Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor hailed forward Lauren Hemp after her moment of magic created Chloe Kelly’s late goal in a 1-0 victory over Reading at The Academy Stadium yesterday.
The 20-year-old’s mazey run in the 87th minute finally opened up a stubborn Reading defence, allowing teammate Kelly to tap the ball home from close range.
It was a crucial three points collected by City who continue to push Chelsea all the way in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League title race.
When speaking about his side’s performance in the post-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Taylor admitted that a moment of brilliance won the game for City.
“The game is played over 90-95 minutes,” said Taylor. “We spoke at half-time about remaining patient and keeping to the process that we work to.
“To be fair, we were quite calm and the anxiety levels were up there. I thought we managed the game really well but I think that it was because we have done it previously.
“I think they realised that it is important to remain as calm as we possibly can and it was a moment of magic really, Lauren Hemp providing the quality, dancing her way through then Chloe being in the right position again.”
If not for Hemp’s skill and overall quality, it could have been a case of points dropped for City and head coach Taylor went on to heap praise on the player.
“I think she is a top talent, I really do,” said the City head coach. “She is incredibly brave, she wants the ball in all situations, she makes some errors at times but she doesn’t hide.
“Against Barcelona the other day, I thought she put in an exceptional performance in difficult circumstances and today, you always felt that she would be the one who was most likely to get us something.
“When she danced her way through, I thought that it could be a penalty or anything. To go past four or five players and then produce a great decision, the decision that she made and to then put it on a plate for Chloe was top class.”
Two forwards combining for the winning goal naturally pleased Taylor and the City boss will again need his attacking unit to be firing on all cylinders on Wednesday afternoon when they host Barcelona in the second leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-final tie.