A Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw hat-trick, Julie Blakstad brace and further strikes from Chloe Kelly and Deyna Castellanos set the seal on a dominant display.
Fresh from a 6-0 Continental Cup win over Bristol City in midweek, Gareth Taylor's side were at our attacking best once again at the Academy Stadium.
It ensured City’s 2022/23 FA Cup campaign got off to the perfect start ahead of Monday evening’s fifth round draw.
Gareth Taylor had highlighted the importance of gaining an early foothold at the Academy Stadium ahead of the encounter and the players instantly looked to put that plan into action.
The hosts were in control from the get-go, with Blakstad heading Kelly’s deep cross wide of the target after intricate play down the right flank.
But it wouldn’t take long for the breakthrough to come, and it was a familiar source who would light the blue touch paper.
A penetrating pass in behind the Sheffield United defence from Laia Aleixandri released Kelly inside the area, who knocked the ball into the path of Shaw.
The Jamaican, our top scorer this season, wasn’t about to pass up the golden opportunity, and duly tapped home into an empty net for her 14th goal in 16 appearances so far this season.
Shaw forced Wilson into action once again as the 25-minute mark approached when she met Alex Greenwood’s searching ball to the far post, and the Blades’ stopper was at full stretch down to her left when Leila Ouahabi drilled a low effort just wide of the mark.
But number two would follow before the break when Blakstad beat Ellie Wilson down the left and swung a vicious low ball across the face of goal and into the path of Kelly.
The winger’s run had gone unchecked, and she fired into the bottom corner for her first goal of the season.
It was just rewards for the number nine, who had provided a consistent spark out wide throughout the opening 45, and she would turn provider just before the break as City added a third.
Gaining possession deep in the Sheffield United half, Kelly would play a neat one-two with Shaw before squaring for the onrushing Castellanos.
And after taking a touch inside the box with Blakstad also ready to pounce, the Venezuelan smashed home her second goal in as many home matches to put the game out of sight.
It was a similar story after the restart, with City continuing to tighten our grip on proceedings.
Kelly was the first to go close, flashing an effort just wide of the far post from Filippa Angeldahl’s pass in behind.
But it was Shaw who was next to find the net, rolling her marker on the edge of the box from Alex Greenwood’s pass before wrong-footing Wilson with a clinical low effort.
It wouldn’t take long for number five to arrive, with Blakstad pinching back possession in the Sheffield United box before curling exquisitely into the top corner.
The onslaught continued before the hour when Shaw was inches from completing her hat-trick, flashing a vicious effort just wide of the upright before a deflected effort dropped agonisingly wide before the hour.
Greenwood went even closer to opening her account for the season soon after, heading onto the underside of the crossbar from a corner, before substitute Mary Fowler stung the palms of Wilson from distance after cutting in from the right.
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The ongoing battle between the Australian international and Sheffield United’s stopper continued as the game ticked over the 75-minute mark, with Wilson making an incredible reaction save to tip Fowler’s goal-bound effort over the bar.
But a sixth would follow from the subsequent corner, with Blakstad pouncing on a loose ball in the box and firing into the roof of the net.
Shaw would then complete her hat-trick from close-range as stoppage time approached, tapping in after being teed up by Kelly.
And the final sight of goal for City would fall to Alanna Kennedy, who was a coat of paint away from adding an eighth at the Academy Stadium.
Player of the Match: Bunny Shaw
An honourable mention goes to Kelly for an inspired display out wide, but the Jamaican's first treble of the season earns her player of the match.
Shaw's clinical eye for goal was complemented by brilliant link up play and a steely tenacity when out of possession.
She now has 16 goals in as many matches this season; an incredible feat for a player operating at the top of her game.
How we lined up
Ellie Roebuck started between the sticks, shielded by a back four of Laia Aleixandri, Alanna Kennedy, Alex Greenwood and Leila Ouahabi.
Yui Hasegawa, Filippa Angeldahl and Deyna Castellanos made up the midfield three, while Chloe Kelly and Julie Blakstad started on the flank.
Bunny Shaw led the line as centre-forward at the Academy Stadium.
City XI: Roebuck, Aleixandri (Casparij 68’), Kennedy, Greenwood, Ouahabi, Hasegawa (Houghton 68’), Angeldahl (Fowler 68’), Castellanos, Kelly, Blakstad, Shaw.
Subs: MacIver, Hemp, Raso, Losada.
Sheffield United XI: N. Wilson, Newsham, Barker (C), Hartley, Riglar, Cusack, Rayner (Muir 62’), Paul, Enderby (Walters 69’), Wilcock (Haywood 46’), E. Wilson.
Subs: Davies, Lord-Mears, Francis-Jones, Brown, Graham.
What it means
City are in the hat for the fifth round of the Women's FA Cup.
The draw takes place on Monday 30 January between 18:30 and 19:00.
It will be broadcast live in the UK on the BBC News channel's Sportsday programme, and will be conducted by former City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.
City enter the draw as ball number one.
Gareth Taylor's side are back in Barclays Women's Super League action on Saturday 4 February when we face Leicester City.
Kick-off is set for 11:30 at the King Power Stadium, with the match available to watch live in the UK on Sky Sports Football.
City will be aiming to extend our unbeaten league run to ten matches in the process.
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