A great day for MCWFC and a great night at the Etihad for UNICEF. Here’s how it all went down yesterday.
Man City give their manager even more than he asked for in historic Women’s Super League opener - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News
Manchester City are off to a fast start in the FAWSL. Bray recounts how Taylor prepped the team for the season.
For all the off-field changes, though, Gareth Taylor challenged his side to use the pressure to their advantage as he tries to guide City to a title win following two years of Chelsea pipping them to top spot.
Taylor had spoken before the game of Everton’s threats, pointing to their impressive recruitment throughout the summer as reason that they could cause the big teams problems this season. With a good start to the season a key point he was keen to repeat in pre-season interviews, Taylor could have done without the mounting injury issues that saw Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze, Keira Walsh and Chloe Kelly all absent.
Ellen White and Georgia Stanway were only fit enough for the bench, as new signings Vicky Losada, Hayley Raso and Khadija Shaw started at Goodison Park.
Another free kick goal for Houghton. Ellen White had a hand in setting up the set piece.
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.
Kelsey reports on City making a statement with new and established club stars.
Vicky Losada and Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw grabbed their first goals in Sky Blue either side of a powerful low drive from Janine Beckie as City took a three-goal lead in at the break courtesy of a clinical 12-minute flurry around the half hour.
And while the hosts continued to battle for a route back into the game, Steph Houghton added a fourth after the hour with a spectacular close-range free-kick.
Against a new look Everton side who threatened throughout, Gareth Taylor’s side laid down a marker for the rest of the WSL with a comprehensive and clinical display on Merseyside.
A wonderful night in Manchester and the money goes to a wonderful cause.
For the World XI, there was a welcome return home for Pablo Zabaleta who started as one of the central defensive pairing, with Shay Given in goal and Nigel de Jong starting on the bench.
United were well represented with ex-Reds Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Patrice Evra all starting the game.
But the whole point of the event is to raise millions for UNICEF, with approaching £47m raised for children around the globe before tonight’s game.
England Soccer Aid player ratings vs World XI: Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney classy - Steven Railston - Manchester Evening News
Charity or not, how did these England legends rate on the night?
Jamie Carragher: There’s no such thing as a friendly for Carragher - was vital for England at the back. 8
Mark Wright: Had a strike in the first half reminiscent of Sterling’s Euro famous ghost goal. Worked hard throughout. 6
Olly Murs: His first half was cut short through injury. Murs has already more than done his bit off the pitch for charity, though. 7
Wayne Rooney: Was everywhere on the pitch. He was England’s biggest danger, but he also did his out at the back. Couldn’t get the goal his tireless performance deserved when squandering a big chance. It’s a well-deserved Ice bath for you, Wayne. 9
Paul Scholes: Scholes sauntered around the Etihad turf and there were brief sparks of years gone by, namely a Rabona pass that was a crowd-pleaser. 7
It won’t be worn on the pitch, but you’re likely to see it on the streets of Manchester this holiday season.
Man City’s 21-22 Street Soccer kit won’t be worn in an official match but we could imagine it be used ahead of a City game.
FC 2021-2022 STREET SOCCER SHIRT
Check out Puma’s Man City 2021-2022 Street Soccer football shirt below.
The Puma Manchester City 2021-2022 Street Soccer shirt boasts a 1990s-inspired look. The Puma Man City 21-22 Street Soccer football shirt features a “tie-dye” base in sky blue, combined with navy for logos and applications.
Puma uses a white/navy version of the City crest. On the lower right is a special “Street Soccer Cup” badge. On the front is the lettering Street Soccer in big letters.
Manchester City 21-22 Street Soccer Kit Leaked: https://t.co/du8Hsh4Ngd— Footy Headlines (@Footy_Headlines) September 4, 2021
And finally, a very happy 87th birthday to former Manchester City captain Tony Book!!
Have a great Sunday everyone. And stop back tomorrow for more Sky Blue News.