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Manchester City Women vs Arsenal Women. Women's Super League.

City Football AcademyAttendance5,409.

Manchester City Women 1

  • L Hemp (17th minute)

Arsenal Women 2

  • S Blackstenius (89th minute, 92nd minute)

Manchester City Women 1-2 Arsenal Women: Stina Blackstenius double stuns Gareth Taylor's side in latest WSL title twist

Match report as Lauren Hemp scored a first-half stunner - her 11th strike of the season; Arsenal roared back late in the second half with two goals from substitute Stina Blackstenius; City's lead later closed to three points by Chelsea, who have a game in hand and superior goal difference

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Highlights of the Women's Super League match between Manchester City and Arsenal

Manchester City squandered the chance to go nine points clear in the race for the Women's Super League title after succumbing to a sensational late Arsenal comeback, losing 2-1 at the Academy Stadium.

Gareth Taylor's side had one hand on the trophy after Lauren Hemp's brilliant first-half strike, but for the late contribution of Gunners forward Stina Blackstenius, which changed the complexion of a dramatic game completely.

Introduced from the bench midway through the second period, Blackstenius' quick-fire double rescued all three points for Arsenal, who were guilty of spurning multiple chances before eventually finding the net twice in three devastating minutes.

The first arrived in the final moments of the 90, with Blackstenius applying an instinctive finish to Caitlin Foord's knockdown from a corner, before a brilliant stoppage-time header gave Arsenal a staggering smash-and-grab win.

Arsenal's Stina Blackstenius celebrates with team-mates after scoring their side's second goal of the game
Image: Blackstenius celebrates after scoring the winner

Chelsea later capitalised on their slip by closing the gap on City to three points after thrashing Bristol City 8-0 to move ahead of them on goal difference. If Chelsea win their game in hand against Tottenham, they would go top ahead of the final day on May 18.

How Arsenal dented City's title tilt

Man City's title hopes dented by a stunning Arsenal comeback
Image: Man City's title hopes have been dented

Man City were cruising for 85 minutes. They had a firm grip on the WSL title. The passing was crisp, and the movement slick. They were a yard quicker and heaps more efficient in possession than their London counterparts.

Then came the collapse.

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Hemp's opener set the early tone. City were zipping the ball about confidently, with Hemp well found in the box by Leila Ouahabi in the 17th minute, turning sharply and dispatching an excellent drilled finish.

Lauren Hemp celebrates scoring for Man City
Image: Lauren Hemp scored her 11th goal of the WSL season

Momentum continued to flow with the home side, with chances coming and going, while Arsenal looked laboured and found it difficult to build any rhythm. That changed when Blackstenius came on.

The Gunners began to threaten and Beth Mead and Foord were both guilty of some wasteful finishing. Fortunately for them, Blackstenius was in a less forgiving mood.

Her first strike was a moment of real intelligence, meeting Foord's knockdown to loop the ball beyond the clutches of Keating. Three minutes later, she pounced again, nodding Kim Little's raking pass into the far corner.

What all that means for the title hunt is difficult to rationalise. Arsenal have thrown Chelsea a lifeline. The Blues' midweek slip-up against Liverpool gave City the perfect opportunity to take the jeopardy out of the race entirely, but the door has now been kicked emphatically open.

Taylor: Defeat tough on us

Gareth Taylor disappointed by 'tough' result
Image: Gareth Taylor was disappointed by a 'tough' result

Man City boss Gareth Taylor speaking to BBC Sport: "We will pick ourselves up. We've always reacted well to negative results.

"It was a bit tough on us today. I thought a draw was a fair result. We never got going in the second half.

"We wanted to be in control and we've lost a little bit of that but we still have one more game.

"It would be amazing [to win a first WSL title since 2016]. It would complete the set for me domestically with the other trophies we've won.

"It's not easy. You've seen today how the momentum can be in your favour and quickly taken from you."

Eidevall: Quality of subs changed game

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall speaking to BBC Sport: "Our performance was very strong today. We got the result we deserved. Not many teams can do what we did here. We should be very proud of that.

"There were a lot of good things about our performance from the early stages of the first half.

"We just didn't really connect the things together. We had a lot of the foundations that were good about the second half already in place from the first. We showed it is a real squad game. What is important is that we started well, but also that we finished well.

"We had some real quality coming off the bench today."

Man City's remaining fixture

May 18: Aston Villa vs Man City, kick-off 3pm

Chelsea fixtures

May 15: Tottenham vs Chelsea, kick-off 7.15pm

May 18: Man Utd vs Chelsea, kick-off 3pm

What's next?

The WSL's final day of the season is on May 18 as Manchester City go to Aston Villa, while Arsenal host Brighton, with all games kicking off at 3pm.

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