Manchester City Women were tonight outclassed in a 2-1 defeat to FFC Frankfurt at the Academy Stadium. The match was a friendly match organised in order to give Nick Cushing’s players game time in preparation for the club’s upcoming Champions League quarter-final tie against Danish champions, Fortuna Hjorring, on Thursday 23 March.
Although the Germans lead 2-0 at the break, it was in fact City who had a lot of the play early-on and The Blues had multiple corners in quick succession in the first five minutes, but they could not take advantage of the early pressure.
However, it was the visitors that opened the scoring in the tenth minute when Keira Walsh was caught in possession by Jackie Groenen, who proceeded to drive towards the box before placing the ball to Ellie Roebuck’s left into the bottom corner.
Midway through the first-half the hosts had a good chance to equalise when Steph Houghton played the ball over the top of the Frankfurt defence for Nikita Parris to run onto, but she couldn’t provide a finish to trouble the goalkeeper.
It was only minutes later that the ball fell to Yuki Nagasato in the City box, but she smashed the ball over the bar and missed the chance to double their lead.
As the half progressed, the Germans grew more into the game and the midfield pairing of Groenen and Mandy Islacker started to dominate the match.
After a few chances to initially double their lead, it was a minute after the half hour mark that they eventually put one of the chances into the back of the net. A corner was floated into the box which caused the City defence serious problems and the ball subsequently fell to Islacker who smashed the ball into the net from close range.
City’s best chance of the half came on the stroke of half-time as the ball fell to Toni Duggan who somehow put the ball past the post from in the six-yard box.
The second half started just like the first in that it was City who had all the pressure but they again missed numerous chances. The biggest chance of all came when Izzy Christiansen superbly rounded the keeper but to everybody’s disbelief she missed the open-goal and put it wide.
However, Christiansen made up for her earlier miss when she played a sublime through ball that split the Frankfurt defence and reached Parris who comfortably slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to reduce the deficit to one.
City had a huge chance to level the game deep into injury time when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Houghton could only direct the ball into the goalkeeper’s arms.
Although tonight’s result won’t concern Cushing too much, there are certainly some aspects to his side’s performance that will have raised alarms that there is still some work on the training pitch to be done before that crucial match in Denmark.
Manchester City Women: Roebuck, Bronze, Houghton, Beattie, Stokes, Walsh, Christiansen, Middag, Parris, Duggan, Ross (Stanway 74′).
Subs not used: Lawley, Toone, McManus, Hourihan, Campbell.
FFC Frankfurt: Schumann, Störzel (Emmerling 80′), Hendrich, Nagasato, Islacker (Matuschewski 71′), Prießen, Groenen, Hechler (Matheis 60′), Crnogorcevic, Murray, Pawollek (Munk 60′).
Subs not used: Nietgen, Kremer.