Match Report

Slick City secure spot in UWCL

DELIGHT:  City celebrate after Jill Scott's opening goal.
Premier League U18 Cup
Premier League U18 Cup
Thu 14 Mar
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Manchester City booked a spot in next season's Uefa Women's Champions League after securing second place in the FA WSL on the final day of the season...

A Jill Scott brace, a Nikita Parris strike and a fine performance from the Blues helped City to a comfortable victory over Everton Ladies at the Academy Stadium.

What happened

The first 45 minutes were riddled with chances for Nick Cushing’s side.

City’s first threat came from Wednesday’s hat-trick hero Parris after just five minutes. City’s movement was fluid as Georgia Stanway seamlessly offloaded to Claire Emslie who submitted a curling cross into the centre of Kirstie Levell’s box. Parris was waiting to pounce on the cross and add her 18th goal of the season but her eventual effort sailed over the crossbar meaning she would have to wait to bag her next goal.

Our early effort alerted the visitors and Everton immediately responded through Courtney Sweetman-Kirk as she was unleashed and sprinted towards Karen Bardsley. Skipper Steph Houghton was quickly on hand to clear away the danger not once, not twice, but three times which reinstalled City’s dominance.

After her stunning trio of goals earlier in the week, it was clear that Parris was focused on replicating her hat-trick. Her next chance came when she cleverly sashayed around the Everton defence before sending a thunderous attempt towards the far post but the tight angle proved to be too difficult for the 24-year-old.

Parris tried to put one past her former team again just moments later with the help from Emslie – who proved to be an incredible threat throughout the whole of the first half – as she slotted a low-flying volley which slid just wide.

Deadlock was broken on the 21st minute courtesy of a 20-yard rocket from Jill Scott.

The Lioness didn’t have time to think and, with no other options, she drilled the ball into the the top corner beautifully to send a chorus of cheers and delight around the Academy Stadium.

The goal brought us a little closer to securing a spot in next season’s Uefa Women’s Champions League and the noise around the ground confirmed that the fans knew that too.

Levell was called to action just minutes after City’s goal with a superb run from Mel Lawley as she dribbled the ball straight down the middle before releasing Emslie once again. The Scot took a touch and was suddenly swarmed by the Everton defence and forced to permaturely shoot. It was a valiant effort but the shot painfully skimmed wide of the far post so send the visiting ‘keeper’s heart racing.

In response to City’s dominance, Everton were keen to make their chances truly count, which we saw when Sweetman-Kirk drilled goalward from 30 yards. Bardsley was ready as the danger crept closer and caught comfortably to keep the Toffees at bay.

The first period was packed with action and at times it looked as though the Blues could’ve clinched two or three more goals before the break.

City finally doubled their lead through Parris in the 56th minute. Stanway cushioned Lawley’s pinpoint cross ready for Parris to volley home from close range.

The crowd had barely settled before City’s third goal was in the net as Scott, named Player of the Match, secured her second of the game and eighth of the season. The 31-year-old’s height proved an advantage as her outstretched leg reached the ball enough to push it past Levell and into the goal in, what seemed like, slow motion.

It almost became four when Lawley unleashed a low cross to pinpoint Izzy Christiansen, but the substitution painfully fired over Levell's crossbar. Nevertheless, the roar at the full-time whistle confirmed the elated that Nick Cushing's side would be playing in the European competition next season.

How we lined-up…

Bardsley took her place in goal shielded by a backline of Mie Jans, Houghton, Jen Beattie, and Abbie McManus.

Keira Walsh was employed in her defensive midfield role alongside Scott and Stanway.

Emslie and Lawley flanked Parris up front.

What it means

Our victory over Everton sees us secure second place in the FA Women’s Super League table and therefore seal a spot in next season’s Uefa Women’s Champions League competiton.

What’s next…

City now break for the summer before heading to the US for our pre-season tour at the end of July!

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