Manchester United’s Lucia Garcia took the Women’s Super League title race to the last day of the season with a dramatic stoppage-time winner in a 2-1 derby victory over Manchester City on Sunday.
United had to defeat their local rivals to prevent Chelsea from wrapping up a fourth successive English women’s title following a 2-0 win over Arsenal earlier in the day.
But even though City were a player down for more than half the match after goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck was sent off, United left it late to record a first WSL victory over their local rivals.
Chelsea, bidding for a domestic double after their Women’s FA Cup final win over United at Wembley, are now two points clear at the top of the table.
But should United win away to Liverpool on Saturday and Chelsea lose at bottom-of-the-table Reading, it will be the Red Devils celebrating the title.
“We have one more game to win,” United manager Marc Skinner told Sky Sports.
“Yes we have already made history, broken records, gone to our first Cup final, qualified for the Champions League, but if you settle at that then I am not doing my players the service they deserve.”
United were ahead in less than two minutes in Sunday’s derby thanks to Hayley Ladd’s superb 20-yard strike.
And in a further boost to United’s hopes of a first WSL derby league win, Roebuck was sent off for a reckless challenge on Nikita Parris just before half-time.
But United’s failure to clear a corner allowed City’s Filippa Angeldahl to send in a looping cross that somehow found its way into the net in the 68th minute.
It looked as if United’s title challenge was about to evaporate until Garcia’s cool finish from Vilde Boe Risa’s knockdown in the 91st minute kept them in the hunt.
Earlier, first-half goals from Guro Reiten and outgoing captain Magdalena Eriksson earned Chelsea a 2-0 win at home to London rivals Arsenal.
Both Eriksson and partner Pernille Harder are leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, the pair linked with a move to German giants Bayern Munich.
“I love you guys,” Eriksson, a 29-year-old defender, told Chelsea’s supporters as she was honoured in a presentation alongside Harder.
Eriksson has helped Chelsea win 11 major trophies in six years since joining from Swedish side Linkopings, with Blues manager Emma Hayes saying: “Magda has been so pivotal to our success.
“For her to get that (goal-scoring) moment in her final home game, in front of the fans she loves, nothing will mean more to her.
“Everybody wanted that fairytale for her. She has been our captain and leader.”
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