Amid a flurry of games being postponed due to poor weather, Manchester City travelled to face Brighton.
Despite snow in many other areas of the south, the skies over The Amex training ground were bright and clear. Right from the off Gareth Taylor’s side were desperate to show that their midweek cup disappointment wasn’t going to affect today’s performance.
How the teams lined up
Fiskerstrand; Bowman, Kerkdijk, Le Tissier, Whelan, Connolly, Kaagman, Heroum, Green, Brazil, Jarrett
Roebuck; Bronze, Houghton, Greenwood, Morgan, Walsh, Weir, Stanway, Kelly, Hemp, White
Caroline Weir opened up the scoring in the eleventh minute with a close-range shot set up by Chloe Kelly. Weir then doubled the score just four minutes later with a goal from the penalty area assisted by Lauren Hemp.
Steph Houghton – who was marking 150 WSL appearances – tapped in an Alex Greenwood corner in the 40th minute, making it three for the visitors. Man City were firmly in control from the off.Embed from Getty Images
The half ended with a stoppage following a clash of heads between Danique Kerkdijk and Ellen White with the hosts going in trailing 3-0 at the break.
The second half began with Inessa Kaagman taking a shot on goal followed by a much higher press by the hosts. It wasn’t long however before the Sky Blues began to purr again, with White scoring the visitors’ fourth of the afternoon with another Kelly assist.
Just two minutes later, City skipper Houghton fired home a free-kick from outside the box, marking City’s fifth and her second of the afternoon.
Brighton pulled one back in the 68th minute with Rianna Jarrett getting the better of Ellie Roebuck, but it would prove to be a mere consolation goal. City then capped off their afternoon with goals from Kelly and Janine Beckie in the 72nd and 78th minute respectively.
Stand out performances
Ellie Brazil was arguably Brighton’s best player of the afternoon with her determined chasing of every ball, putting the visitors’ defence under pressure. Jarrett also played well, scoring the home side’s only goal of the afternoon.
Houghton may well have been Man City’s star player with her exceptional defending and two good goals. However, it’s hard not to give Kelly a special mention with a goal and three assists. She is consistently one of the Sky Blue’s best players.
Hope Powell and her team will travel to Bristol on Saturday for their next fixture, whilst City are preparing to welcome West ham to the Academy Stadium.