Manchester City Women recovered from conceding a first minute goal to comfortably beat bottom club Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
Goals by Caroline Weir and Keira Walsh gave City the lead by half time after Jess Sigswell had put the home side in front with barely a minute on the clock. Further goals by Lauren Hemp and Laura Coombs sealed a 4-1 win for the blues, their first in the WSL since the opening day of the season.
City’s league form had been brought into question after successive defeats to Spurs, Arsenal and West Ham, while the blues managed a 2-2 draw against Manchester United in their last league outing.
However, a match against the bottom club, who had lost all five of their league games so far this season, was a contest that City could ill afford to lose, particularly after the blues had put six second half goals past the same opposition in the FA Cup last month, and defeat could have spelt the end of Gareth Taylor’s tenure.
The manager has been under pressure recently following the poor league form, couped with an FA Cup semi-final loss at home to Chelsea, where the blues failed to record a single shot on target until midway through the second half.
Taylor was able to welcome back Georgia Stanway, after the youngster served her suspension for her red card against United, and replaced Janine Beckie at right back, while Jess Park started on the right wing.
With expectations high following Thursday’s 3-0 win over Durham, City got off to the worst possible start. Jill Scott was dispossessed by Sigsworth and the former United star raced into the area and fired home under Taieb to give the home side the lead.
City reacted well to going behind and were almost on level terms when Stanway’s drive was tipped onto the bar by the impressive Kirstie Levell. However, the keeper couldn’t prevent City from equalising in the 23rd minute. Demi Stokes’ shot took a deflection and Weir reacted to steer the ball home.
Leicester briefly rallied but offered little as City began to increase the pressure. Weir’s effort inside the penalty area after good work from Hemp was well saved by Levell.
But the blues were not to be denied a second goal for long, and when the home side failed to fully clear a City attack, the ball fell kindly to Walsh, who fired home from outside the penalty for her first goal of the season.
Leicester heads dropped and City grew in confidence, particularly down the wings where Hemp and Jess Park were creating fear in the home defence. Park had a drive saved by Levell and Hemp’s mazy runs had the defence backtracking.
But it wasn’t until the 71st minute that City made the game safe, and it was Hemp who was on the end of it. The youngster got in behind the Leicester defence again, and this time made no mistake as she lashed the ball home, giving Levell no chance.
And eight minutes later, City finished off the scoring when slid the ball under the keeper to ensure the points came to Manchester. The result was a much-needed reprieve for manager Taylor, but with a home match against champions Chelsea next weekend and a League Cup match at Manchester United three days later, Taylor will be hoping his side have now turned the corner.
Final Score: Leicester City Women 1-4 Manchester City Women