Tottenham welcomed Manchester City to Brisbane Road for matchday 4 of the WSL in the early kick-off. Manchester City sat in 8th position before kick-off after a 4-0 win over Leicester last weekend while our Lilywhites sat in 7th after their 1-0 victory over newly promoted Liverpool last weekend.
Tottenham 4-4-2: Spencer on goal, Turner in at right-back, Bartrip and Zadorsky on the centre of defence with Ale in at left-back. The Tottenham midfield was made of Bizet down the right, James and Summanen in the middle with Neville down the left. The Tottenham front two were made of Spence and Brazil.
Manchester City 4-3-3: Roebuck in goal, Casparij in at right-back, Laia and Greenwood in the centre of defence with Morgan in at left-back. The City midfield was made of Coombs, Hasegawa and Castellanos. The City front line was made of Kelly down the right, Hemp down the left with Shaw in the number 9 role.
Manchester City started the brightest of the two teams and recorded their first shot on goal in the first minute when a long Laia ball found Kelly down the right before crossing into the Tottenham box finding Hemp who attacked the ball with her head but Spencer got down to make an easy save. Tottenham came straight at City, Spencer kicking off quickly finding Spence who played a wonderful back heel to James before the Welsh international played Brazil through the middle as she took advantage of Roebuck’s miscontrol but Roebuck clashed with Brazil in the City box, the referee waved played on and Bartrip finally was able to put the ball out for Brazil to receive treatment and was substituted for Naz after a nasty knee injury. City continued to dominate the game as Tottenham struggled to cause any threat on the City goal.
City stepped up a gear in the 16th minute when Greenwood found Hemp down the left who played through Morgan before she set Shaw through but Zadorsky read the play well to get the ball to Turner before Hemp continued to pressure the Tottenham defence and won the ball back off Bizet winning a free-kick in the process. Kelly whipped in the free-kick finding Morgan’s head, but her effort was just wide of Spencer’s right-hand post. City continued to pin Tottenham back and came close again in the 24th minute when an attack started by Casparij resulted in Kelly finding Castellanos who unleashed a shot from distance but Spencer palmed away before Turner got the ball away to safety.
City finally got their breakthrough in the 40th minute when a Greenwood corner was met by Bunny Shaw who got away from Summanen and Neville to head the visitors ahead. City continued to pile pressure on Tottenham but Spurs came close in the 44th minute when a Turner cross found Neville unmarked but volleyed her effort over Roebuck’s bar. The fourth official indicated a minimum of 5 minutes of added time after the injury to Ellie Brazil. Tottenham finished the half strongly and had a half-chance in the 46th minute when Spence got away from two city players and played through Naz, but her cross was too long for Neville for what surely would have been the equaliser for Tottenham. City ran down the clock by passing the ball around making Tottenham chase and use energy as City held on before the game ended for the end of the half.
The second half couldn’t have gotten off to a worst start for Tottenham after Shaw stole the ball off James, Coombs played the ball back to Shaw who shot from distance and put the ball into Spencer’s bottom right corner to give the visitors a 2-0 lead in the 46th minute. The game then went through a period of start-stop after Shaw needed medical attention after a Bartrip headed clearance hit the Jamaican in the face. The game soon found its flow again as Tottenham looked to get back into the game. City came close again to getting a third in the 60th minute when Casparij got away from Ale, and squared the ball into the box, into the path of Shaw but Bartrip was quick to react and got to the ball first putting the ball out for a corner.
Kelly came close in the 64th minute when the ball bounced around and came to Kelly who hit a ball inside the Tottenham box, but Ale managed to get a deflection on the effort to deny any threat on Spencer’s goal. City continued to pass the ball around, playing back to Roebuck to restart as they tried to draw Tottenham out but the Tottenham back-line kept in check not falling for the setup. City came close in the 68th minute when a Hemp attack found Coombs before she played off Shaw but she was unable to connect as the opportunity was wasted. Tottenham came back at City in the 69th when Spence found Neville with a long ball, Neville played through Summanan who crossed into the City box but her cross was defended well and put out for a corner. Tottenham looked brighter and looked to grow into the game as they came close in the 71st minute as Neville got away from Morgan finding Spence with a pass, Spence tried to curl her effort into the top corner but her effort was just wide of Roebuck’s goal.
Castellanos came close for City in the 74th minute when she twisted and turned in the Tottenham box, before falling after a clean Bizet challenge but got back up onto the ball and got a shot away but her effort was saved comfortably by Spencer. A minute later City came back at Tottenham after Naz lost the ball with a poor pass to Spence for Tottenham, Coombs drove forward the City attack, finding Hemp on the left who twisted and turned Turner before getting her shot away from the left and slotting past Spencer for City third with help from the left-hand post. Shaw almost got her hat trick in the 79th minute when Kelly did well down the right, getting away from Ale, finding Castellanos with a pass, her long ball floated into the Tottenham box finding Shaw but she rushed her effort after getting away from Bartrip with her effort going straight at Spencer.
City continued to threaten the Tottenham goal as a minute later Hemp unleashed a shot from distance but sailed just over Spencer’s bar. Tottenham brought on Chi who made her comeback after her ban and Karczewska for Neville and Bizet in the 86th minute. Tottenham had a chance in the 89th minute when a Summanen cross was taken away from Spence as Laia only managed to get her header as far as Naz who was alone on the Edge of the City box but tried to do too much before having the ball taken off her As a result City countered with Kelly down the right as Tottenham was caught short at back but Bartrip used all her speed to catch up with Kelly putting her under pressure before Kelly’s shot sailed wide of Spencer’s right-hand post. The fourth official indicated a minimum of 5 minutes of added time. Both teams came at one another in added time as neither team accepted the result, Tottenham pushed looking for a goal as City wanted to add more and came close in the 93rd minute when Kelly got away from Ale before unleashing a shot from distance but her effort was straight at Spencer Tottenham has one final attack before the game was brought to an end but the City defence comfortably dealt with the threat.
Player of the match.
Everything just seemed to just go wrong for Tottenham in this match, no one can question the team’s heart but the player that stood out in this match was Molly Bartrip. The centre-back covered a lot of ground and remained solid alongside Zadorsky to prevent further City goals.