Man Utd and Man City managers agree on record Manchester derby crowd in WSL and hope for future

Even defeated Manchester United Women manager Marc Skinner couldn’t fault the Manchester public as they turned out in their numbers for a record-breaking Women’s Super League derby on Sunday.

With City hosting their first derby at the Academy Stadium with fans present – the previous two meetings were at the Etihad, then behind closed doors – over 5300 supporters turned up on a historic afternoon.

Queues stretched outside the ground, and there was barely a seat left empty as City Women’s regular home welcomed more fans than ever before. The majority of fans were delighted when Caroline Weir unleashed another world-class effort to earn City a 1-0 win, but both managers hoped that the occasion and standard of football on show would have tempted plenty of fans back for future games.

“I’m disappointed in the result but it’s wonderful for womens football we can get that crowd in,” United boss Skinner said.

“The growth and exposure is good for the growth of the game it’s a positive from today. But as a head coach it’s about what we can do in tight games to take the 1-0 and not the other way.”

“We weren’t as fluid as we needed to be. Always going to be moments like that, it’s a great goal but it could have been avoided. It dropped fortunately but it’s a great finish.

“We’re disappointed in not taking one-versus-ones more aggressively and being on the front foot. They didn’t want it more, they won a few more second balls. Tey were helped a bit by referees by a bit of unfair bias but thats not a reflection on the result.”

His opposite number Taylor was understandably happier, and expressed his delight at the record crowd.

“It’s a horrible day today, freezing and windy, that game being sold out but sometimes people don’t turn up. But they did and I hope they went away feeling great.

“But more the way we won, battled, dictated play and dominated possession, won a lot of duels. It’s a great advert for the women’s game.

“The weather conditions were difficult, the brand of football we played was a great advert for women’s game but football in general. I pride myself on the way we play, we deserved it, the celebrations we great.

“We won this game last year but it was nothing like today. So good to have supporters back with us.”

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