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Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United: Another big loss for Skinner, but Reds sneak through in Conti Cup

Another big game, another disappointing performance for Marc Skinner’s side...

Manchester City v Manchester United - FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United suffered a second straight defeat with a 2-1 loss to Manchester City in Conti Cup action on Wednesday. Marc Skinner’s side fell 3-1 at Chelsea at the weekend, and it was a similarly disappointing performance at City as United lost top spot in the Conti Cup group.

United will still advance to the quarterfinals thanks to their record going into the match, but it was still another frustrating showing against one of the best in England. United had improved in these matches last season, but have now lost twice to City in the 2023/24 campaign.

Skinner rotated the side for this one, showing that he is actually capable of doing so. Lisa Naalsund and Irene Guerrero both came into the midfield with Hayley Ladd and Ella Tooney on the bench. Rachel Williams got a start up top in place of Geyse, and Jayde Riviere made way for Gemma Evans to play at left back as Hannah Blundell moved over to the right.

Another big change was between the sticks, a typical change for cup play, with Phallon Tullis-Joyce coming in for another impressive performance.

The match began at quick pace from the starting gun, with chances for both sides before City eventually settled into possession. There were chances for Nikita Parris and Bunny Shaw both to open the scoring, but Kiara Keating and Tullis-Joyce made their presence felt.

Tullis-Joyce’s performance on the day was marked with some really good saves throughout, but particularly in the first half. She had two huge saves against Shaw in situations that looked certain to be goals for the City’s goal machine. A turn and strike for the bottom corner and a close range strike were both parried away as United held on late in the first half.

The efforts of City did not let up however, and the Blues struck finally at the start of the second half. Chloe Kelly, who had seen a thunderous strike ping off the upright in the first half, made an excellent touch to control the ball past Gemma Evans before firing past a helpless Tullis-Joyce in the 47th minute.

The goal did wake up United a bit, but they failed to convert their chances. Perhaps the best chance of the game fell to Nikita Parris, who bolted in behind the defense on the end of a Lucia Garcia pass before placing the shot right at Keating.

Skinner turned to his regular starters on the bench with Ella Toone and Geyse coming on after the hour mark. Just a few minutes later City doubled their advantage though, and the Reds began to look like a defeated side. A consolation goal came late with Parris steering a shot past Keating, but it was deep in stoppage time at that point and therefore too little too late.

This loss makes it three defeats in United’s last four matches. Not the best response after some fans have started a “Skinner Out” movement, but there are opportunities coming up to prove doubters wrong. Time for the manager to step up.