Man City begin Conti Cup campaign with Blackburn victory

Vicky Losada of Manchester City dribbles down the field.
Vicky Losada of Manchester City in action during the UWCL match between Manchester City and Real Madrid on August 21, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

As Manchester City prepared to kick off their Continental Cup campaign, the Blues welcomed Blackburn Rovers to the CFA. Gareth Taylor’s side are the current holders of the league cup title after winning 3–1 against Chelsea in March.

Starting lineups

Manchester City: Maciver; Casparij (Hutchings, 45′), Stokes (Prior, 81′), Houghton (c), Fowler (Marley-Paraskevas, 82′), Angeldahl, Raso, Morgan (Dahou, 45′), Ouhabi, Losada (Siddal, 88′), Blakstad

Blackburn Rovers: Brooks; Dixon, Fenton (c) (Crompton, 84′), Seed, McDonald, Leek (Nokuthula, 90′), Smith, Williams (Jordan, 63′), Thomas (Hornby, 45′), Murphy, Worthington (Chandarana, 45′)

The Manchester City bench showcased a raft of young talent with all outfield substitutes being pulled from the club’s academy. Jemima Dahou was the only substitute named with a competitive first-team appearance other than goalkeeper Khiara Keating.

How it went

As would be expected, Manchester City enjoyed the lion’s share of the early possession. Despite the hosts’ dominance, Blackburn were able to match the opposition’s pressure for the first 17 minutes of the tie.

A tight-angled shot from Hayley Raso finally breached Alex Brooks’ defense—giving the hosts the early lead. Just four minutes later, Taylor’s side had the chance to double their goal tally. But Houghton’s free kick was easily saved by Brooks. Then, in the 39th minute, the hosts received a penalty following a clumsy tackle.

Mary Fowler stepped up to take the spot kick, which saw the No. 8 bag her first competitive City goal. Vicky Losada also got in on the goalscoring action with her 43rd-minute header—sending the Sky Blues in at halftime with a healthy 3–0 lead.

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Fowler got the goalscoring underway for the second half. The Australian bagged her second of the evening, as she tapped the ball home from close range in the 69th minute.

The fifth goal of the evening came from Julie Blakstad as she converted debutant Lois Marley-Paraskevas’ cross. The 17-year-old’s pinpoint pass saw the Norwegian through on goal in the 85th minute. Blakstad bagged her brace just two minutes later as Raso sent the No. 41 through on goal once more.

Stand out player

Hayley Raso was immense throughout the game. The Australian international kicked off the host’s goalscoring with her early goal. With almost constant pressure on Blackburn’s backline, the No. 13 provided the Sky Blues with a consistent outlet going forward.

Manager Gareth Taylor previously mentioned that he would like Raso to be more clinical going forward. Speaking after today’s victory, Taylor explained that the evening’s performance was exactly what he wanted to see from the winger to cement her name into the starting 11.

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