Player ratings as points shared at Etihad Stadium
From the Etihad Stadium – Manchester City and Manchester United played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in front of 44,259 in a landmark WSL derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Leah Galton’s first half opener was eventually cancelled out by Laura Coombs, with a draw arguably the fairest outcome on the balance of the game.
The travelling contingent of United fans were louder and more passionate with their singing, and it took City around 10 minutes to get into their stride. But the hosts had the first real sight of goal when Mary Earps had to punch the ball away at a corner threatening to drop into the net.
City continued that pressure without creating much more in the way of clear sites of goal, which gave United the confidence to attack more and then take the lead when their opportunity came.
The visitors had been best out wide against Aston Villa last weekend and in the early stages here and it was a move that came from the left. Galton started it, before playing inside to Ella Toone and continuing her run into the box. The deflected low finish beat Ellie Roebuck at the near post.
United clearly took confidence from going ahead, playing more freely than they were earlier. And while Earps made a couple of saves in what remained of the first half, the England number one was comfortable and City hadn’t done enough to get back on level terms.
If anything, United had a great opportunity to make it 2-0 before the break, but Hayley Ladd lacked the composure from a relatively tight angle and fire high and wide.
Marc Skinner’s side then picked up where they left off after the restart and really pinned the hosts in. But the first time that City really broke that press in the second half, they scored. A Chloe Kelly cross from the right wasn’t cleared and Coombs was in a great position to stoop and nod in.
It changed the momentum of the game and soon Kelly went close to putting City ahead with an effort from out wide that flashed across the face of goal. Millie Turner, who had missed her header for the equaliser, then had to stretch to turn a dangerous ball over her own crossbar.
Alessia Russo had a couple of half chances to restore United’s lead, firing just wide from distance. Both goalkeepers were called into action as the final stages approached, Earps twice saved Khadija Shaw headers, while Roebuck just about kept hold of one from substitute Martha Thomas.
With both sides seemingly not settled to accept a draw, it was end to end stuff in the final moments.
United players furiously appealed for a penalty in stoppage time when they felt Lucia Garcia’s close-range attempt was blocked by an arm. But neither side could find a late winner.
GK: Ellie Roebuck – 6/10 – Unfortunate with the United breakthrough as it was deflected through the legs of a defender. This season hasn’t been her best and didn’t always look that convincing.
RB: Kerstin Casparij – 6/10 – Looked as though she would repeatedly struggle against Galton but largely managed to shut that down after being easily beaten for the United goal.
CB: Laia Aleixandri – 6/10 – Made the equaliser possible by stepping into midfield with the ball and kicking off the move that resulted in Coombs scoring.
CB: Alex Greenwood (c) – 6/10 – Wore the captain’s armband against her old club. Barely gave the ball away as per.
LB: Leila Ouahabi – 7/10 – Looked really good when she got forward but there was a large chunk of the game where she wasn’t that involved.
CM: Laura Coombs – 8/10 – Continued her good goalscoring start to the season by gambling and making sure she got herself into the box.
CM: Yui Hasegawa – 5/10 – Really struggled to impose herself in the first half because of how United pressed in midfield.
CM: Deyna Castellanos – 6/10 – Made significantly more impact after half-time.
RW: Chloe Kelly – 7/10 – Quiet until making the City equaliser with a teasing cross from the right and continued to pose a threat on that side in the second half.
ST: Khadija Shaw – 7/10 – Looked a danger running in open spaces but often had to come deeper to be effective because of the attentions of Le Tissier. Had a couple of headers well saved.
LW: Lauren Hemp – 6/10 – Not vintage Hemp but this was her first WSL appearance in more than a month. Marshalled well by Batlle.
SUB: Hayley Raso (85′ for Kelly) – N/A
Gareth Taylor – 7/10 – Trusted his instincts by not really using his bench. His team were much improved after the half-time interval.
GK: Mary Earps – 7/10 – Made a number of saves without being super challenged.
RB: Ona Batlle – 8/10 – A really important attacking outlet as always, made all the more impressive by having to deal with Hemp the other way.
CB: Maya Le Tissier – 7/10 – Handled herself really well in the physical battle with Shaw. A really mature performance overall.
CB: Millie Turner – 6/10 – Made a number of good blocks and clearances, although failed to cut out the cross for City’s equaliser.
LB: Hannah Blundell – 6/10 – Held her own against Kelly overall, but the equaliser did come from that side.
CM: Katie Zelem (c) – 8/10 – Pressed City really well in central areas and made it difficult for them to play through the middle. Showed quality with the ball too.
CM: Hayley Ladd – 7/10 – Battled hard to make United competitive in the middle. A little more composure could have given her a first half goal
AM: Ella Toone – 7/10 – Had the vision and awareness to play it back to Galton to assist the breakthrough. Took up positions between the lines and worked hard off the ball too.
RW: Nikita Parris – 6/10 – Didn’t offer loads going forward but put in a shift when City had the ball to protect Batlle behind her.
ST: Alessia Russo – 7/10 – Wore down the City centre-backs, with her strength and movement helping to bring others into play.
LW: Leah Galton – 7/10 – Made her opening goal by taking it to City on the left and continuing her run. A real danger but arguably not utilised enough.
SUB: Martha Thomas (72′ for Parris) – 6/10
SUB: Lucia Garcia (84′ for Russo) – 6/10
Marc Skinner – 8/10 – Has really drilled a particular philosophy into his players and will be pleased to see those principles in play here. The growth in experience has been huge.
Player of the match – Ona Batlle (Man Utd)
Tottenham weighing up decision on Antonio Conte future
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is weighing up whether to sack manager Antonio Conte this week, 90min understands.
While Spurs remain fourth in the Premier League, limp exits in the FA Cup and Champions League threw the Italian’s future into doubt and his meltdown at Southampton plunged the club further into crisis.
90min revealed earlier on Monday Tottenham could be forced to pay Conte a whipping £15m if they dismiss him before the end of the season.
Now, sources have confirmed Conte is back in Italy for a routine trip to his homeland having held talks with Spurs boss Levy. A final decision has not yet been reached but a number of officials at the club believe Conte’s position is untenable.
Tottenham Hotspur: Who is to blame?
Here at 90min towers, we’ve realised that there is always at least one Premier League club in relative crisis at any given time. In tribute, they are christened as the ‘crisis club of the week’.
But Tottenham Hotspur have crossed a line. You can’t keep continuously wrestling back the championship belt (you know, proverbially – we all know about the trophy drought). There must be a price to pay.
As such, we’ve had to dust off the old ‘who is to blame?’ gimmick instead. So, who really is to blame for Spurs’ current distress?
Blame rating: 0.1/10
Look at him. That big smile. Those big shoes. Those big wings.
He is everything wrong with Tottenham Hotspur.
Blame rating: 0.2/10
What’s worse than one big giant cockerel?
TWO big giant cockerels.
Blame rating: 0.5/10
It’s time to hop in the time machine. It’s time for some domino-effect interrogating.
Midway through the 2011/12 season, Tottenham had separated themselves from the top-four chasing pack and were within touching distance of Premier League title contenders Manchester City.
In a crunch game at the Etihad Stadium, Spurs fought back from two goals down to level it at 2-2. Mario Balotelli somehow escaped a red card for stamping on Scott Parker’s head, and would score a stoppage time penalty to seal a win for Man City and send Tottenham’s campaign into a tailspin.
That’s why they’re still stuck fighting for top-four finishes now.
Blame rating: 0.75/10
With Tottenham in the midst of that title fight, they recruited Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha on free transfers on deadline day.
How do you think it went?
Blame rating: 1/10
But the person most at fault for such a collapse is Harry Redknapp. Or more specifically, his dog Rosie.
During a trial of two counts of cheating the public revenue, Redknapp explained to a court that he set up a Monaco bank account with Rosie’s name because he loved her so much.
All the while, Spurs’ season was going down the pan and he was flirting with the England job.
How could you do this, Rosie?
Blame rating: 1.5/10
At the end of Redknapp’s tenure, star midfielder Luka Modric was sold to Real Madrid, with Spurs announcing they had entered a special ‘partnership agreement’ with the Spanish giants.
Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid a year later.
Blame rating: 2/10
Though Juande Ramos is also Real Madrid alumni, his connection to Tottenham is for a very different reason.
He was the last manager to win a trophy with Spurs. Much better managers have followed in his wake and failed. What a lottery.
Blame rating: 2.1/10
Ramos won the cup, but that team spiritually belonged to Martin Jol. He’s just as culpable.
Blame rating: 2.5/10
Because you can’t blame who Spurs are and what they’re about without referencing Lasagna-gate 2006. I don’t want to go into it, though. Too painful.
Blame rating: 3/10
One of Tottenham’s most famous fans just happens to be someone who can also sell out Wembley – how are Spurs supposed to live with that pressure?
But speaking of Wembley…
Blame rating: 3.5/10
Tottenham had outgrown their old White Hart Lane stadium and had to move on. During construction of a new ground, they had to play at Wembley – a soulless stadium which was a nightmare to get to and from.
Spurs were unbeaten in their final season at White Hart Lane and lost their first game at Wembley. Go figure.
Blame rating: 4/10
Tottenham haven’t quite felt the benefits of their new home just yet. Why not? Why can’t a stadium play at wing-back?
Blame rating: 4.1/10
Among proposals for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium were a cheese room as part of the club’s luxury offerings.
It did not make the final blueprints.
Blame rating: 4.5/10
Beavertown have a microbrewery inside the new stadium. They now run a pub where the old ticket office stood. I am the proud owner of Beavertown x Spurs merchandise.
They truly run the world.
Blame rating: 5/10
The NFL have a 10-year agreement to play matches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. There is a specific-use American football pitch underneath the soccer one.
It’s just not football anymore.
Blame rating: 5.1/10
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium featured on an episode of Richard Hammond’s Big.
Did the club further need their ego stroked? No.
Is the episode any good? Oh yeah, really great. Rivalries aside, definitely go watch it.
Blame rating: 5.2/10
Do podcasters even say anything interesting? Anything noteworthy? Are they worth the hassle? Everyone’s got a bloody podcast these days.
Anyway, please subscribe to Oh What A Night, part of the 90min podcast network. Hosted by me.
Blame rating: 5.5/10
The referee who gave a handball against Moussa Sissoko 22 seconds into the only Champions League final Tottenham might ever play.
I hope you’re proud of yourself. You ruined it for everyone.
Blame rating: 5.6/10
Off the back of reaching that Champions League final, Spurs made an audacious move to sign Paulo Dybala from Juventus.
He didn’t seem overly keen on the deal anyway, but a move fell apart on deadline day as Tottenham could not legally work their way around an issue with the forward’s image rights.
Blame rating: 6/10
Jose Mourinho was hired to get Tottenham over the line in their pursuit of a trophy.
He took the club backwards instead.
Blame rating: 6.1/10
Tottenham were handed a boost in their 2020/21 UEFA Europa League last 16 tie with Dinamo Zagreb when it was confirmed that manager Zoran Mamic had been sentenced to four years in prison.
Spurs managed to blow a two-goal lead and lost the second leg 3-0. Maybe if Mamic was let off the hook things would have been different.
Blame rating: 6.2/10
Off the back of that surprise elimination, the social media manager of Joe Hart – who spent just one season at Spurs – praised the result on the goalkeeper’s Instagram page, assuming that Tottenham wouldn’t have ballsed it up.
Hart issued a public apology for the incident, but the damage was done.
Blame rating: 6.5/10
This really was a time where bashing Tottenham was the lowest of hanging fruits. Even Dulux – who had become the club’s official paint supplier days earlier – posted tweets mocking their empty trophy cabinet.
Blame rating: 6.6/10
“Lads, it’s Tottenham.”
This utterance from Fergie set up a generation of Spurs jokes.
Blame rating: 6.7/10
Ah, the man behind the modern person’s Spurs proverb.
“It is in the history of the Tottenham.”
That’s another generation sorted.
Blame rating: 7/10
The best fried chicken in north London, why must you always tempt us back to N17?
Sources (Matt Le Tissier and David Cotterill) suggest the secret ingredient is Chirpy.
Blame rating: 7.5/10
Ok, I’m only being half-satirical with this list. 75% at a push. 100% if you think I’m a moron.
But there are genuinely Tottenham fans who think that Beyonce playing concerts at the stadium this summer is an awful thing which somehow ties to the club’s ambitions.
Blame rating: 8/10
Is it a good thing when your managing director of football could be banned from football for two-and-a-half years for financial irregularities?
Blame rating: 8.6/10
Antonio Conte was meant to be different. He was hired to get Tottenham over the line in their pursuit of a trophy. He took the club backwards inst- hey, didn’t I say this already?
Blame rating: 8.7/10
The unlikeliest of heroes, all things considered. 271 goals for Tottenham Hotspur, and by dumb modern-day logic, none of them mean anything.
What a sad little life, Harry.
Blame rating: 8.8/10
Well, Tactics Tim, you always wanted to take credit for Kane becoming one of the best players in the world.
Time to have your cake and eat it.
Blame rating: 9/10
Whooooo remembers ‘4th – Arsenal’ jokes?
No but seriously the Gunners have made the leap Spurs were supposed to and it’s causing misery down the other end of the Seven Sisters Road and I hate it.
Blame rating: 9.1/10
Lord Sugar was the owner of Tottenham during one of the worst stretches of their entire history. Nowadays, he just tweets discriminatory things and hosts The Apprentice.
Quite a brush for the club to be tarred with.
Blame rating: 9.5/10
Objectively and subjectively, Tottenham have made huge strides under Daniel Levy’s chairmanship.
They’ve also stagnated in recent years because of some really poor decisions and refusal to learn from mistakes.
Levy giveth, Levy taketh away.
Blame rating: 10/10
Here he is. The man who raised the bar, who made modern Tottenham Hotspur the club they are today.
It’s only right that he should be forced to return and sort out this mess. Who’s with me?
Nottingham Forest midfielder Lewis O’Brien joins D.C. United on loan
Nottingham Forest midfielder Lewis O’Brien is officially headed to Major League Soccer.
The player will join D.C. United on loan through July 16, though the contract contains a purchase option.
As reported previously by 90min, the two parties agreed to terms for the temporary stint after head coach Wayne Rooney convinced O’Brien of the project at D.C. United.
“Lewis has been one of the best players in the Championship over the last few seasons,” Rooney said in a release. “He reads the game well and creates goal-scoring opportunities. Bringing him in on loan from Nottingham Forest was a great bit of business for us and he will be a brilliant addition to our midfield.”
The player’s future was initially at risk when failing to secure a transfer to Championship high-fliers Blackburn Rovers on deadline day. Director of football Gregg Broughton revealed Rovers experienced “internal and external” reasons that led to late submission, and the club appealed the decision in the hope of the move being ratified.
But the EFL rejected the bid as Rovers had not submitted all of the required paperwork in time.
The unfortunate outcome left O’Brien unable to feature for the remainder of the season, after Forest did not name him in their 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of the campaign.
But Rooney stepped in with the chance at a new chapter with the Black and Red in Major League Soccer. O’Brien will now join D.C United with one goal in 17 appearances under his belt. He stands as D.C.’s third Premier League addition in the last six months after striker Christian Benteke arrived last summer from Crystal Palace and Mateusz Klich joined this winter from Leeds United.
Under Rooney, D.C. United has seen a decent start to the 2023 campaign with four points in four games and a 1W-1L-1D record. After concluding the 2022 season in last place of the Eastern Conference, the head coach hopes the new additions will propel the team out of the bottom and into the playoffs.
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