Manchester City Women 3, Brighton Women 1
Three early goals for Manchester City Women, including a third goal in as many games for Julie Blakstad and a worldie by Laura Coombs, saw them beat Brighton comfortably despite a late consolation goal by Lee Guem-min.
Chloe Kelly, who had a great game, earlier forced Brighton player Veatriki Sarri to put through her own net as the Seagulls got off to the worst possible start at the City Football Academy in a packed week for City.
Kelly started well, sending a ball across the 6 yard box which Laura Coombs could not reach.
Katie Robinson found herself clean through but City’s defence caught up with her and won the ball back as Brighton briefly threatened.
But Kelly created City’s opening goal after 11 minutes when her corner was somehow bundled into Megan Walsh’s goal from her corner by Brighton’s Veatriki Sarri under pressure from Leila Ouahabi.
The lead was doubled after 19 minutes when Chloe Kelly cut inside and crossed for in-form Julie Blakstad to convert another goal with a stunning flying header.
And Laura Coombs made it 3-0 after 26 minutes when Blakstad squared the ball to her and she let fly with a long range effort which beat Megan Walsh from just outside the area.
Brighton were reduced to hopeful efforts, Julia Ziogiotti Olme from the half way line had Ellie Roebuck backpedaling but her effort wasn’t on target.
City could have had another towards the end of the first half but Walsh saved a shot from Khadija Shaw and Laura Coombs’ volley.
With one eye on a big week ahead of City, with a game at Liverpool before the Manchester derby next Sunday, Coombs was withdrawn at half time for Filippa Angeldahl.
And City had two chances to extend their lead when Deyna Castellanos first shot wide and then saw a shot come off the outside of the post after Kelly slid her through.
Angeldahl sent a shot wide before City made two more changes after 61 minutes – Chloe Kelly and Kerstin Casparij were replaced by Hayley Raso and Esme Morgan.
Morgan saw her shot blocked while Castellanos had another shot saved by Walsh as City’s dominance continued.
Alex Greenwood blocked a Danielle Carter shot as Brighton created some half chances in the second half.
Castellanos became City’s fourth player to get a rest when she was replaced by Ruby Mace with 17 minutes to go.
Raso’s cross to Shaw ended with a tame header straight at Walsh as City looked to be seeing out time at the end.
Blakstad could have made it 4-0 in the last minute after a fine move involving Morgan and Raso but she couldn’t get a clean connection with the ball and spooned it over the crossbar.
Instead Kayleigh Green cleared off her own line and Morgan blazed wide before Brighton grabbed an injury time consolation through ex-City striker Lee Guem-min after City gave away a cheap free kick and Brighton threw everything into a late surge.
GOALS – Manchester City Women 3, Brighton Women 1
Man City Women 1, Brighton Women 0: 11. Chloe Kelly’s corner ended up in Brighton’s net after Leila Ouahabi pressurised Veatriki Sarri into an error which saw the ball go past Megan Walsh for an own goal.
Man City Women 2, Brighton Women 0: 19. Julie Blakstad doubled the lead, meeting Chloe Kelly’s cross with a flying header.
Man City Women 3, Brighton Women 0: 26. Julie Blakstad found her way blocked, she squared the ball to Laura Coombs who fired in a 20 yard shot which beat Megan Walsh to give City a massive lead.
Man City Women 3, Brighton Women 1: 90+3. Ex-City striker Lee Guem-min scored a late consolation for Brighton.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City Women 3, Brighton Women 1
Man City Women: Roebuck, Casparij (Morgan 61), Aleixandri, Greenwood (C), Ouahabi, Hasegawa, Castellanos (Mace 73), Coombs (Angeldahl, 46), Kelly (Raso 61), Blakstad, Shaw
Man City Women Subs not used: MacIver, Stokes, Houghton, Kennedy, Hutchings
Booking: Morgan 90+1
Goals: Sarri og 11; Blakstad 19; Coombs 26
Brighton Women: Walsh, Fox, Williams, Green, Pattinson, Robinson, Carter, Olme, Sarri (Bance 85), Connolly, Lee
Brighton Women Subs: Startup, Terland, Stott, Park, Symonds, Jarvis
Booked: Sarri 33 (foul on Kerstin Casparij)
Goal: Lee 90+3
Referee: Cheryl Foster