Manchester City were faced with a difficult task against Women’s Super League giants Chelsea on Sunday afternoon. And, while they did manage to get a point out of their 1-1 draw, they were left disappointed not only because they were so close to all three points, but the numerous amounts of cards handed out.
Chloe Kelly got City off the mark, putting them a goal up after an excellent finish before the 10-minute mark had even begun. And while City could have gone into half-time with the advantage, they had lost captain Alex, who had received her second yellow card of the game, due to time wasting.
The second half, just saw another setback for the citizens, as Lauren Hemp was also sent off with a red card, but this time reason being a foul on Lauren James outside the box.
And being two players down put a lot more pressure on them to finish the game with a win, and just with two minutes of play left, a corner for Chelsea and quite messy defending from City led to an equaliser to end the game. Overall, very disappointing for Manchester City, who could have actually won all three points.
Gareth Taylor impressed with his team but not with the officials’ decisions.
” It does feel like we deserved more than a point out of this game. I thought we were quality. But the game changer was the red cards. It’s a difficult one to take because the players were magnificent. I’m proud of the players. Last week we were tremendous; this week, it was different.”
After discussing his side’s performance, Taylor moved on to the decisions revolving around the bookings of players, ” We’ve had three red cards in two games ( Leila Ouahabi last week ), so if you hadn’t seen us, you’d think we are a dirty playing team, but nobody who has seen us will think that. ”
” I just want to keep 11 players on the pitch. If the referees are consistent with these new rules, you’re going to have a lot of games like that. There were 11 yellows and two reds; it wasn’t a malicious game at all. If we don’t move slower, we’ll have an 8-a-side league. It ruined it for everyone. I spoke to Emma Hayes ( Chelsea manager ) midway through half-time, and we just looked at each other. Does it ruin the game? Yes.”
Many would argue that the refereeing was indeed unfair, and highly unfortunate for City, as they believe the bookings resulted in their downfall.