City got off to a dream start in this season's Women's Super League thanks to an emphatic 4-0 triumph away to Everton.

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.


What Happened?

While the scoreline suggests a clear cut victory for City, it was the hosts who carved out the first chance at Goodison Park, when Kenza Dali scuffed an effort wide of the far post from around the penalty spot after linking up with Anna Anvegard.

City began to settle in and found joy down the flanks, with the clever movement of Hayley Raso and Beckie in particular causing problems in the Everton rearguard.

It was Beckie who forged our first real chance of the match, cutting in on her right after an incisive ball over the top from Alex Greenwood, before stinging the palms of Sandy MacIver before the ten-minute mark.

And soon after it was Raso’s turn to go close, latching onto another lofted pass from Greenwood and forced the rapidly retreating Toffees stopper into tipping her effort over the bar.

A loose pass from Losada presented the hosts with a chance to break the deadlock when Anvegard’s vicious effort well saved by Taieb from the edge of the box, before Houghton cleared the danger.

But our new no.17 was quick to get that small lapse in an otherwise imperious display out of her system, firing a vicious effort just wide of the far post soon after.

However, the Spaniard wasn’t to be denied a second time when a chance presented itself to her after 25 minutes, as she smacked a devastating effort in off the post after the ball had fallen into her path from Caroline Weir’s initial effort.

That opener released the shackles for City who, smelling blood, went in for the kill.

Beckie made it two as half-time approached, cutting in on her right and drilling an unstoppable drive into the bottom corner from 20 yards after being afforded too much space in front of the Everton defence.

And the third followed two minutes later, Raso and Shaw, wearing her nickname ‘Bunny’ on her back for the first time in her career, combining effectively from a throw with the winger racing to the by-line before squaring to the Jamaican for a simple tap-in.

It was a ruthless demonstration of Gareth Taylor’s side’s attacking acumen, but the hosts rallied after the restart and Taieb was forced into a fine save low to her right from a cleverly disguised Turner free-kick in the early second half exchanges.

Former City forward Toni Duggan was next to go close, cutting in on her right before blazing over from a promising position on the hour, but her blushes were spared by the offside flag.

Dusting ourselves off after that spell of Everton pressure, Beckie almost added a spectacular fourth with a delicious curling effort that came crashing off both bar and post from a tight angle.

But we didn’t have to wait long to find the back of the net when Houghton curled a sumptuous free-kick into the top corner from the edge of the box after substitute Ellen White was felled in a promising position.

City continued to go for the jugular, with Raso inches away from grabbing the goal her performance deserved at the far post, but the Australian couldn’t quite make contact with a low ball across the box against her former club.

Everton almost grabbed a late consolation from a corner, but Taieb was on hand to claim the ball amidst a goalmouth scramble to preserve the clean sheet.

Player of the Match: Hayley Raso

Any of our City stars could rightfully have taken the award, but Raso turned on the style against her former club.

Raso’s clever movement, pace and desire to get in behind were a constant thorn in Everton’s side, and she transferred that threat into productivity by chipping in with an assist for Shaw’s strike.

A thoroughly impressive display from our Australian winger!

How we lined up

Gareth Taylor made one change from the side that picked up a 1-1 draw in our Champions League first leg clash with Real Madrid.

Karima Benameur Taieb kept her place between the sticks in the absence of Ellie Roebuck and Karen Bardsley, shielded by a back four of Esme Morgan, Steph Houghton, Alex Greenwood and Demi Stokes.

Laura Coombs, Vicky Losada and Caroline Weir made up the midfield three, with the latter two given licence to get forward and support the attack.

Hayley Raso made her first start for the Club on the right flank, with Janine Beckie offering width from the left for centre-forward Khadija Shaw.

CITY XI | Taieb, Morgan, Houghton (C), Greenwood (Kennedy 73’), Stokes, Losada, Coombs (Scott 81’), Weir (Stanway 65’), Raso, Beckie (Hemp 73’), Shaw (White 65’)

SUBS | Keating, Mace

EVERTON XI | MacIver, Turner ( C), Sevecke, Bjorn, George, Dali (Emslie 45’), Christiansen, Duggan (Sorensen 84’), Anvegard (Gauvin 83’), Finnigan (Bennison 45’), Galli (Graham 84’)

SUBS | Brosnan, Clinton, Pattinson

Stat Attack

Manchester City have won all 11 of our WSL matches against Everton, more than we have against any other side in the competition.

We’ve won each of our last eight away games in the Women’s Super League, scoring 27 times while conceding only twice.

Including the 2017 Spring Series, City haven’t lost our opening league match of the season in any of the last seven WSL campaigns (W4 D3) since a 1-0 loss at Liverpool in April 2014.

Gareth Taylor‘s side have gone 26 WSL matches without defeat when we’ve taken the lead (W24 D2).

What next?

It’s a quick turnaround for City, with Real Madrid visiting the Academy Stadium for the second leg of our Champions League Round of 32 clash on Wednesday evening

Tickets for our first home game of the season are now on sale, while the clash is also available to watch live on CITY+.

We then host Tottenham Hotspur the following Sunday for our first WSL home match of the season, with kick-off scheduled for 18:45pm (UK).

News about Everton v Man City

Taylor: City fans made victory even more special

Gareth Taylor believes the presence of the City supporters gave his players a lift in our Women’s Super League victory over Everton. Watch more

Taylor delighted by ruthless City display

Gareth Taylor praised the efficiency and professionalism of his players after City began our Women’s Super League campaign with a 4-0 triumph at Everton. Read more

Everton 0-4 City: Full-match replay

Watch the entire 90-minutes as Manchester City kicked off the new FA Women's Super League season with a convincing 4-0 win over Everton. Watch more

Everton 0-4 City: FA WSL highlights

Watch the best of the action from Manchester City’s superb opening day win over Everton in the FA Women's Super League. Watch more