It has taken a few weeks for Manchester City to find their feet, but this dismantling of Tottenham, just three days after they saw off their title rivals Arsenal to earn an FA Cup final berth, indicated that new signings have been embedded and balance found.
The manager, Gareth Taylor, was keen for his team to start this game with the same “high energy” they demonstrated on Thursday night, and Chloe Kelly’s early warning in the sixth minute, which forced a fine save from Becky Spencer, before her double to put City in the driving seat showed his team had got the message.
“Second half, some of the player was exceptional,” said Taylor.
Kelly’s warning strike seemed to shake the visiting team awake, as they found their shape and did well to match City’s high press when out of possession.
What a strike! Kelly at it again and this time, it’s the goal she’s tried twice already, picking the ball up on the left flank, ducking inside on to her right foot and whipping a magnificent strike into the far corner. Spencer got fingertips to it, just, but couldn't keep it out.
Ellen White headed in a fourth and Anna Filbey flicked in a late Spurs goal.
Spurs fans were made to wait a little longer for Alex Morgan’s debut, with the United States forward not featuring on Sunday as her bid to return to full fitness continues.
Morgan, 31, has not played in a competitive game for over a year, having given birth to her daughter on 7 May.
In the second half City started to tear at the Spurs defence. The gentlest of nudges in the back of Gemma Bonner led to them doubling their lead from the spot, the penalty executed by Kelly with a strange hop-skip-jump run up, and just two minutes later City had their third. Mewis played a one-two with Janine Beckie and lifted a left-foot finish high into the net.
“We’re still very new to this league, said the Spurs co-manager Karen Hills. “We’re two seasons in, we’ve still got players out there that have been semi-professional and are having to learn very quickly because the games are coming thick and fast and the teams are quality.” Karen remarked.
Shortly afterwards White rose highest to flick in, double her tally and extend the City lead.
A late corner saw the ball ricochet off Anna Filbey’s shoulder and into the goal for Spurs to claw a goal back, but it was too late to alleviate the pressure on the visiting team’s forwards.
And that’s that. Spurs did not collapse and fought laudably, but ultimately City’s class shone through, the final scoreline a fair reflection of play. Chloe Kelly’s opener summed City up.
The result left City with seven points from a possible nine in the league so far, while Spurs have one point from their opening three games.