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Manchester City 2-0 Leicester: Hemp and Kelly score late to earn win
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Lauren Hemp (fourth right) celebrates after scoring Manchester City’s opener (Nick Potts/PA)
Lauren Hemp (fourth right) celebrates after scoring Manchester City’s opener (Nick Potts/PA)

Lionesses Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly produced two late moments of magic as Manchester City beat Leicester 2-0 to secure their seventh straight Women’s Super League victory.

The Blues looked like they would be frustrated by a stubborn Foxes rearguard action, with visiting goalkeeper Lize Kop and her defenders in inspired form.

But Hemp produced a stunning back-heel finish to break the deadlock with eight minutes of remaining, and Kelly sealed the triumph – with the help of the swirling wind – by curling a corner directly into the net.

That lifted Gareth Taylor’s title hopefuls top of the table, for a few hours at least, above Chelsea – who face Everton on Sunday evening – on goal difference.

Leicester, buoyed by their victory over Everton last week, had soaked up everything the home side could throw at them until their spirited resistance crumbled in the closing stages.

The Foxes had tried a physical approach to knock the buoyant hosts out of their stride, and that robust approach worked well in the first half, although it came at the cost of bookings for Courtney Nevin and Saori Takarada.

The visitors defended well and even managed the first goal attempt of note, with a quarter of the game played, as Jutta Rantala went clear but fired high over the bar from the edge of the box.

That spurred the Blues into action, and they penned Leicester back for the rest of the half, without finding a way through.

Filippa Angeldahl, twice, Kelly and Laura Coombs all fired straight at Kop as the pressure mounted, but Leicester centre-backs Sophie Howard and Julie Thibaud were as stoic as Kop in limiting the clear-cut chances.

Taylor’s side stepped up the tempo after the break, with an assistant’s flag cutting short celebrations after Khadija Shaw had bundled the ball into the net.

Shaw then slammed a shot against the bar and Kop looked stranded as the ball fell for Coombs. She measured her shot but found the keeper sprinting across goal to somehow make a remarkable block.

The pressure was constant, as Shaw fired over and Hemp curled an effort just wide, but the England star produced a moment of skill to break Leicester in the 82nd minute.

Shaw’s cross was falling behind Hemp, and at thigh height, but she somehow hooked it back, using the back of her heel, and saw the ball loop into the far corner, with Kop finally beaten.

The Blues pressed home their advantage and Kelly swung in a corner that evaded everybody and dipped into the far corner in the 85th minute.


Leicester City WFCManchester City WomenWomen's Super League
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