West Ham claim famous victory away to Manchester City in WSL
- Credit: PA
West Ham claimed a famous win away to Manchester City in the Women’s Super League on Sunday afternoon at the Academy Stadium to claim their second consecutive win in the division.
It was the first time in their history in the WSL that the Hammers had beaten the Blue side from Manchester who fell nine points behind league leaders Arsenal and it added more pressure on manager Gareth Taylor.
Manchester City started on top with Lauren Hemp causing a few problems for the Hammers down the wing she got in after just one minute on the clock but her low cross was well dealt with by keeper Mackenzie Arnold.
With ten minutes on the clock the home side came close to taking the lead when Janine Beckie flashed a low ball across the box but
Gilly Flaherty slid it away before Ellen White could touch the ball home.
Hemp was in the mood to cause damage when the England international got down the wing before cutting inside but her low effort lacked power and was easily dealt with by Arnold.
West Ham were defensively very well organised ,but they had a chance of their own when Manchester City got into a mess at the back trying to play the ball out via Demi Stokes as Claudia Walker got in behind the City defence, however Alex Greenwood stepped across well to make the block.
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Manchester City weren’t doing anything to really trouble West Ham ,but on 25 minutes Caroline Weir did loft in a dangerous looking ball into the box but Arnold was quick to read the situation as she came out and claimed with ease ahead of the lurking White.
The home team then wanted a penalty as Jess Park knocked the ball away from Kate Longhurst before the West Ham stalwart got back to nudge her off the ball but the referee waved away City’s appeals.
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On 37 minutes Manchester City should have been ahead when Flaherty gave the ball away on the edge of the area with a poor pass allowing Hemp through on goal, but her effort was well saved by Arnold who stood her ground until the winger got her shot away.
However West Ham did take the lead two minutes later when as Yui Hasegawa got down the wing before playing a cross in for Dagný Brynjarsdóttir to plant a header into the bottom corner of the net beyond Karima Taieb to open her goal scoring account for the Hammers.
Arnold then made a superb save to keep her side ahead as Park got on down the wing before fizzing her low shot across goal but the keeper got down really well to palm the ball behind for a corner that came to nothing.
On the stroke of half-time Arnold had to make another smart save, when Weir set up Park inside the box to have a shot however the Hammers stopper was alert once more palming the ball away from danger.
Taylor made a change at the break as Walsh who has only returned from an injury came off for Laura Coombs.
Manchester City started the second half well with Arnold in action once again as she spilled a strike from Weir right in front of Hemp, but she somehow rolled her effort wide when she should have equalised.
West Ham were causing real problems on the counter attack as they broke away on 52 minutes getting a cross into the box for Brynjarsdóttir but she could only direct her header over the top of the crossbar this time.
The Hammers came close to doubling their lead when Tameka Yallop was played in on goal but all she could do is fire her shot straight into the hands of Taieb in the City goal when she should have scored.
On the hour mark Hammers boss Olli Harder looked to his bench as he brought on Adriana Leon replacing Walker who had worked hard up top feeding off very little chances.
Manchester City thought they were level two minutes later ,when Leon lost the ball to Hemp and she threaded a pass into White who drilled a low effort across goal and into the net but her celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.
That was to be Whites last involvement as she came off alongside Filippa Angeldal to be replaced with Georgia Stanway and Khadija Shaw.
West Ham set up brilliantly as a defensive unit frustrating Manchester City and there was more frustration around the Academy Stadium when Park got into a promising position ,but she overhit the cross and it went out for a goal-kick.
Manchester City were then calling for another penalty when Hawa Cissoko handled the ball in the box but the referee had already blown for a West Ham free-kick after a push from Hemp on the defender.
With ten minutes to go Harder switched things up once more when Lucy Parker replaced Katerina Svitkova who was making her return from injury.
Arnold was West Ham’s hero as she met yet another fine save when Hemp was jinking at the Hammers defence before getting a shot away that was very well saved by the keeper throwing herself down the left to palm the ball away.
Shaw was next to test the keeper when she flicked the ball around Flaherty and then proceeded to hit the shot towards the near-post but the keeper was down quickly to make the save before from the corner Weir headed her effort over.
With just one minute of added time left to play City thought they were level when Coombs cracked a shot in from range but the midfielder saw her effort strike the post and bounce out.
West Ham however went on to seal the three points when Hasegawa scored a stunning goal after Stokes had given the ball away,the Japanese international spotted the keeper off her line from far out before dinking her and finding the back of the net
West Ham moved fourth temporarily but due to Manchester United’s win at Birmingham end the weekend in fifth.
Manchester City: Taieb, Beckie, Scott, Greenwood, Stokes, Angeldal (Stanway 68), Walsh (Coombs 45), Weir, Park, White (Shaw 68), Hem.
Unused substitutes: Keating
West Ham: Arnold, Cissoko, Flaherty, Longhurst, Svitková (Parker 81), Stringer (Filis 90), Brynjarsdóttir, Wyne, Yallop, Walker (Leon 60), Hasegawa.
Unused substitutes: Leat, Joel, Cairns.