Respect too but the gulf between Man City and United remains

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MANCHESTER, England – The mantra in the Women’s Super League is that the gap is closing, which isn’t even the harshest version of the truth. With the emphasis that the league is one of the most competitive in the world, it needs to drive home the idea that any WSL team can beat any other WSL team, however, when you look at the table or Looking at the results, it is clear that this is not at all the case.

It is true that some teams managed to climb the ladder and get close to those above them, with Manchester United leading the way. For other teams, such as Leicester City or the recently relegated Birmingham City, the gap, which could become a chasm, refuses to close, as it is not just about results or statistics, but the resources and investment involved. And as we’re used to seeing in the men’s game, money often talks and once a team establishes itself at the top, they stay there.

, Report: Man City 1-1 Man United , wsl table , upcoming fixtures

There is room for those outside the traditional top three to put pressure on the teams above them, although Liverpool and Aston Villa’s surprise victories over Chelsea and Manchester City respectively on the opening weekend of the season did not flow into more unexpected results, as did United. There are more chances for the teams to go up in the table.

Yet, throughout United’s rise, two teams have repeatedly attempted to elude them in the league: Chelsea and Manchester City.

Coming into Sunday’s clash on a rich form, the focus was on the Red Devils, not least after their win over Arsenal last month, proving how far they have come under Mark Skinner and the team How is the confidence flowing? Nevertheless, the visitors struggled for purchase on the opening exchanges with City, even though they were looking flat and all too predictable in attack.

The game turned around after the halfway mark in the first half when United made their strides in attack with the players in red holding onto the ball and cutting in and around their opposition. Although there was a deflection off Leah Galton’s early effort, the decisive move was worthy of a goal and really, the visitors should have had a second and they were in the ascendancy.

The most enjoyable side of things for United came from their balance on the pitch, and the way they attacked, using everyone in red to overload their opposition. Each match – apart from their hapless defeat to Chelsea – saw different players play starring roles. Even though Galton and Hannah Blundell were getting the praise on Sunday, the tremendous work the United midfield has done to help the defense as well as their attack has been consistent this season with captain Katie Zelem downplaying their opposition. being the highlight. Tremendous workload in the middle of the park.

As United boss Skinner said in his post-match press conference, “You can’t work on one side of the game, we work on all sides of the game; we work hard in defense but it’s a team game. My teams always play as teams, not as individuals. I give them the freedom to play as individuals so they never lose their identity. But our identity is hard work: we’re going to stop the opponent from playing and Then we’re going to maximize our potential from there.”

And indeed, the team ethos is evident in how United approach the game and how they have adapted against their opposition this season, finding the means to play on the front foot against three teams who He has been above him in each season. in WSL.

Worryingly for a United team that has shown clear growth, it still hasn’t run away with a win at the Etihad, some half-time adjustments from City ensured the hosts started on the front foot after the break It eventually ended in a goal for the in-form Laura Combs. The end-to-end spell of the game showed both teams fighting and according to the United manager, the team were frustrated with the result and showing a clear hunger to take more than just a point in front. a 44,259 strong crowd in an unfamiliar side of Manchester.

Skinner believed that despite the work the team had done to reach this point, there was still a lot to do for the team to fully rise up the ranks, but it was clear after 90 minutes in an entertaining derby. The Red Devils, that gap is really closing.

For City though, even allowing for a positive spell their goals and subsequent periods when they exerted pressure against the visiting defense were all too choreographed, all in attack. His movements were very clear. Where United have a team to move and create the ball and different ways to injure different players, the Citizens regularly find Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp pinging balls into the box for Bunny Shaw on the wings. Let’s see to do.

Yet even with the quality Gareth Taylor can call his bench as creative and influential as his starting XI, his team lack the motivation and enthusiasm that you would expect from the personnel at their disposal.

The match ended in a draw – the most likely result before kick-off – and although it was a fascinating game, it is clear that both teams have things to strive for on their way to the title, but for now, they are in the clearing. across, free to see the gap between you and the eight teams.



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