Pauline Bremer scored a first half brace as Man City Women recorded their first victory of 2020 by soundly thumping Tottenham Hotspur Women 4-1. England striker Ellen White and youngster Lauren Hemp completed the rout while a penalty from Rianna Dean spoilt Ellie Roebuck’s clean sheet record.
It was City’s first game since thumping Brighton 5-0 on 15th December, and it was a game they had to win after Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Reading had temporarily pushed the blues into third place. But if there was any fear of a Christmas hangover, it was very quickly diminished as City went 2-0 up inside the first five minutes.
It was a good move down the City left to set up the first goal, with Janine Beckie finding White further down the right. Her first time cross into the box was behind Bremer but the City striker adjusted well, her first touch took her past the defender before firing across goal into the back of the net in the second minute.
City didn’t give their hosts time to recover as three minutes later, White doubled the lead. Collecting the ball from the edge of the box, White was given far too much time and space, and the England striker gave keeper Spencer no chance with a chip over her into the corner of the goal.
Spurs were gifted a gimmer of hope on 20 minutes as Dean drove forward, only to have her run abruptly ended by a clumsy challenge from captain Steph Houghton inside the penalty area. Dean dusted herself off to take the spot kick herself and confidently fired into the bottom corner. Roebuck guessed right, but the penalty was perfectly placed and Spurs were back in it.
But the Spurs threat was quickly snuffed out as the blues went 3-1 up on 27 minutes. City were again given way too much space, this time down the left as Lauren Hemp raced away unchallenged, and her cutback was met brilliantly by Bremer who fired left footed into the other corner to again give the blues the comfort of a two goal lead.
The blues struck again a minute before half time, with the ever impressive Hemp finishing off a fine City move. A mis-placed Spurs pass inadvertently released Bremer down the left and with the defender backing off, Bremer had time to pick out White, who laid it off for Hemp to beat the keeper and make it 4-1.
Spurs started the second half brightly, but it was City who came closest to increasing their lead, and it was Hemp again the architect. Her driving run had defenders backing off and failing to make any sort of challenge, before the youngster laid the ball off to White, whose shot hit the outside of the post and away to safety.
With seven minutes left to play, substitute Georgia Stanway had a chance to make it 5-1. The striker, who turned 21 two days ago, was played in at the end of a magnificent City move, but her first time shot was parried away by Spencer to keep the damage as little as possible.
It was another impressive performance by the blues, who continue to keep the pressure on champions Arsenal. Next up for City is a home match with Everton in the WSL, before travelling to Sheffield United in the FA Women’s League Cup.
Final Score: Tottenham Hotspur Women 1-4 Manchester City Women
Goals: Spurs: Dean (20); City Bremer (2, 27), White (5), Hemp (44)