Manchester City Women recorded their 20th consecutive win over Everton as they thrashed the Toffees 4-0 at the Academy Stadium. An own goal by Simone Magill was added to by a strike from Ellen White to give City a 2-0 half-time lead. The blues wrapped up the points with two goals in a minute from Alex Greenwood and Laura Coombes as City went level on points with United in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
City started the match in fourth place and three points behind the reds, and needed the win to keep the pressure on United. The blues were also six goals worse off than their city counterparts, and were looking for a similar result to the one that sent them through to the FA Cup semi-final in midweek.
Gareth Taylor’s side have been impressive since the turn of the year, losing just one match and claiming the League Cup, thanks to a stunning 3-1 win over Chelsea in the final. A Champions League spot had looked beyond them due to the form of Spurs and United but, after beating both in recent matches, City look like the team with the momentum to take them through to a third placed finish at least.
Their incredible run has carried the blues to within eight points of leaders Arsenal, although it would take a monumental collapse from the Gunners, Chelsea and United to give City their second WSL title. But the blues have shown enough character in the second half of the season, giving the indications that they could push the two London sides all the way next term, and should be considered title contenders again.
And Wednesday’s destruction of Everton, the second such thrashing in four days, again showed that City are ready once more to compete at the highest level. The two were fairly even for the first 25 minutes, but it was Everton’s Magill that gave City the lead. Georgia Stanway’s corner was met by the head of Magill, who knocked the ball past the Sandy MacIver. It was the 14th goal the Everton keeper had conceded to the blues this season and must now be sick of picking the ball out of the back of the net when playing City.
But it was the breakthrough that City needed to keep the pressure on at the top of the table, and just seven minutes later, the blues made it 2-0, thanks to White’s goal-scoring instincts. It was a goal made by Lucy Bronze, who got past Danielle Turner to square for White, who made no mistake.
City continued to keep Everton under the cosh, with Stanway and Keira Walsh going closest to increasing the lead. But, with time running out and goal difference becoming essential, the blues finally broke the visitors spirit with a third. Lauren Hemp’s header was met by the outstretched leg of Greenwood, who poked home for number three.
And the blues made the race for third more interesting when she added a fourth a minute later. Bunny Shaw’s drive forward had the Everton defence all over the place, and the striker laid off the perfect ball for Coombs to hammer home City’s 17th against the Toffees this season.
Both City and United now have five games each to qualify for the Champions League, with the blues facing relegation threatened Birmingham, Leicester City and Brighton at the Academy Stadium, while travelling to West Ham and a final match of the season at Reading.
United face home matches against Everton, Brighton and West Ham, but must also travel to Aston Villa and title contenders Chelsea on the final day of the season.
Final Score: Manchester City Women 4-0 Manchester United Women