Leigh Sports Village stadium is seen before the game Manchester United Women v Lewes Women, Women's Championship football match, Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, UK - 11 May 2019 Photo: Jon Super for The FA

Derby day – Would Manchester United have toppled City in second FAWSL derby?

This afternoon would have seen the fourth Manchester derby of the season take place with Manchester United scheduled to face Manchester City at the Leigh Sports Village in the FA Women’s Super League.

City won the reverse fixture 1-0 at The Etihad Stadium in September while they were also 3-2 winners in the Women’s FA Cup fourth round. United notched their first derby win in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup, Stoney’s side winning a group fixture 2-0 at the Leigh Sports Village as the visitors ended the match with 10 players due to a Keira Walsh dismissal.

Sadly, the Coronavirus crisis means that there will be no fourth meeting of these two great rivals this afternoon but we take a look at the facts and figures to see who might have come out on top in Leigh.

When it comes to football, Manchester is the loudest city by far and there would have been plenty of noise in the stands created by both sets of supporters. Whilst a rivalry has been building amongst supporters this season, both sets of players have largely maintained their professionalism on the pitch with two of the three games failing to produce a booking.

Manchester United’s form of late has been patchy with one win, two draws and two defeats from their last five games in all competitions. Their league fixtures against the ‘big three’ have all ended in 1-0 defeats, a sign that this afternoon’s encounter would have potentially been a very tight affair.

Manchester City’s recent form has been quite different with Alan Mahon’s side being unbeaten in four matches. Their defensive record in the FA Women’s Super League this season is the best in the division, City can certainly keep things tight in the big games, although Chelsea’s attacking array of talent proved otherwise as they breached the City backline three times in their thrilling 3-3 draw at The Academy Stadium last month. Manchester rivals United could have taken hope that both of City’s league defeats this season have come away from home at Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.

The last meeting between United and City in January was a thrilling affair which had everything, from the brilliant to the bizarre, and left fans discussing the key moments of the game for days, if not weeks after the final whistle had sounded at the Leigh Sports Village.

With a key battle in the title race ongoing, we think that Manchester City would have put in a big performance against Stoney’s United but the home side are due a big result against one of the division’s best. With City boss Mahon yet to taste a Manchester derby as manager, it would have been fascinating to see whether the result would have been with the form book or whether United would have put a dent in their rivals’ hopes of FA Women’s Super League glory.

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