With two minutes of normal time remaining, Manchester City were on course for their second win over Chelsea in four days. If ever there were a team that had their opponents sussed, this was it. Through the menace of Georgia Stanway and Nikita Parris, Nick Cushing had found a way to subdue the Chelsea backline whose deliveries that had caused his side so much consternation in the first half of Wednesday’s League Cup game. Three points looked inevitable and, moreover, deserved for a side that expertly blunted and edged their opposition.
Then Ji So-yun fired a late, deflected free-kick into the top corner and that was the end of the stranglehold City had held since Tessa Wullaert opened the scoring 11 minutes in. In an ill-advised burst of ambition Millie Bright, in a marauding run reminiscent of John Stones, was robbed by Wullaert, who shrugged off the remaining desperate defenders with all the indifference of a man swatting away a bothersome fly and broke the deadlock as she slotted a low finish past Hedvig Lindahl.
“We lacked confidence, we didn’t want to get on the ball, we didn’t look ourselves, we weren’t aggressive, we didn’t get around first and second balls,” Emma Hayes said. “You have to show them what champions look like, and I think we did that in the second half.”