football as over 31,000 packed inside the Etihad to set a new record attendance. And it’s only going to become better and better.
Player Ratings: Roebuck – 9/10 (MOTM), Mannion 6/10, Bonner 6/10, Houghton 7/10, Stokes 7/10, Scott 6/10, Walsh 7/10, Weir 9/10, Wullaert 6/10, Beckie 6/10, Stanway 7/10