Manchester City maintained their undefeated record against city rivals Manchester United as they drew 1-1 in the Women’s Super League on Sunday.
The fierce encounter saw a record attendance of 44,259 at the Etihad, with both sides playing a pulsating second half.
Leah Galton had put the visitors ahead with a deflected shot into the bottom corner in the 27e minute before Laura Coombs headed in Chloe Kelly’s cross from the right wing to restore parity just before the hour mark.
United almost take a win
United came close to a late win, but saw their calls for a penalty kick dismissed by the referee in the dying minutes.
It looked like City defender Alex Greenwood had been hand-playing the ball when she fell into the penalty area while shoving it towards goalkeeper Alex Greenwood.
There was little referee Abigail Byrne would have done with the absence of VAR in the WSL.
United manager Marc Skinner said: “I honestly haven’t seen it, I hear everyone on the bench yelling, ‘In reality I probably want us to get ahead of that sooner anyway.
The title race is on
As a result, United remain 3 points clear of their arch-rivals in the race for a Champions League berth.
Despite not winning, the away side would be content with a point after ending their run of three defeats on three away trips through the city.
The Red Devils have been in fine form this season and are performing above expectations and with only 2 points behind first place, a title challenge is still in the race.
Chelsea are still top of the table with 24 points from 9 games, while Arsenal are second and chasing first place.
However, City had a poor start to the season with consecutive league defeats and an exit from the Champions League in the qualifying phase.
Gareth Taylor’s side are currently fourth in the table and the manager felt his side should have played better with more control: “We should have handled the game better than we did. We gave them the chance.”
The match attracted 13,000 more people than last year when the league record crowd of 31,213 fans turned up to watch their favorite side go head to head.
There was also a huge crowd in the Etihad away section with United fans stretched across the three tiers of Etihad in the South Stand.
This fell just short of the Women’s Super League attendance record set by Arsenal earlier in the year.
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