A full-blooded Manchester derby ended all square as United and 10-woman City drew 2-2 in the Women’s Super League.
City were looking for victory over their neighbours to halt a run of three straight losses but were hampered by Georgia Stanway’s first-half dismissal for a shocking challenge on Leah Galton.
That did not stop Khadija Shaw opening the scoring shortly afterwards but United struck twice in three minutes through Lucy Staniforth and Alessia Russo only for Ellen White to grab a point for City.
After a tight opening, City began to threaten, with Mary Earps producing a fine save to deny Janine Beckie in the 13th minute and Lauren Hemp seeing a header cleared by Maria Thorisdottir from virtually on the line.
The visitors were left with a numerical disadvantage in the 35th minute, though, and Stanway could have no complaints after planting her studs into Galton’s thigh.
But City received a boost three minutes later with the first goal of the game, Demi Stokes sending in a fine cross that was nodded in by Shaw.
It was nearly two on the stroke of half-time, Stokes picking up the ball on the edge of her own area, sending a long pass to Hemp, whose cross into the box was just too far ahead of Filippa Angeldal, who could only get a slight touch on it.
Hemp came close again 10 minutes after half-time, seizing on a mistake from the United defence and sending in a fierce shot from a tight angle that was pushed away by Earps.
United finally seriously threatened the City goal for the first time in the 57th minute as Ella Toone’s dipping effort was pushed away by Karima Benameur Taieb.
City were starting to tire, though, and the equaliser arrived in the 72nd minute, with a quick corner catching out United as Toone’s cross was flicked in by Staniforth less than five minutes after she came off the bench.
Galton fluffed her lines after breaking clean through but the turnaround was complete in the 75th minute as Russo stumbled but kept her composure to guide a right-footed shot just inside the post.
City responded by sending on Jess Park and just over a minute later the teenager let fly with a superb shot that Earps brilliantly tipped on to the bar only for the rebound to fall perfectly for White to tap in.
United came closest to a winner but City’s defence held firm.
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