The German netted her 14th and 15th goals of the season with Gemma Bonner also on the scoresheet on a night of torrid weather conditions, as the home side clinched a vital win to extend our impressive 100% record against the Toffees with our 12th success and keep the pressure on the league leaders.
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The triumph marked a positive end to an emotional week, which brought the news of manager Nick Cushing’s upcoming departure for a new challenge with New York City FC. Speaking before the game, captain Steph Houghton had encouraged the squad to ‘give Nick the send-off he deserves’ in his final weeks at the Club and City produced a dominant display to continue our fine start to 2020 at the Academy Stadium.
Last weekend’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur had been secured with a flying start, as City scored twice in the first four minutes, but it was Everton who emerged the brighter. December PFA Player of the Month nominee Ellie Roebuck was called into action within seconds to tip Hannah Cain’s long-range effort brilliantly onto the crossbar, as the hosts were given an early scare.
Georgia Stanway proved City’s best attacking threat in the early exchanges – first dragging an effort wide before cutting inside and firing just over the bar.
City would not have to wait long to make our pressure count, as the ‘blue-hot’ Bremer broke the deadlock on 18 minutes, benefitting from Lauren Hemp’s hard work, as the youngster capitalised on a defensive error and slipped Caroline Weir through, who crossed for the German to convert.
With the lead, the home side relaxed in possession, while Everton sought to threaten on the counter-attack. Bremer, searching for her fourth brace of the season, scooped over bar, while Cain continued to test Roebuck at the other end with a low drive, which the England shot-stopper gathered comfortably.
Bremer then went close once more and Weir fired over, before Maeva Clemaron almost inadvertently put past her own goalkeeper early into the second half.
City took control in the second 45, doubling the lead through another Hemp-Bremer combination. Once again, the youngster was alert to regain possession and played in the German who – full of confidence – curled beautifully into the top corner for her ninth goal in eight games.
Both sides struck the woodwork within a minute on the hour-mark, as Cain unleashed a bullet onto the corner of post and bar from distance, and Bremer was inches away from completing her hat-trick with a sensational overhead kick, as it agonisingly crashed off the crossbar.
Bonner made it three, sweeping home at the second attempt for the former Liverpool star’s third goal against the Toffees this campaign.
Stanway almost added further gloss to the scoreline, drawing the best of goalkeeper Tinja Korpela and then sliding just off-target, while substitute Ellen White was unfortunate not to continue her own impressive streak, striking the post.
Everton netted a consolation in injury time, as a teasing delivery struck Stanway and trickled in - but it did little to spoil an otherwise dominant performance.
What it means
City close the gap on Arsenal with both sides locked on 30 points – four above third-placed Chelsea.
The Gunners remain top on head-to-heads with equal goal difference and goals scored, but have the chance to restore their place atop the table in Sunday’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Roebuck took her place in goal, shielded by a backline of Demi Stokes, Bonner, Houghton and Janine Beckie. Weir and Walsh protected the backline, employed behind Hemp and Jill Scott, with Bremer and Stanway leading the line upfront.
Player of the Match
Showcasing her predatory instincts, superb finishing and intelligent build-up play, Bremer produced yet another influential display and was unfortunate not to have bagged a hat-trick with a well-executed overhead kick which surely would have clinched the Goal of the Season award.
City continue our defence of the Continental Cup with a quarter-final trip to Sheffield United on Wednesday 15 January (7:30pm), before travelling to Birmingham City on Sunday 19 January (noon) in the FA WSL.
Our next home game takes place on Sunday 2 February, as we welcome reigning Champions Arsenal in a must-win, top-of-the-table clash at the Academy Stadium in a 2pm kick-off.
Tickets for all home games are available to buy online or at the Etihad Stadium Ticket Office.