Aston Villa 2-2 Bristol City: Visitors twice come from behind to draw in WSL

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Aston Villa 2-2 Bristol City: Visitors twice come from behind to draw in WSL

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Carrie Jones' stunning long-range strike earned Bristol City a draw with Aston Villa as the Women's Super League strugglers reduced their deficit at the bottom of the table.

Villa controlled the early stages and got off the mark after 13 minutes when Jordan Nobbs fired a low drive past Shae Yanez from the edge of the area.

Their lead did not last long though, as Amalie Thestrup punished Villa for a misplaced clearance just two minutes later, calmly placing her effort past Daphne van Domselaar after Emily Syme threaded her through.

Bristol City did little to threaten after levelling the score and Villa - who had been in total control - finally regained their advantage in the second half when Adriana Leon fired home at the back post after Anna Patten played the ball across the face of goal.

Yet they did not extend their lead and Jones levelled again with an excellent finish, arrowing into the top corner from 25 yards.

Villa nearly won the game in the final minute, but the visitors scrambled a free-kick off the goalline.

Bristol City, who returned to the top flight this season, are now two points behind second-bottom West Ham, who play title-chasing Arsenal on Sunday (12:30 GMT), while Villa stay eighth.

Controlling Villa not clinical enough

A dominant performance was not enough for Aston Villa to get the better of Bristol City.

Villa had 72% possession and 36 shots to the visitors' four, but were held back by determined defending and a number of excellent saves by Yanez.

City sat back and defended in numbers, closing down space and making it difficult for Villa to fashion clear-cut chances.

While Villa were creative in the final third, with Kenza Dali linking up play as Rachel Daly looked to run behind the defence, they could not convert their chances.

Substitute striker Ebony Salmon came close to snatching a late winner, but she poked wide of the near post from inside the six-yard box, while Nobbs fired over the crossbar.

Villa suffered the double blow of losing Laura Blindkilde Brown on transfer deadline day to Manchester City, and fellow midfielder Lucy Staniforth being ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury, yet it was not in the middle of the pitch where they were lacking.

Carla Ward's side were effective going forward, but their lack of final product proved costly as Bristol City remained content with focusing on counter-attacking and were twice able to make Villa pay on the break.

After losing to relegation rivals West Ham last weekend, getting back on track quickly was crucial for City as they continue their bid for safety in their first season back in the top flight.

Fixtures against Leicester City and Brighton - who recently sacked manager Melissa Phillips - in their next two games present the Vixens with chances to close the gap.
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