Manchester United v Manchester City: Women’s Super League – live | Women’s Super League
44 min: Ella Toone gets back to clear when City’s Shaw was threatening.
42 min: City using offside a bit more and Nikita Parris is the latest United player to be found off.
41 min: Don’t be daft, more action! Ouahabi’s through ball finds Kelly, outstanding this half, and she forces a save from Earps and the post. It could be 1-3, 1-4, though it could also be 3-3 and 3-2.
40 min: A lull in play? Feels like both teams need to slow their heart rates down.
39 min: One minute United had the ball in the net, the next they were losing 2-1. It’s been a game to befit the occasion.
38 min: Adam K gets in touch: “I hope you’re well! Re swearing maketh the legend — see also, Jill Scott getting a FOYFP tattoo. Just when we thought we couldn’t love her any more, etc etc.”
36 min: Marc Skinner is aghast on the sidelines. His team have failed to close of City’s movement though it has to be said that both goals were of very high quality.
And another! United falling apart. Bunny Shaw has two chances to shoot, but then slips the ball to Hemp who whips it home. What a turnaround, what a game!
Chloe Kelly glides down the left, and her pass inside is pinpoint. Roord allows the ball to come back across her and scores….
Geyse beats the offside trap, and her shot on goal is blocked. She recollects the ball and shoot and scores…the ref’s assistant has spotted that the ball had gone beyond the goalline on that second attempt. No VAR so the call stands…it seemed right, but you’re thinking Mitoma in Qatar these days, aren’t you?
30 min: Another corner to Manchester City, United’s Blundell raging. But United clear all the way out. Malard’s pass is a beauty and Toone just fails to follow it up with a reverse pass that finds Bunny Shaw running back…
28 min: It’s not lacked for entertainment at all, been really full-blooded stuff.
26 min: Chloe Kelly escapes down the wing, plays the ball back and Angeldal gets her shot saved. Then, Alex Greenwood makes her own penalty claim, the problem being that Geyse’s back rather than hand deflected her shot.
25 min: United looking dangerous now, with Roord having to come back to clear up as Nikita Parris tries to escape.
23 min: Rick Harris gets in touch: “Great that Old Trafford is being used for this game. Any idea what the attendance is? If United thrash City does that balance the books following the men’s team recent schooling?”
40,000 sold plus some walk-up, though the weather has probably kept a few people indoors.
Zelem, right-footed, slots in the corner and Keating in City’s goal gets a hand to it. But the ball still rolls in.
Alex Greenwood handles from Malard’s shot. Not much to complain about. And there weren’t complaints. The arm was hanging down.
18 min: City chance, and a big one. Bunny Shaw is released and is through on goal and Earps makes herself big to make a save. End to end stuff.
17 min: More United impetus. Zelem’s free-kick is a beauty and Galton just fails to head the ball on target.
16 min: Big chance for a counter from United. Toone is released by Malard, and looks for Geyse but the pass is intercepted. That’s a let-off for City.
14 min: Jill Roord almost made her way through the United defence and it took Maya Le Tissier to deal Mary Earps out of trouble. The keeper had come running out.
12 min: But here come United, building up pressure, with first Toone and then Parris the target for passes from Katie Zelem. The second is offside. Still, better from United.
11 min: Six shots so far from City, three on target. Utter dominance.
9 min: First big chance, Roord scampers away down the left, slots the ball back inside and Hemp can’t beat Earps with a low shot.
7 min: Another City corner. This time it’s cleared easily enough but still United can’t get the ball in the opposing half.
6 min: Blundell plays the ball back to Earps who shanks the ball out. Nervy from United so far. Galton, usually an attacker, is back and facing Lauren Hemp. It looks like a key battle.
3 min: City have started well here. Really putting it up to United. Giving them no time on the ball.
1 min: The players take the knee ahead of kick-off, and City immediately force a corner, it causes problems, and eventually, with some relief, Mary Earps claims.
Huge noise and the Stone Roses pumping out. This is the one indeed. Massive cheers for Mary Earps, favourite for Spoty. Swearing maketh the legend. Just ask the Sex Pistols.
Old Trafford is the venue, the home of Big Red’s men’s team and despite its decay, still a storied old stadium. When it gets going, it can still get going. A light show starts proceedings off.
Weather watch, from a few miles down the road from OT. It is tipping down and has been for the last few days, too. Typical Manchester weather, though more like Norway if you ask me. Here, the culverts and drains are all overflowing.
Gareth Taylor spoke to Sky, too: “I think Alex Greenwood is vital to what we do, we have missed her. She has played in many big games so it is normal for her and a good boost for everyone but it is about the whole team stepping up.”
“The Manchester derby is perfect for us but nothing changes for our approach. We will give anything we can. We have got good options with a strong bench and will see how the game goes. But everyone has pushed hard in training this week and I like the things I have seen.”
More Marc Skinner and Sky chat: “Manchester City are an excellent team and there is going to be a game where we need to adapt within the game and the line-up does that.
“It is typical Manchester weather we know how tough it is going to be and so will Manchester City. We need to play with the freshness of a United team but I want to see a total performance and if we give that we will have a good day.”
Some full-time WSL scores from Sunday:
Everton 2-2 Bristol City
Brighton 0-3 Arsenal
Leicester 1-0 Tottenham
West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa
Gareth Taylor, the Manchester City manager, spoke on the club’s official website: ““It would be nice if it became more normal, that type of occasion, but I’m sure it will be the way things are going.
“It’s hard to say until post match [if players being phased by big stadiums still exist]. I think at the moment it will probably be the [case]. I can’t speak for United players in terms of how often they play there. I know they played there a few times last season.
“Some teams tend to use the main stadiums a lot. The more familiar it is and the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel in those surroundings. It’s really hard to tell you how the players will feel in that space.
“It’s great to have a good occasions in a main stadium in front of good crowd. It’s also being shown on television. I think it makes for a good spectacle.”
The Manchester United manager, Marc Skinner, spoke to Sky:
“It’s a special event. It is going to have lots of good football I’m sure. It is going to be a spectacle but we know what to do. We have been here before, we have grown in these derbies.
“We need to go and put in a performance in front of our fans at Old Trafford because they deserve it, and our players want to do that. I’m really looking forward to it. I want to see a growth from the last time we played last year. That’s going to be important.”
Man Utd: Earps, Blundell, Le Tissier, Turner, Galton, Toone, Zelem, Naalsund, Parris, Geyse, Malard. Subs: Ladd, Riviere, Evans, Garcia, Miyazawa, Williams, Middleton-Patel, Tullis-Joyce.
Man City: Keating, Ouahabi, Kennedy, Aleixandri, Greenwood, Roord, Hasegawa, Kelly, Angeldal, Hemp, Shaw. Subs: Houghton, Coombs, Fowler, Castellanos, Morgan, Park, Casparij, MacIver, Blakstad.
It’s the big one, at Old Trafford, and it’s third v sixth, though only two points separate Marc Skinner’s United from Gareth Taylor’s City. United have made an unbeaten start to the season, and City are rueing their surprise loss to Brighton. Will playing at the club’s ancestral home rather than Leigh Sports Village inspire them? City have a formidable away record this season.
Both teams would like a win to close the gap on leaders Chelsea, who smashed Liverpool on Saturday but are feeling the turbulence of a heavy schedule and that of losing their manager at the end of the season.
Kick-off at 4.30pm. Join me.