Manchester City Women vs Aston Villa Women. Women's Super League.
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Report as Manchester City make it three wins a row as they move up to second in the Women's Super League table with a 2-1 win against Aston Villa; Lauren Hemp scores twice for City after Danielle Turner's opening goal
Saturday 9 December 2023 18:28, UK
Lauren Hemp's quickfire double helped Manchester City come from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 and move up to second in the Women’s Super League table.
The visitors had taken an early lead when Danielle Turner cleverly hooked an effort into the top corner of the City net.
But two goals in the space of five second-half minutes from Hemp turned the game on its head.
It means City sign off on home soil for 2023 with another hard-fought triumph, and having lost just once at the Joie Stadium this year.
It was the visitors who drew first blood, after going close through a deflected Jordan Nobbs effort early on, with an impressive effort from Turner.
The centre-half had stayed up following a set-piece, and cleverly hooked a volley over her shoulder and into the corner from a Kenza Dali cross.
City regrouped though, with intricate play from Jill Roord and Leila Ouahabi almost seeing Villa's goalscorer turn the ball into her own net as she attempted to clear the danger soon after.
The pressure continued when the ball dropped kindly for Hemp to try her luck on the volley midway through the half, but her dangerous effort flew just beyond the far post.
City went close again on the half hour when Bunny Shaw pounced on a mistake deep in the attacking third but, after a brief spell of penalty box pinball, Chloe Kelly's eventual effort was smartly saved by Daphne van Domselaar in the Villa net.
City came out for the second half with a clear intent.
Hemp fired a vicious long range drive just over the bar after Shaw had got a foot to Van Domselaar's clearance early on, while Laura Coombs was agonisingly close to poking home an equaliser until a Villa boot diverted the ball behind.
But the elusive leveller would eventually come from the head of Hemp.
The hosts had worked the ball well out to the right hand side, with Hemp ghosting in at the far post to power home Kelly's inviting cross.
The reaction of both players and the home supporters demonstrated the importance of the strike, and City immediately set to task on turning the game around.
A second would arrive within five minutes, with Hemp once again in the right place at the right time.
Kelly's searching corner was met by Alex Greenwood, whose header back across goal was tapped home from close-range by the winger.
But for a fine reaction save from Van Domselaar, Hemp could even have completed a second half hat-trick when another header looked destined for the bottom corner.
The Villans had frustrated City for over an hour, and almost drew level when Lucy Parker's stinging drive stung the palms of Khiara Keating.
It looked like City had been presented with an opportunity to double the advantage as stoppage time approached when Shaw went down in the area.
However, much to both hers and her team-mates' bemusement, the protests fell on deaf ears. It meant City had to settle for a one-goal margin in a match where they were really made to work for an important three points.
Manchester City head to Everton on Sunday December 17, kick-off 1pm.
Aston Villa host Durham on Wednesday December 13 in the Women's League Cup, kick-off 6pm. Their next Women's Super League fixture is at home to Brighton on Sunday December 17. Kick-off 6.45pm.