Manchester City Women tonight had to come from behind to earn a point in a 1-1 draw against Birmingham Ladies at the Academy Stadium.

In what could be described as a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final later this month, it was the hosts who could have taken the lead within the first minute when Carli Lloyd capitalised on some sloppy defending but she could only hit the side netting with a shot from a tight angle.

The deadlock was broken soon after when Emily Westwood climbed highest to head Coral-Jade Haines’ corner past Ellie Roebuck into the top corner.

After taking the lead the visitors grew more into the game and they should have doubled the scoreline when they counter-attacked well but Kerys Harrop dragged her shot across goal from just inside the box.

After the break the home side appeared to look a lot more composed in possession and following good link-up play between Lucy Bronze and Georgia Stanway, Bronze proceeded to drive into the box before placing the ball past the Birmingham goalkeeper, Ann-Katrin Berger, and into the back of the net.

Following the equaliser, City started to dominate the game and they could possibly have snatched a late winner when Jane Ross did well to get to the byline but her cross into the box evaded everybody, meaning the current league champions had to settle for just a point in their opening game of the WSL Spring Series.

Manchester City Women: Roebuck, Bronze, Middag, Beattie (Campbell 66′), Houghton, Asllani (Scott 66′), Lloyd, Christiansen, Stanway (Ross 58′), McManus, Walsh.

Subs not used: Hourihan, Duggan, Lawley, Parris.

Birmingham Ladies: Berger, Sargeant, Carter, Harrop, White, Hegerberg (Ewers 81′), Stringer, Westwood (Williams 79′), Haines (Wellings 67′), Mannion, Brazil.

Subs not used: Baggaley, Ayisi, Peplow, Johnson.

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