Laura Coombs comes to City’s rescue in the Manchester derby

Laura Coombs comes to City’s rescue in the Manchester derby

Deyna Castellanos soon had a shot on target, but there was no encouraging response from Gareth Taylor’s side, who struggled to push in midfield.

The pattern continued into the second half before City equalized against the run of play.

Chloe Kelly’s right wing cross was not cleared by Millie Turner and Coombs stooped to head a fourth BWSL goal of the season from six yards.

An end-to-end contest ensued as Kelly blazed over at the back post and United talisman Alessia Russo broke through to drag an effort over the bar.

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Martha Thomas headed home ten minutes from time which forced Ellie Roebuck into a sharp save as the two sides could not be separated.

In the final game of the day, Chelsea recorded a club-record ninth win in a row with a tense 3-2 victory over Reading.

It was the familiar game of two halves with the Blues red-hot to begin with in the Kingsmeadow snow, scoring three goals in the first half before a Reading comeback after the break.

Fran Kirby opened the scoring after 16 minutes, firing home from close range after a clever quick free-kick caught the Reading defense off guard.

Jelena Čanković had never scored for Chelsea before this game, but she had two in the space of four minutes as the hosts moved quickly through the gears.

Sanne Troelsgaard pulled one back for Reading on the hour mark and Amalie Eikeland grabbed a second just moments later, but the Royals were unable to salvage a point in the closing stages.

Meanwhile, Arsenal fought back from an early scare to beat Aston Villa 4-1.

Manchester United loanee Kirsty Hanson put the hosts ahead when she crossed from the left after seven minutes.

Villa almost grabbed a second when Laura Blindkilde’s cross hit the crossbar, but the visitors quickly hit back when Rachel Corsie parried Hannah Hampton’s save into her own net.

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Vivianne Miedema gave the Gunners the lead after half an hour when she volleyed home from a corner, paving the way for an eighth straight BWSL away win.

Katie McCabe grabbed a third on 62 minutes and Jordan Nobbs added gloss to the scoreline when she swept home six minutes from time.

Earlier, West Ham climbed to fifth, just four points off City, with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

After a slow start to this clash between the London neighbours, Spurs dominated the first half and launched wave after wave of attacks.

Drew Spence and Cho So-hyun both had shots blocked and the best chance fell to Celin Bizet, who should have done better when a corner fell at her feet three yards out.

On the stroke of half-time, Kerys Harrop hacked down Kate Longhurst, but Brynjarsdóttir butchered the shot and fired wide of the left post.

The Hammers came out of the blocks firing and Brynjarsdóttir responded by robbing Molly Batrip of the ball and lashing home from close range five minutes after the restart.

Still the visitors had the better of open play but as they surged forward, Hawa Cissoko beat them on the counter and chipped the ball over Rebecca Spencer to seal the change.

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