The title-defining positives & negatives picked up on after FA Cup loss

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Adobe Women's FA Cup Quarter Final
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Adobe Women's FA Cup Quarter Final / Alex Davidson/GettyImages

A late equaliser led to a penalty shootout, which saw blunders and resulted in Manchester City's elimination from the FA Cup against Tottenham.

It's been a difficult few days for City, who lost their place in the FA Cup on Sunday and also missed out on a spot in the Conti Cup final after a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Mary Fowler's early goal, which gave City the 1-0 lead, would have felt like a big positive towards how the rest of the game would go, and it definitely would have seemed that way when City were still leading at the 95th minute.

However, a messy and inconsiderate piece of defending by Laia Aleixandri and Khiara Keating created the most uncomplicated goal for Bethany England to equalise.

The deciding penalties ended 4-3 in favour of Spurs, confirming their place in the semi-final, while City missed another potential trophy.

Manager Gareth Taylor expressed his thoughts after the deflating defeat and reflected on the Women's Super League, which is now City's only chance at Silverware:

"We need to get back to it, work, and really analyse what we needed to do better today. We look forward to the game against Brighton. We need to have the bit between our teeth a bit more because the WSL is really important."

Taylor and the squad will be disappointed by this result, as will many of the fans, especially with the Conti Cup dream also being put to an end. However, the WSL remains within reach for the Ciyzens, and as they currently sit joint first with Chelsea, the remaining games are more crucial than ever.

Putting aside the elimination, some positives and negatives can be taken away from that game, and these elements that will be mentioned in a minute could be the difference between City's end of the season ending in joy or woe.

Positive: Great determination and build-up in goal-scoring moments

Khadija Shaw
Manchester City v Everton FC - Barclays Women's Super League / Ben Roberts Photo/GettyImages

Man City's strikers have been commendable this season, most noticeable being Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw and Lauren Hemp. During their game with Spurs, it was Mary Fowler who scored just five minutes into the match, another exceptional striker on the City squad.

There are so many talented players amongst the City roaster, but there's a big difference between having talented names and having them whilst being a complete unit. City have become much more of a team this season than before, which is why they are right at the front of this title race.

We've seen some incredible goals scored by the players, and more importantly, we've seen collaboration in creating these moments. This isn't an issue going forward; they just need to keep this up.

Negative: 1-0 isn't enough always

Chloe Kelly
Manchester City v Chelsea - FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup Semi Final / Matt McNulty/GettyImages

We've seen City secure three 1-0 wins on the bounce, which should be taken as positive. Well, sometimes. While City have been doing the main thing and getting their victories, we saw them against Spurs almost do the same thing, but this time, it didn't work.

Just sitting on a 1-0 lead isn't enough. They have so much talent up front to get more goals, but sometimes, they take that one goal as enough and hope for the best for the rest of the game after they score.

They need a lot more hunger to score more goals in a game. They've done it multiple times, but that has not happened recently.

Positive: The Women's Super League will get all their attention.

Laura Coombs, Filippa Angeldahl, Yui Hasegawa
Manchester United v Manchester City - Barclays Women´s Super League / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

While it's disheartening that two cups are no longer in the picture, the WSL could be deemed the club's most wanted trophy.

With no more fixtures upcoming in any other league, their focus will be firmly on the WSL; with equal points gained by them and Chelsea thus far, the Cityzens are more than in this title race.

Negative: The defence still needs to be more solid.

Khiara Keating
Manchester City v Chelsea - FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup Semi Final / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Every team makes defensive errors here and there, and City currently have ten clean sheets in 24 matches while conceding a total of 18 goals from their opponents.

The highest number of goals scored against them in one game is three, which was done by Liverpool, but City were still the winners of that particular match, ending 4-3.

While City's stats there aren't exactly horrendous, at this point in the season, it is concerning. Witnessing the blunder that led to Spurs making it 1-1 the other day really shows that City's defence can't always be relied upon.


Positive: We've seen results many didn't expect this season.

Khadija Shaw, Laura Coombs
Manchester City v Liverpool FC - Barclays Women's Super League / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

We know Man City aren't exactly a smaller team defeating the odds, but many wouldn't have expected the results they've achieved against the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea on some occasions,

Yes, they have lost to both clubs, one each, so far, but they've secured a win over the Gunners, a draw, and a win against Chelsea.

Therefore, despite the negatives, which do need improvement, City cannot be written off and are more than capable of winning the Women's Super League trophy at the end of the season.