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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Gareth Taylor feels Man City have "exciting" advantage as League Cup pursuit gathers pace

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Gareth Taylor believes his Manchester City squad has the depth needed to challenge across multiple fronts this season after progressing to the last eight of the Women’s League Cup.

Taylor made 10 changes from the team that beat West Ham in the WSL last weekend for their Group B tie at Leicester, with City winning 1-0 thanks to a last-gasp goal from one of those who came into the team, midfielder Filippa Angeldahl. The Swede converted a Lauren Hemp cross to ensure her team maintained a 100% record in the competition this season, with City now unbeaten in 12 games.

Although they exited the Champions League at the start of the season, the League Cup holders are still chasing a domestic treble. City are six points off top in the WSL but with a game in hand and have a fourth round Women’s FA Cup tie with Championship side Sheffield United looming next week.

Wednesday’s win means they will also face Bristol City in the last eight of the League Cup. And Taylor told Man City’s website he is confident his squad will be able to handle what could prove a heavy workload in the second half of the season, believing everyone will have a role to play.

“We changed the team completely tonight apart from Leila (Ouahabi),” explained Taylor. “And that was only because Demi [Stokes] wasn’t available.

“It shows the strength in depth we have now. I think that’s really exciting. Hopefully that’s going to be something that’s going to benefit us in the race for all the competitions in the second half of the season.

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Man City celebrate after Filippa Angeldal gets a late winner against Leicester
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2023 Getty Images)

“It’s always a good scoreline isn’t it, 1-0? You think back to the days of teams who are able to just knock out these types of wins.

“We dominated possession tonight and we dominated possession on Sunday against West Ham, we had 25 attempts on goal I think on Sunday. I don’t know what we had tonight.

“But if you don’t work the goalkeeper, it leaves it until the last five or ten minutes before Filippa scores. I think there are some pleasing aspects (to the performance) but when you leave it that tight you always run the risk.”

Taylor was also full of praise for matchwinner Angeldahl. The Swedish international, capped 35 times, has only started once in the league so far this season but has proven more than reliable when appearing in the League Cup.

“I was really pleased for Filippa, I think she deserved that goal. She had a couple of chances before that,” Taylor added. “It was probably the one moment of quality in the final third.

“We huffed and puffed tonight, we didn’t give the best version of ourselves but fair play to Leicester – they worked tremendously hard and the pitch was difficult.

“I’m pleased (with topping the group). Of course, it’s a trophy we take seriously and we’re the holders.”

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