As the sun shone over the City Football Academy, Manchester City prepared to welcome Aston Villa for the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The two sides last met in the Women’s Super League in January. Man City dominated that game, putting seven past the Villains with no reply. However, the Sky Blues are now without team captain Steph Houghton with manager Gareth Taylor saying he was hopeful to have the No.6 back before the end of the season.
Manchester City – Roebuck; Stokes (Morgan ’61), Greenwood, Dahlkemper, Bronze (Stanway ’45) , Walsh, Weir (Mewis ’62), Coombs, Hemp (Beckie ’45), Kelly, White (c) (Lavelle ’62) .
Aston Villa – Rogers; Franklin-Fraiture, N’Dow (c) (Hutton ’62), West, Haigh, Siems, Silva, McLoughlin (Hanssen ’62), Syme, Gregory (Larsen ’62), Hayles.
How it went
Manchester City immediately began their typical strong press with Chloe Kelly having a shot less than three minutes in. Caroline Weir had a chance just seconds later, but Sian Rogers was able to prevent the goal. There was concern for the visiting keeper just eight minutes in when a collision in the box left the Villains No.1 needing assistance on the pitch.
City had several chances over the following few minutes, with Weir and captain Ellen White leading the pack. In the 16th minute, Kelly scored from a sensational bicycle kick to put the hosts into the lead.
For the remainder of the first half, the game was little more than one-way traffic. In the 34th minute, White doubled the hosts’ lead following a barrage of chances. Seven minutes later, Kelly made it three to the hosts following complete dominance with a shot across the face of goal.Embed from Getty Images
The second half began in much the same way. Just five minutes in, half-time substitute Janine Beckie fired in her side’s fourth goal from a tight angle.
As the second half drew on, Villa began to push more frequently into City’s half of the pitch. Just 15 minutes after coming on however, No.10 Georgia Stanway opened her scoring to make it 5-0. Then, in the 72nd minute, Rose Lavelle made it six for Gareth Taylor’s side.
Whilst Villa did have the occasional run at Ellie Roebuck’s goal, the holders’ defence was robust enough to deal with any attack the visitors launched. In the 82nd minute, a defensive error from City allowed Villa to rattle Roebuck’s crossbar.
Two minutes later though, Kelly capped off a successful afternoon with her hat-trick. A Villa shot moments later proved light work for Roebuck who had been largely untroubled during the game. Sam Mewis made it eight with a thundering shot into the top right of the net.Embed from Getty Images
Post match thoughts
Speaking after the match Gareth Taylor was full of praise for his side especially in their desire to get goals. Taylor felt his side had been particularly strong in the midfield, shutting down any chances Villa made for themselves. City striker Chloe Kelly was also positive about the teams performance. The No.9 felt the team had hit their peak at exactly the right team and was optimistic about the rest of the season.