Manchester City’s WSL title charge hit a major bump in the road on Sunday afternoon as they were defeated by Arsenal by a score of 2-1, despite taking the lead early on in the game.
Much of the fans’ criticism on Twitter was aimed at manager Gareth Taylor – there were several calls for the former Sheffield United player to be sacked. However, others felt the players were more to blame – the Citizens missed a slew of chances that could have put the game to bed before Arsenal’s fightback.
Lauren Hemp missed a sitter in the first half – the ball was headed across goal by Khadija Shaw, only for Hemp to fluff her effort over the bar. On the other hand, City failed to cope with the adjustments Arsenal made after half time. Shaw was effectively cut off from the rest of the team – she cut a Robinson Crusoe-esque figure for most of the second half.
Any minimal chances we had of winning the league have now been snuffed out thanks to inflexibility of the manager. Hopefully, he gains some experience next season, we go again.
— AKO (@AlexiaObeng) April 2, 2023
Cant even blame Gareth for that one
— 6363 (@Jess07848707) April 2, 2023
I don't know what Gareth Taylor said to his team at half time, but it certainly wasn't MOTIVATIONAL. After completely dominating Arsenal in first half, and coasting through to half-time, we came out second half and were abysmal. Bunny Shaw fantastic first half, invisible 2nd WHY
— Peter (@mcfc1943) April 2, 2023
No matter how good the front 3 are,they’re very wasteful and often make poor decisions in the final third with no sign of improvement.
— 🖊 (@Charles_MCFC) April 2, 2023
Time to say goodbye.
— A man named B (@a_man_named_Bee) April 2, 2023
Two big chances from Hemp to score cost City dearly.
— Rebecca Holmes (@rldemaine7) April 2, 2023
Both sides have a legitimate point to make. Taylor’s reluctance to change the system was a key reason for the Sky Blues’ defeat – however, Hemp’s profligacy in front of goal did not help matters.
Manchester City are now fourth in the WSL table, three points behind league leaders Manchester United. Additionally, the teams in second and third, Arsenal and Chelsea, both have a game in hand over the Citizens.
City’s title challenge certainly looks to be in jeopardy at this point. It’s far from impossible – but finishing first no longer looks probable, either.