Conti Cup: Parris runs riot as Man United hit Everton for seven

ikita Parris of Manchester United celebrates with teammate Geyse
Nikita Parris of Manchester United celebrates with teammate Geyse during the Continental Cup match between Manchester United and Everton (Photo by Ben Roberts Photo/Getty Images)

Manchester United began their Continental Cup campaign in style with a 7-0 thrashing of Everton on Thursday night, with Nikita Parris netting herself a hat-trick.

United have made an unconvincing start to their Women’s Super League campaign, but they put their troubles to one side as they handed the Toffees a second humiliating defeat in less than three weeks.

Starting XIs

Manchester United

Tullis-Joyce; Le Tissier, Blundell, Ladd (c), Riviere, Evans, Naalsund, Lucia Garcia, Hinata, Parris, Williams.

Subs: Galton, Rabjohn, Toone, Zelem, Geyse

Everton

Ramsey; Campbell, Wheeler, Vanhaevermaet, Duggan, Bennison, Bissell, Ramsey, Sorensen, Galli (c), Wilding, Olesen.

Subs: Piemonte, Payne, Holmgaard, Holmgaard, Veje

Attendance: 1,880

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How it went

Marc Skinner made seven changes to the side that rescued a point at Brighton last Sunday, but you wouldn’t have known it by the way United asserted themselves in the early stages.

Lucía García and Parris threatened the Everton backline early on with a few dangerous runs. The latter was a tad unfortunate not to earn the hosts a penalty. Parris latched on to a through ball and was felled as she rounded goalkeeper Emily Ramsey, but the offside flag saved Everton.

The same could not be said soon after. The Lioness thundered a header past the keeper to give United a deserved 1-0 lead. Jayde Riviere found Parris with a superb cross, and the young Canadian repeated the trick less than two minutes later when she found Rachel Williams in the box.

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The scorer of United’s 98th minute equaliser at the weekend sent a looping header back across goal and out of the reach of Ramsey. It was a different kind of header, but the provider and the result were the same.

The only moment of jeopardy United faced in the opening period came in injury time, but goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce — standing in for Mary Earps — won the race to a through ball after leaving her area.

United wrap up huge win in second half

Driving rain accompanied the bitter cold at Leigh Sports Village at the start of the second half, but the United fans soon had reason to cheer again. A corner resulted in Hayley Ladd sweeping a low shot past Ramsey, putting the result beyond doubt with more than half an hour still to play.

Everton had reason to feel slightly aggrieved about the goal. They had two players off the field receiving treatment when the corner kick was taken, but they could have few complaints about the fourth.

Moments after Williams spurned a great chance to grab her second of the night, Parris made no such error as she converted — with the help of a deflection — a close-range effort. The former Everton striker heaped further misery on her old club by completing her hat-trick, tapping into the open goal after Ella Toone selflessly squared the ball across the six-yard box.

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If Everton thought United would show mercy after filling their boots in a 5-0 win on Merseyside two-and-a-half weeks ago, they were sorely mistaken.

Second half substitute Geyse had the freedom of the attacking third as she ambled into the box, steadied herself and slotted a low strike through the legs of Ramsey.

Six then became seven when Leah Galton rifled the ball into the roof of the net, the only shame being it didn’t come directly from Geyse’s audacious backheel.

Tougher tests will come for United, but this was a statement victory. The Red Devils might be out of the Champions League and off the pace in the WSL, but this is a team hungry for silverware.

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Who is up next?

United return to WSL action on Sunday when they host West Ham. After winning just two of their opening five league outings, Skinner will hope Thursday’s win can act as a launch pad.

Everton need to get this result out of their system, and fast. They’ve won only once in the WSL this term, and on Sunday they’ll be getting a visit from reigning champions Chelsea.

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