City’s win over Chelsea good news for Rep of Ireland duo

Squad-watch: Emphatic win for Katie McCabe’s Arsenal in London derby as Ireland defender Aoife Mannion returns to action in Manchester United’s win over West Ham

Katie McCabe and Aoife Mannion’s chances of finishing their respective club seasons with a league title winner’s medal received a sizeable boost over the weekend thanks to Manchester City’s 2-0 win over defending champions Chelsea.

That result blew the title race wide open, just three points now separating the top four: Manchester United (38), City (38), Chelsea (37) and Arsenal (35), both London clubs with a game in hand.

McCabe had an eventful outing for Arsenal when they thumped Spurs 5-1 in the north London derby, conceding and earning a penalty, but she’s now very much back in favour with manager Jonas Eidevall, reclaiming her place in the starting line-up of late having been left on the bench for a spell.

Mannion, meanwhile, is still being eased back in to action by United, having returned from an ACL injury in January. She came on for the last 10 minutes of their 4-0 win over West Ham, for whom Izzy Atkinson came on as a sub, in front of a crowd of 27,919 at Old Trafford.


On Friday, 22,161 fans watched the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park, the game ending 1-1, much to Liverpool manager Matt Beard’s frustration.

He laid the blame for his side not collecting all three points squarely on one player’s shoulders: “Courtney Brosnan was their best player by a country mile,” he sighed.

Brosnan, then, is making the most of the continuing absence through injury of England’s Emily Ramsey, impressing with a string fine saves that helped Everton earn that draw against a Liverpool side that featured Megan Campbell at the back.

Between them, Reading and Brighton have four members of Vera Pauw’s squad, but just two featured in the 2-2 draw between the sides on Sunday, goalkeeper Grace Moloney (Reading) and midfielder Megan Connolly (Brighton). Megan Walsh and Diane Caldwell were unused substitutes.

In the Championship, there was good news midweek with the sight of Chloe Mustaki back in training for Bristol City, having been out since December with a groin injury, while Naoisha McAloon continues to press her claim for a goalkeeping spot in Pauw’s squad. The Dubliner, first called up to the senior squad last summer, was outstanding again in Durham’s 3-0 win over promotion-chasers London City Lionesses.

In Scotland, Emily Whelan was named player of the match in league leaders Glasgow City’s 2-0 win away to Hibernian, while further afield, Donegal’s Roma McLaughlin helped Fortuna Hjørring reach the Danish Cup final – they beat reigning league champions HB Køge 2-0 in the second leg of their semi-final.

And in the United States, Denise O’Sullivan captained North Carolina Courage to a 1-0 win over Kansas City Current in their opening NWSL game of the season.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times