Goals from Caroline Weir, Bunny Shaw, Lauren Hemp, Jess Park and Ellen White saw the blues comfortably home against the side they beat 4-0 on the opening day of the season. Grace Clinton got on the scoresheet for the Toffees, but it was scant consolation for the visitors.
After a thrilling 2-2 draw against United at the weekend, which ended a run of three successive WSL defeats, the blues were looking to get their cup campaign off to a decent start against the Mersey blues.
Already suffering from an ailing Injury list, City were also without Georgia Stanway following her red card at the Stretford reds on Saturday. The blues gave a debut to Ruby Mace at the centre of defence, with Alanna Kennedy also given a starting role.
With a good winning streak against the Toffees, with their most recent win back in September when the blues dominated the match at Goodison before running out 4-0 winners, the blues looked to continue their decent run, and got off the mark in the 8th minute.
Janine Beckie’s cross from the right was aimed at Shaw but cut out by the Everton defence. The loose ball kindly fell for Weir, and the Scot charged forward, working her way between two Everton defenders to find herself one on one with the keeper. Weir kept her cool to calmly slot home from twelve yards.
But, City’s defensive frailties, which have been exposed too many times already this season, came to the fore again, although there was nothing Taieb in the City goal could do about the finish. The blues failed to deal with a cross from the right, and Clinton turned and curled a shot beyond the reach of Taieb, just 90 seconds after Weir’s goal to make the tie all square.
It as a disappointing goal for City to concede. With three attacking Everton players, the blues were outnumbered as the cross came in, and from thereon, City were chasing Clinton’s shadow, and she was allowed time to turn and pick her spot.
Undeterred, City continued to press, and White was released by Shaw but couldn’t dig the ball out from under her feet as she rounded the keeper and Everton managed to scramble the ball away. Hemp went close to giving City the lead again, but it was Shaw who put City back in front, on 32 minutes.
Hemp’s ball from the left found the Jamaican at the far post, and she rose above two defenders to nod the ball home. To send City in 2-1 at the break. It was no more than the blues deserved as they pressed Everton into their own half.
City continued to attack but couldn’t find the back of the net, and even the prolific White couldn’t score when the goalkeeper ran out to clear, but only as far as the England striker. With the goal unguarded, White’s lob from distance was just off target, and there was the sense that the Toffees might snatch a late goal against the run of play.
Those fears were ended in the 74th minute, courtesy of Hemp, but made by Park. Her run into the box saw her tease the Everton defence before passing to Beckie. The Canadian’s cross went over everyone but found Hemp at the far post, and the youngster rifled across goal to make it 3-1.
Five minute later, Park made it 4-1 with a goal that was all Everton’s undoing. The Toffees tried to play the ball out from the back, but White dispossessed the defender and supplied Park, and the other youngster made no mistake from twelve yards out.
There was still time for White to get on the scoresheet and she completed Everton’s misery and City’s delight with the fifth goal. Again, it was Beckie who was involved, as her cross from the right was met by the head of White, and the header was too powerful for the Everton keeper, who fumbled the ball into the back of the goal.
So, three points form their first conti cup tie has set City on their way, and a draw and a win following their disastrous run of form will hopefully be the catalyst for them to return to a winning form.
Final score: Manchester City Women 5-1 Everton Women.