Julie Blakstad‘s opened the scoring with a close-range finish, but the lead was short-lived after Everton equalised 10 minutes later.
City regained our advantage just after half-time, as Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw scored her eighth league goal of the season, extending her lead at the top scorers’ summit.
We now sit three points below third-placed Chelsea.
In what was Chloe Kelly‘s 50th City appearance, she almost gave us the perfect start inside 30 seconds when she met Shaw’s low ball across the box, before her close range effort was smothered expertly by Emily Ramsey.
Bunny came into the clash as the league’s top scorer, but she was the architect once again as she muscled off Gabby George to whip an inviting cross into the box before Blakstad headed just over the bar.
And the Jamaica international thought she’d given us the lead shortly after when she latched on to Laura Coombs’ defence-splitting pass to squeeze the ball past Ramsey from an acute angle – but the assistant referee had her flag raised for offside.
After a period of sustained City possession, we took the lead with 15 minutes remaining of the first half.
Leila Ouahabi slid an inch-perfect ball to Bunny who drove behind the Toffees defence and unselfishly squared to Blakstad, who rolled the ball into an empty.
The hosts weren’t behind for long, however, as they equalised when Rikke Sevecke bundled the ball into the net from five yards following a dangerous in-swinging corner.
It took only five minutes after the interval for us to regain the lead and it was Shaw with her eighth league goal of the season when she anticipated Coombs’ shot that smashed the post and showed her poachers instinct to tap home the rebound.
A frantic passage of play with 30 minutes to go ended with City’s lead somehow still only one goal.
Coombs saw a venomous strike cleared off the line, before Blakstad’s improvised follow-up ricocheted off the far post.
The Norwegian then hit the bar seconds later when she powerfully headed Kelly’s overhead kick from a skewed clearance off the woodwork, before Everton cleared their lines.
The final 15 minutes saw City content with possession and looking to pounce at the right moment.
And that almost came when Kelly outpaced Leonie Maier down the right hand side and impressively whipped the ball into the box where Bunny powerfully headed just over.
Laia Aleixandri almost opened her City account late on when Kelly delivered a fizzed corner into the box before our defender’s header was tipped over the bar.
WHAT IT MEANS
We remain fourth in the WSL table following victory and have accumulated 15 points so far this season, while further closing the gap on the top three.
HOW WE LINED UP
Everton XI: Ramsey, Stenevik (Maier 76’), Sevecke, Finnigan, George, Bjorn, Holmgaard (Beever-Jones 46’), Galli (Giovana 66’), Graham, Snoeijs, HBennison (Wheeler 66’)
City XI: MacIver, Casparij, Aleixandri, Morgan (C), Ouahabi, Hasegawa, Castellanos, Coombs (Fowler 82), Blakstad, Shaw, Kelly
Substitutes: Keating, Stokes, Greenwood, Houghton, Angeldahl, Mace, Hutchings
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: KhADIJA ‘BUNNY’ SHAW
The Jamaica international was once again on target and extended her scoring run to five consecutive WSL matches.
Not only did she showcase her immense goalscoring talent, she highlighted her intellectual build-up play and assisted our opening goal.
Shaw was unplayable at times with the Everton defence struggling to deal with her quality.
City are back at the Academy Stadium next week as we continue our defence of the Conti Cup against Sunderland on Sunday 27 November, with kick-off scheduled for 14:00pm (UK).
CITY V UNITED: ETIHAD DERBY
City welcome Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 11 December.
Kick-off is scheduled for 12:30 (UK), with tickets selling fast for our third-ever women’s match at the Etihad.
We hosted Everton there back in May 2014, before welcoming our local rivals in September 2019, when Caroline Weir’s wonder strike saw us run out 1-0 winners in front of what was then a WSL record crowd, and what remains a club record of 31, 213 fans.
With over 30,000 tickets already sold, it promises to be another historic occasion.
You can secure your tickets online by visiting: www.mancity.com/tickets/womens or by calling: +44 (0)161 444 1894.
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