The Manchester City Women’s team got off to the start manager Gareth Taylor was hoping for against Everton. The Blues outscored their hosts 4-0 and dominated the stat sheet in nearly every category. It was another stellar performance against last year’s Women’s FA Cup final opponents.
Fresh off the first leg of their Champion’s League tie with Real Madrid, City got the FAWSL going at Goodison park in Liverpool against hosts Everton. Man City were able to put their stamp on this game early and it was easy going at the end of the day. To their credit, the Toffees were active throughout despite the lopsided scoreline.
City opened the scoring with a goal from new signing Vicky Losada in the 26th minute. Janine Beckie found Caroline Weir with a crisp pass into the box. Weir’s shot was saved by Everton goalkeeper Sandy McIver, but the found it’s way to Losada just to the right of the penalty spot. With time to settle the ball, she powered her shot into the upper right corner. After banging off the inside of the post, Losada’s shot nestled neatly into the back of the net.
In the 36th minute, Alex Greenwood turned Everton over as they started a counter. Greenwood’s tackle went straight to the feet of Beckie who turned and carried. Crossing the field just outside the penalty area, City’s golden girl pushed back to the left corner where it beat McIver for the second.
Just two minutes later City were celebrating again. This time Hayley Raso found debutante Bunny Shaw on McIver’s doorstep for a neat tap-in. A lovely goal to open the Jamaican striker’s City account, and a nice bit of work from Raso as well after coming back to Manchester after being on loan with the Merseyside Blues last year.
City were able to see the game out in the second half after having taken a 3-0 lead to the dressing room. Ellen White and Georgia Stanway came on in the 65th minute for City. An excellent sign as there was some question as to whether either would see the pitch today, with both working their way back to full fitness.
White in particular made an immediate impact. She was able to draw a free kick in the final third from a harsh tackle just a minute later. Stephanie Houghton lined up over the free kick from just outside the area. The City captain showed her typical set-piece quality with a strike that grazed the top of Everton’s five-woman wall and into the top left corner for the fourth and final goal of the game in the 67th minute.
Everton spent big in this most recent transfer window with an eye on competing with the big clubs in the FAWSL. They got their chance to measure themselves on the first Saturday of the season, and they may have found that they have more work to do. To their credit, they never stopped looking for a goal of their own. And even though they were outmatched on the day, the Toffees were a spirited opponent.
City won easily on an historic day. One which saw their match broadcast live on BBC One in the UK, and streamed live on NBCSports in the US. It’s a nice progression for the Women’s Super League, and City will be keen to play a starring role for the new audience. They showed they have the form for it on the day.