A sumptuous solo effort from Caroline Weir saw Gareth Taylor’s side take the lead before the ten-minute mark, but the visitors hit back almost instantly through Grace Clinton.
Undeterred, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw rose highest before the break to head City into a deserved half-time lead, before Lauren Hemp added number three as the game approached the 75-minute mark.
Substitute Jess Park made it four from close-range after Ellen White stole back possession in the Everton half late on, before the England striker got herself on the scoresheet with a near-post header to round off the scoring.
The result was just rewards for City, whose gutsy display will leave Gareth Taylor with plenty to smile about leading into the international break.
With a 6-0 win over Leicester and a hard-fought point in the Manchester Derby in recent weeks, there were signs that City were starting to put a difficult start to the season behind us even before tonight's result.
And while the visitors certainly didn’t make the win a formality, Gareth Taylor’s side dug deep and ground out a deserved three points to kickstart our Conti Cup campaign in the best possible fashion.
City were quickest out of the traps and were rewarded when Weir, always capable of the spectacular, added another memorable strike to her collection when she latched onto a half-clearance from the visiting defence around 25 yards from goal.
Seemingly shaping up to shoot, the midfielder sold a succession of dummies to slalom her way into the box, before emphatically firing into the bottom corner.
But the visitors weren’t fazed by that early setback and drew level inside 90 seconds when Clinton squirmed away from Alex Greenwood and fired emphatically past the despairing dive of Karima Taieb.
Soon after that equaliser, City switched to a formation more akin to a 4-4-2, with White and Shaw linking up at the sharp end to try and gain a foothold on the game.
And it almost had an instant impact when Bunny poked a ball in behind the Everton defence for White to race onto, but our no.18 wasn’t able to apply the finish after rounding Brosnan.
It was Hemp’s turn to go close next, racing away from the attentions of Leonie Maier down the left before flashing an effort just wide of the far post.
That flurry of chances demonstrated that City were the side in control, and the pressure eventually told just after the half hour when Shaw rose highest at the back post to head home her second goal in as many games from Beckie’s deep corner.
It could even have been a brace for the Jamaican on the stroke of half-time, but she fired straight at Brosnan after being fed in behind by Greenwood’s incisive through ball.
Everton came out after the break with a greater impetus, pressing high to try and force a route back into the game.
But City’s defence, containing debutant Ruby Mace, kept our composure in the early stages, before springing the first chance of the game with a ball over the visitors’ high defensive line.
Brosnan came racing out of her goal to mop up the danger but played her clearance straight into the path of White around 40 yards from goal.
The forward looked to lob the Everton stopper, but her effort trickled agonisingly wide of the post.
Brosnan's blushes were spared once again moments later, when she recovered just in time to thwart Shaw after taking a heavy touch inside the area.
Despite having our noses in front, City continued to press for that two-goal cushion, with Janine Beckie getting the better of Poppy Pattinson down the right as the game ticked over the hour mark.
The Canadian’s low ball in was pounced on by a darting run across goal from White, but the forward couldn’t quite work the angle enough to hook in at the near post in trademark fashion.
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The chances kept on coming for Gareth Taylor’s side with Beckie stinging the palms of Brosnan minutes later after creating a yard of space for herself on the right, before a deflected cross landed fortuitously into the Toffees’ stopper’s hands.
But that deserved third eventually followed with 15 to play when Hemp ghosted in at the far post from Beckie’s floated cross, taking a touch and smashing an effort back across goal and into the far corner of the net.
Not content with settling for three, City’s energy and intensity continued to cause problems for the visitors, with White winning the ball back in the Everton box and feeding substitute Park.
The youngster, who made an impact off the bench in Saturday’s Manchester Derby draw, repeated the feat by calmly slotting home her first of the season to put the game out of sight.
But there was still time for White to get the goal her performance deserved, with her header from Beckie's cross into the near post too hot to handle for Brosnan, who fumbled the ball into her own net as stoppage time approached.
Player of the Match: Ellen White
A tireless display from City's centre-forward, who grabbed a goal and an assist on a standout night.
Equally adept as part of a front two with Shaw or as the lone striker, White was a constant thorn in the side of the Everton defence, working the channels and bringing in teammates throughout proceedings.
But her clinical touch also didn't evade her, with the 32-year-old making it two goals in two games leading into the international break as stoppage time approached.
How we lined up
Gareth Taylor made four changes from our 2-2 draw against Manchester United, with Alannah Kennedy, Mace, Laura Coombs and White all introduced to the starting XI.
Taieb started between the sticks, shielded by a back four of Beckie, Mace, Kennedy and Greenwood.
Keira Walsh, Weir and Coombs made up the midfield three, with Shaw and Hemp offering width for White up front.
CITY XI | Taieb, Beckie, Mace, Kennedy, Greenwood, Walsh (80’ Scott), Coombs, Weir, Shaw (67’ Park), Hemp (79’ Stokes), White.
SUBS | Keating, Angeldahl, Park
EVERTON XI | Brosnan, Sevecke, Dali (74’ Graham), Christiansen (c), Duggan, Gauvin (63’ Anvegard), Finnigan, Maier (57’ George), Galli, Clinton (74’ Bennison), Pattinson
SUBS | Maciver, Turner
City are back in cup action once following the international break, as we do battle with Chelsea for a spot in the 2020-21 FA Cup final.
Victory over Emma Hayes’ side at the Academy Stadium would see us reach the Wembley showpiece for a third successive season, and a fourth year in five.
The match is provisionally scheduled to take place on Sunday 31 October, with a kick-off time to be decided in due course.
- City have won all 18 of our matches against Everton in all competitions.
- Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw has now scored five goals in her last four matches.
- City have won our first group stage match in each of the last seven seasons, only tasting defeat to Doncaster Rovers Belles back in 2014.
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