Man City and Chelsea renew their rivalry this afternoon as the two go head-to-head on a showpiece weekend for the Women’s Super League.
With the men’s domestic game on hold at the top level because of the international break, this is this season’s designated Women’s Football Weekend and it serves up a Sunday afternoon treat between City and Emma Hayes’ Blues.
The two sides have had the Women’s Super League title race between them in recent seasons but after a raft of high-profile injuries, City have made a dismal start to this campaign, currently languishing in seventh, and were beaten by Chelsea in their FA Cup semi-final meeting from last season’s delayed competition.
Champions Chelsea have fared rather better as they seek to defend their title, and after watching league leaders Arsenal draw with north London rivals Tottenham on Saturday, Emma Hayes’ side know they can close the gap at the top to a single point with victory on the road this afternoon.
Follow all the action with our LIVE blog below...
GOAL! Fleming opens scoring inside two minutes
TV channel: Sky Sports
Chelsea team news
Man City team news
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Man City
FT: Man City 0-4 Chelsea
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90+1 mins: Almost a fifth.
England gets in behind down the right and fires into the middle towards Fleming but Stanway’s tracked her run well and does enough.
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85 mins: Now Erin Cuthbert is down. She looks in real pain, her hand over her face as she’s caught in her follow-through. It’s a big victory for Chelsea, this, but one that looks to be coming at a price.
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82 mins: Berger has now finally been replaced by ZeÄira MušoviÄ, one of a raft of changes that has rather taken the zip out of this.
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74 mins: Alex Greenwood is in the book after a hefty challenge in the back of Leupolz. Berger is down once again - surely at 4-0 they should make the change.
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70 mins: Just about City’s best bit of attacking play of the half and no surprises it’s Hemp to the fore. She drives inside and fires at the near post - think it was going wide but Berger gets a hand to it to make sure.
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65 mins: Goal difference could well end up a crucial factor at the end of the season, given the way Arsenal have started and how close the last couple of title races have been.
You can’t imagine Chelsea will be letting up and, right on cue, Beth England is about to enter the fray.
GOAL! Man City 0-4 Chelsea | Magdalena Eriksson 56’
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It’s a rout.
Eriksson is up best to head in from a corner at the back post and this is turning into a proper pasting with more than half-an-hour to play.
GOAL! Man City 0-3 Chelsea | Fran Kirby 52’
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She’s put that one right in the corner, though!
Not sure whether this is a cross or a shot from Fran Kirby but it finds its way to the back post and in off the woodwork. That’ll surely be game over.
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48 mins: More woeful stuff from City in possession at the back. This time Scott gifts it straight to Kerr, who finds Kirby outsider but her strike is too close to the ‘keeper.
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47 mins: It’s a little bit surprising that Berger is back out for the second half. She’s still hobbling about a bit and grimacing after her kicks.
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We are back underway...
HT: Man City 0-2 Chelsea
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Clinical from Chelsea, who’ve been well short of their best, but lead 2-0 at the break.
GOAL! Man City 0-2 Chelsea | Sam Kerr 45+4’
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On the stroke of half-time, Chelsea are two to the good!
Again, it’s of City’s own doing, really, as Stanway loses it but from there it’s really clinical from Chelsea, Ji’s cross nodded back across goal for Kerr to convert.
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45+1 mins: Six minutes to be added...
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42 mins: Well, after a lengthy stoppage, both players are back up and able to continue. There’s going to be plenty of stoppage time at the end of this half.
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39 mins: Looking at the replay again, Man City really should have a penalty here. Berger does end up blocking the ball that Hemp has tried to poke past her, but she’s absolutely leathered the winger on the ankle.
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38 mins: And now Berger is down again, and so, too, is Hemp.
Cuthbert sells her ‘keeper short with a back pass and the City winger gets a toe to it before Berger absolutely cleans both her and the ball out. Nothing given by the referee but both players look in a lot of pain.
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32 mins: More good football from City, with Weir heavily involved again. She feeds Hemp, who turns Cuthbert inside-out, but can’t catch Berger out at her near post with a low strike.
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31 mins: That’s a decent chance, too. Weir delivers the corner and Greenwood is up best to meet it in the middle but guides her header straight at Berger.
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27 mins: This could be a problem for Chelsea. Berger is clutching her hamstring after pulling up awkwardly taking a goal-kick a few moments ago.
While she gets treatment, Emma Hayes gets her troops over and gives them a bit of a talking to. Looks like Berger will be okay to continue.
Here’s how Jessie Fleming opened the scoring...
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Chelsea's pressure pays off as Man City's defence crumbles and Jessie Fleming bags a very early goal!
Man City 0-1 Chelsea
📺 Watch live on Sky Sports Premier League
📲 Follow match updates in our live blog ⬇ pic.twitter.com/jVUMaQ9TSD
— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) November 14, 2021
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21 mins: Sloppy from Bright as she rolls a simple ball up the line straight out of play. I said a little earlier that Emma Hayes would be thrilled with her side’s start in terms of them taking that early lead, but she won’t be pleased with what she’s seen since.
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16 mins: City continue to enjoy the better of the possession and territory here, with Eriksson forced into a crucial clearance at the back post as Park tries to control and shoot.
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9 mins: Massive chance!
Caroline Weir is played in on goal by a superb pass from Keira Walsh but is denied by the sprawling Berger.
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6 mins: Well, how will City respond?
Lauren Hemp is trying to lead the charge, making a couple of her trademark surges down the left already, but Emma Hayes will be delighted with the way her side have started.
GOAL! Man City 0-1 Chelsea | Jessie Fleming 2’
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It’s an absolute disaster for City as Taieb plays a bit of a hospital pass out from the back under pressure from Kerr. Fleming nips in and it’s the easiest job in the world from there.
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We are underway...
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The teams are out and so too the managers, who lay wreaths on the side of the pitch as the players pay their respect on Remembrance Sunday.
Five minutes to go...
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— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) November 14, 2021
Hayes expecting better City
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Emma Hayes says she is expecting a “completely different game” to the one in which Chelsea beat Manchester City to reach the final of last season’s delayed FA Cup only a couple of weeks ago.
“That game was after an international break and you just have to come through them,” she said.
“They have had a week to prepare for this. They will be at a better level for that reason.”
The champions arriving a little earlier on...
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— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) November 14, 2021
Blues looking to close gap
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Chelsea went into this weekend trailing leaders Arsenal by three points, the Gunners having started their league campaign with six wins out of six under new boss Jonas Eidevall.
However, they needed a later leveller from Vivianne Miedema to rescue a point in the north London derby against Tottenham yesterday and that means the Blues can move within one point if they win this afternoon.
And here’s how the hosts lineup...
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Our starting XI to face Chelsea in the @BarclaysFAWSL today 💪
XI | Taieb, Stanway, Scott, Greenwood, Stokes, Walsh, Angeldahl, Weir, Park, Hemp, White (C)
SUBS | Pilling, Coombs, Beckie, Raso, Losada, Mace, Kennedy#ManCity | @HaysTechnology pic.twitter.com/dWxNUGTf1I
— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) November 14, 2021
Here’s how Chelsea lineup in Manchester...
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We should have the confirmed team news in about 10 minutes’ time...
Standard Sport prediction
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History is against Chelsea here but, given how soundly they beat City only a few weeks ago, it’s hard to see them losing.
Chelsea to win 3-0.
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City’s injury list is lengthy.
Khadija Shaw is likely to join Karen Bardsley, Ellie Roebuck, Khiara Keating, Steph Houghton, Esme Morgan, Lucy Bronze and Chloe Kelly on the sidelines, representing quite the concerns for head coach Gareth Taylor.
Chelsea, meanwhile, could bring Ji So-Yun back into the fold after Drew Spence replaced her during midweek’s thrashing of Servette.
How to watch
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TV channel: Today’s match will be broadcast on Sky Sports Premier League.
Live stream: Sky subscribers will be able to watch the game through the Sky Go app.
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Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of this afternoon’s WSL clash between Manchester City and Chelsea.
We’ll have all the team news and build-up ahead of a 3pm kick-off...