Thorns win, Dash and Red Stars draw: highlights
Portland beats KC, 2-1, while Houston and Chicago draw 0-0.
Manchester City 3, Everton 0
A long-awaited rematch of the FA Women’s Cup Final was at hand as Manchester City and Everton faced off on Sunday morning at Walton Hall Park in Liverpool. Ahead of the match, each team had something to prove — for Manchester City, it was cementing their status as a “Big Three” squad, and for Everton, it was holding onto their position at fourth place in the table, with only one game giving them an edge over City. Manchester City would put on one of their most dominant performances of the year to run away with a 3-0 victory over Everton, improving to 4-3-1 on the 2020/2021 season.
Interestingly, City manager Gareth Taylor elected to leave the key players of his team’s recent FA Cup Final victory over Everton on the bench to begin the match — among those names being Sam Mewis, Georgia Stanway, Chloe Kelly, and Alex Greenwood. Though the exclusion of these players from the starting lineup is unfortunate, it seems that Taylor at least took notice of Rose Lavelle’s performance in the recent USWNT friendly, as she was granted a start in Sunday’s contest.
The team taking on the Toffee's ????— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) December 6, 2020
XI | Roebuck, Bronze, Houghton (C), Bonner, Stokes, Walsh, Scott, Weir, Beckie, Lavelle, White
SUBS | Bardsley, Kelly, Morgan,
Stanway, Greenwood, Hemp, Mewis, Park
???? #ManCity | https://t.co/HkTzfLv0HJ pic.twitter.com/Y9JMlgcOah
From the opening whistle, Manchester City maintained possession in their attacking third, creating a scoring chance only two minutes into the match. To begin the attack, Janine Beckie slipped a pass to defender Demi Stokes, who had broken away from the Everton player marking her on the left wing. Stokes took a touch, attempting a shot but instead slotting a ball across the face of the net. Nearly getting a foot on the attempt was Ellen White, but no dice as she collided with Everton goalkeeper Alexandra MacIver and the ball exited out of bounds.
White would go on to redeem the missed chance midway through the first half, as Caroline Weir lofted a cross into the Everton box, meeting the head of the forward. Redirecting a looping ball just over the fingertips of MacIver, White scored her fourth goal of the season to grant City a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute of the match.
Only a minute later, City was awarded a corner kick, with Weir on the ball again. This time, the cross found Gemma Banner, who headed home another for City to extend their lead to 2-0 in the 26th minute. In a quick series of events, Everton found themselves down two goals and yet to create a promising attack, now scrambling to cut City’s lead going into the half.
Later, in what seemed to be an opportunity for City’s third goal of the game, Janine Beckie received a pass into space, beating the defender on her back in a show of her speed and skill on the ball. Unfortunately for Beckie, her shot was buried into the side netting, bringing to demise a near-chance for her squad.
30. CHANCE! City running riot after those to quickfire goals, @janinebeckie is put through on goal but her strike hits the side netting - could be any score at the moment!— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) December 6, 2020
???? 0-2 ⚫️ #ManCity | https://t.co/HkTzfLv0HJ
In the final minute of the first half, Weir played yet another cross into the Everton box. Finally, Janine Beckie was rewarded for her efforts on offense, meeting the ball in the air and knocking in City’s third goal to end the half. Weir ended the first half with two assists, and was an integral part of her squad’s dazzling performance.
Unfortunately for City, what was otherwise a flawless half ended with Rose Lavelle going down with an apparent knee injury. After the game, manager Gareth Taylor said it was still too soon to know the severity of the injury. (We’re keeping our fingers crossed.)
Everton needed to enter the second half with guns blazing, however, the better part of the second half was purely defensive for both sides. Through nearly 70 minutes of play, neither team was able to find the net, with any chance at marking the scoresheet either cleared out by a defender or swept up by the goalkeeper.
In the 80th minute, Everton forward Nicoline SØrensen played a cross into the Manchester City box, intended for Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah. Boye-Hlorkah redirected the cross towards the goal, but the header fell directly into the hands of City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck. Though certainly a near-chance for the Blues, it would not be enough to get them on the board.
As the final minutes of stoppage time ticked away, Everton worked desperately to cut into City’s lead, but to no avail.
Everton remains unable to defeat City this year, losing every match against their opponent since January 11th. With Sunday’s loss, Everton falls to fifth place in the table. As the season continues to take shape, the squad will have to solve their struggles with finding the net if they are to secure any wins in upcoming matches.
City, on the other hand, secured three points to move into fourth place. They’ll now have a chance to edge into the top three when they take on Arsenal next weekend. After battling inconsistency earlier in the season, it seems that the powerhouse we once knew City to be is beginning to resurface. Today’s stellar performance leaves no question as to whether they belong in the “Big Three” — now they just need to prove it in the table.
Bristol City vs. Aston Villa @ 2:30 p.m. EST
Reading FC vs. Manchester United @ 7:30 a.m. EST
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Chelsea @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Birmingham City vs. Everton @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Tottenham vs. Aston Villa @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Bristol City vs. West Ham United @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Manchester City vs. Arsenal @ 9:30 a.m. EST
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