Manchester City Women 3, Everton Women 1 (Continental Cup Group C)
Rose Lavelle, Chloe Kelly, and Jess Park secured a comeback win for Manchester City as they beat Everton in their opening Continental Cup group C game.Embed from Getty Images
The two sides will be back to full strength for the FA Cup final next month but City laid down an early marker as they overcame an early setback to win and go joint top of Group C with Liverpool following their shock 3-1 win over Manchester United earlier today.
Danielle Turner had earlier given Everton a surprise lead after 20 minutes when a defensive slip allowed the Toffees to take the lead against the run of play.
The Toffees frustrated City until the 52nd minute when Lavelle celebrated her first start for City by turning in the equaliser from a corner.
And Kelly completed the comeback with 13 minutes to go when she drilled in a late winner against her old club before a superb solo goal in injury time by Park made it 3-1.
City boss Gareth Taylor was delighted with the outcome of the game and the way City overcame adversity to beat Everton.
He said: “I’m delighted with delighted with our play with and without the ball unti Everton’s goal – their first attempt on goal – rocked us for five or ten minutes.
City held their nerve against the aggressive Everton press to complete the comeback after US international Rose Lavelle opened her City account with a goal on her full debut for the club.
“[At half time] it was a case of highlighting a few areas to tweak.
“I was really pleased with the result and the performance even after a few changes. I was impressed with a lot of things [tonight].”
“I said I fancied Rose to score tonight – I have a witness in Sam Mewis – she looked a bit shocked!
“It was her first 90 minutes in a long time in a demanding game.”
And Taylor was also delighted with the selection challenge that 18-year-old Jess Park gave him when she scored a brilliant solo goal in injury time to put the tie to bed.
“Like Rose, we weren’t sure how long she’d last but I thought she made it really difficult for me to take her off.
“She was such a threat and kept their defence on the back foot all the time and scored a brilliant goal at the end.”
“She’s young, still learning, and but the goal capped off a really good performance.”
Both sides made extensive changes to their sides (6 for City, 7 for Everton) for the first Continental Cup group stage fixture – with Lavelle making her full debut for City while Karen Bardsley also came into the side for a first competitive game in over a year.
Ellie Roebuck, Gemma Bonner, Sam Mewis, Caroline Weir, Ellen White, and Janine Beckie stood down to allow Bardsley, Demi Stokes, Lavelle, Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway, and Jess Park to start.
In-form Kelly forced early saves from Tinja-Riikka Korpela in the Everton goal as City laid on the pressure in the early stages.
Everton could not settle on the ball as City tore into them but they took the lead with their first real attack of the game in the 20th minute when Danielle Turner converted a cross from close range when she found herself unmarked with a City defender slipping when trying to clear it.
City were rattled but Jess Park’s pull back saw Scott go down in the area after committing a foul trying to get the ball under control.
Lavelle was offside when slipped in by Stanway for a left footed shot which Korpela saved, while Scott’s header was an easy save for Korpela as City regained their composure.
They were up against a well organised Everton defence though and City found their crosses into the area repelled by the visitors’ defence while Everton were a danger when they found enough space in the final third.
Kelly cut inside from the left to try another trademark shot from the edge of the box which was saved by Korpela as City went in search of the equaliser after the break.
The energetic Park was fouled 25 yards from goal on the right and Greenwood stepped up with a free kick that rippled the top of the Everton net.
Rose Lavelle opens her Manchester City account with the equaliser against Everton
Set pieces were where City would capitalise though and Lavelle converted a near post corner by Greenwood shortly afterwards to level up the scores.
Everton made a double change shortly afterwards, bringing on Poppy Pattinson and Valerie Gauvin in the 57th minute for Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah and Simone Magill.
Bardsley saved well from Nicoline Sorensen before Scott was replaced by Mewis as City went for a winner but the England ‘keeper had another save to make to deny Gauvin at the near post.
Everton made the rest of their changes with Rikke Sevecke replacing Damaris Egurrola, and Izzy Christiansen and Lucy Graham were brought on for Sorensen and Maeva Clemaron.
But City took the lead when Stanway fed Kelly whose turn of pace gave her the time to put CIty into the lead against her old club.
Caroline Weir replaced Stanway and immediately set up a chance for Lavelle who saw her shot saved by Korpela while Mewis hit a shot high as City found Everton hard to keep out.
There was just enough time for City to make the game safe in the 4th minute of added time when Jess Park’s solo run off the right wing saw her dance her way round the Everton defence before turnning and firing in City’s third from an acute angle to maintain City’s 100% record against Everton – 13 wins from 13 since City joined the WSL in 2014.
GOALS – Manchester City Women 3, Everton Women 1 (Continental Cup Group C)
Man City Women 0, Everton Women 1: 20. A slip by Man City defender allowed the Toffees to capitalise with a goal by Danielle Turner who beat Bardsley from close range after a right wing cross unexpectedly reached her when a City defender slipped.
Man City Women 1, Everton Women 1: 52. Rose Lavelle arrived at the near post to turn in Alex Greenwood’s corner and level the scores.
Man City Women 2, Everton Women 1: 77. Chloe Kelly scored against her former club after being put through by Georgia Stanway.
Man City Women 3, Everton Women 1: 90+4. Jess Park made the game safe in the 4th minute of added time when she dribbled into the box from the right wing, danced her way round the exhausted Everton defence, before turnning and firing in City’s third from an acute angle.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City Women 3, Everton Women 1 (Continental Cup Group C)
Man City Women: Bardsley, Morgan, Houghton, Greenwood, Stokes, Walsh, Lavelle (Beckie 90+2), Scott (Mewis 63), Park, Kelly, Stanway (Weir 79)
Man City Women Subs not used: Roebuck, Taieb, Bonner, Coombs, White
Booked: Stanway 60, Stokes 89, Greenwood 90
Goals: Lavelle 52; Kelly 77; Park 90+4
Everton Women: Korpela, Moe Wold, Finnigan, Egurrola (Sevecke 70), Turner, Sorensen (Graham 74), Stringer, Clemaron (Christiansen 74), Emslie, Boye-Hlorkah (Gauvin 57), Magill (Pattinson 57)
Everton Women Subs not used: MacIver, Clinton
Goal: Turner 20