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Manchester City Women Edge Past Everton In Season Finale

But Blues Miss Out On European Spot

Manchester City v Everton FC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Mike Morese/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Manchester City Women held off a spirited comeback from Everton to claim victory on the final day of the WSL season. Two goals from Bunny Shaw and a spectacular strike from Lauren Hemp put the blues 3-0 up. But Everton fought back and a goal 11 minutes from time, followed by a second strike deep in injury time, put the possibility of a final three points in jeopardy.

Although the blues held on for victory, they were unable to gain the 11-goal swing required to overtake Arsenal and move into third place, despite the Gunners losing 2-0 at home to a Rachel Daly-inspired Aston Villa.

It was always a tall order to ask despite City brilliance in front of goal for much of the season. The result at Arsenal could have given City impetus to hit a few against the Toffees, but the reality is that it was never going to happen.

That sort of result would have been harsh on former blue Izzy Christiansen, who played her final game before retirement and was given a guard of honour by both teams before the match.

And, once the formalities, and a bunch of flowers handed to Izzy by her former teammate Steph Houghton, it was down to business, and City soon got to their task. Deyna Castellanos hit a volley wide in the first minute while Hemp also went close for the blues.

Everton responded without really offering too much, although Khiara Keating, deputising for the suspended Ellie Roebuck, had to be alert to stop Nicoline Sorensen from grabbing the opener.

Maybe suffering a derby day hangover, the teams went in goalless at the break with all to play for in the second half.

And it was the blues who started the final 45 minutes of the season on the front foot and took the lead on 51 minutes. Inevitably, it was Shaw who scored her 19th goal of a highly-impressive season in Sky Blue. The Jamaican started and finished the move, the involved excellent link-up play with Hemp and Chloe Kelly, and Shaw finished to give the bleus the lead.

With City finally a goal up, the blues could enjoy themselves and Castellanos almost ended a difficult first season in Manchester with a goal, only for Everton keeper Courtney Brosnan to deny her.

But it wouldn’t be long until City grabbed a second and it came in spectacular fashion from Hemp. Picking up the ball on the right, the England star cut inside and hit a shot that thundered into the back of the goal off the Everton bar, leaving Brosnan no chance.

Eight minute later, Shaw’s second of the afternoon looked to have ended the game as a contest. The striker was given far too much time and space, and Bunny was able to pick her spot before beating Brosnan and send the fans dreaming of that unlikely 11-goal swing.

Any hopes of that would disappear 11 minutes from time. Lucy Hope was left unmarked to tap past Keating and deep into injury time, Leonie Maier bundled home after Keating had parried.

It wasn’t enough to secure a Champions League spot and City will now have to think about their recruitment over the summer if they are to challenge for silverware next season.

Final Score: Manchester City Women 3-2 Everton Women.