MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN 7, BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION WOMEN 1 (CONTINENTAL CUP QUARTER FINAL)
Manchester City Women made it into an all-star Continental Cup semi finals alongside Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United after beating Brighton and Hove Albion 7-1.
It’s been a high scoring week for a variety of Manchester City teams in cup competitions, with the mens team hitting 16 goals in two games and the U-21 team getting four at Rochdale in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The women got in on the goal deluge with seven at home to Brighton with four of them not arriving until after the 85th minute.
Goals by Nikita Parris, Lauren Hemp (twice), Caroline Weir, Claire Emslie, Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie in injury time sent the Blues through to a mouthwatering Continental Cup semi final line-up alongside Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United.
While it’s possible that there will be a Manchester women’s derby this season, Brighton won’t be looking forward to their league visit to the City Football Academy in a little over two weeks on Sunday, January 27, after their late collapse as Danielle Buet’s penalty equaliser after just eight minutes was a distant memory by the end of a game played in thick fog for the most part.
City played three at the back against Brighton with McManus, Bonner and Houghton across the defence shielded by Keira Walsh and Jill Scott as deep lying midfielders.
Ahead of them, Lauren Hemp partnered Nikita Parris up front while midfield had Claire Emslie down the left and while Caroline Weir supported the strikers and Mel Lawley patrolled the right flank.
Parris opened the scoring with a delicate chip after just six minutes – her 50th goal for City – but Danielle Buet levelled from the penalty spot just two minutes later after Ini Umotong was brought down by Karen Bardsley as she tried to shape for a shot in the area.
Bardsley went the right way but the spot kick was well placed and went in off the woodwork.
Parris could have restored City’s lead with a rasping shot after 17 minutes but Sophie Harris tipped the ball away.
Parris’ cross was blazed over by Hemp who from 6 yards out a minute later as City failed to take a great chance to put their noses in front.
Hemp made up for her error when her close range shot was spilled by Harris and dropped into the back of the net after 24 minutes much to the horror of the Brighton goalkeeper.
Hemp’s header from Lawley’s cross looped up onto the top of the net when she had the chance to extend City’s lead as they settled into the game.
Brighton had their chances in the first half – Chloe Peplow’s free kick was easy for Bardsley to save while Aileen Whelan saw her shot go wide for the Seagulls.
But it was City who dominated the rest of the half with a Walsh shot deflected wide as the gloom descended in Manchester
Brighton made a double change early in the second half with Buet and Peplow replaced by Ellie Hack and Kayleigh Green.
Emslie’s cross from the left was headed wide by Parris as City continued to dominate, though as the corner count racked up in favour of the home side.
Caroline Weir hammered in City’s third from outside the area and off the inside of the far post after 59 minutes when Brighton failed to deal with a loose ball following Hemp’s earlier effort.
City blow Brighton way with late barrage in the fog
City were comfortable in the final third of the game, which saw Janine Beckie come on to replace goalscorer Parris after 68 minutes while Albion replaced Umotong with Ellie Brazil.
Emslie blazed over from Beckie’s cutback while Walsh went close from range as City stroked the ball around in the cold pea souper fog in the second half with Hemp drilling in a fourth for City – her second of the night – before being given a well earned rest as Pauline Bremer replaced her in the dying minutes.
There was even time for Emslie to grab a fifth for City with Brighton flagging – just reward for her work rate a and set piece delivery on the night – before substitute Georgia Stanway made it 6 and then Janine Beckie scored a seventh in injury time.
GOALS – Manchester City Women 7, Brighton and Hove Albion Women 1
Man City Women 1, Brighton 0: 6. Nikita Parris with a delicate chip over Sophie Harris
Man City Women 1, Brighton 1: 8. Danielle Buet levelled matters with a well struck penalty just beyond the grasp of Karen Bardsley after the City goalkeeper had brought down Ini Umotong.
Man City Women 2, Brighton 1: 24. Sophie Harris spilled Lauren Hemp’s close range shot and the Brighton ‘keeper could only watch in horror as it dropped behind her into the goal
Man City Women 3, Brighton 1: 59. Caroline Weir with a trademark 20 yard rocket to put the game beyond the visitors.
Man City Women 4, Brighton 1: 85. Lauren Hemp drilled in City’s fourth – her second of the night – to underline their dominance on the night.
Man City Women 5, Brighton 1: 88. Claire Emslie curls her finish past a demoralised Brighton side.
Man City Women 6, Brighton 1: 90. Georgia Stanway from the edge of the area after some neat interplay.
Man City Women 7, Brighton 1: 90+3. Janine Beckie with a solo run and goal in injury time after a ball over the top.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City Women 6, Brighton and Hove Albion Women 1
Man City Women: Bardsley, Emslie, McManus, Houghton, Bonner, Lawley, Walsh, Scott, Weir (Stanway 77), Hemp (Bremer 87), Parris (Beckie 68)
Man City Women Subs not used: Roebuck, Beattie, Morgan
Booked: Houghton 20
Goals: Parris 6; Hemp 24, 85; Weir 59; Emslie 88, Stanway 90, Beckie 90+3
Brighton and Hove Albion: Harris, Buet (Hack 52), Whelan, Barton, Umotong (Brazil 67), Natkiel, Peplow (Green 52), Legg, Perry, Simpkins, Williams
Brighton and Hove Albion Subs not used: Hourihan, Rafferty, Gibbons
Booked: Brazil 73 Williams 82
Goal: Buet 8 pen