Manchester City Women Compete Domestic Treble in Style

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 1, 2017 11:47

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Manchester City Women Compete Domestic Treble in Style

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar at Wembley Stadium (May 13th 2017)

Dominant

Despite securing a draw against the champions, Manchester City Women a week ago, Birmingham City Ladies were swept aside 4-1 by the domestic treble winners. Boasting the World’s Best Player, Carli Lloyd, Manchester City’s investment and planning reaped its rewards.

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Long throw specialist Megan Campbell’s not so secret weapon was ineffective this evening, but she more than made up for it with her set piece contributions. After quarter of an hour she stole in at the near post to meet Isobel Christiansen’s corner, flicking it into t side netting. Two minutes later she punished Paige Williams’ foul on Nikita Parris by delivering an inviting free-kick for Lucy Bronze to beat Birmingham City’s captain Kerys Harrop to the ball and powerfully head past Ann-Katrin Berger to give Manchester City the lead they never looked likely to surrender.

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Slack defending was punished by Manchester City after 25 minutes as Bronze turned provider for Christiansen. Bronze intercepted on the half way line and surged down the right flank before crossing. Christiansen arrived to meet it with a sweet strike that gave Berger no chance.

The Best

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Carli Lloyd isn’t the World’s best for nothing. She has played 237 internationals, scored in the Olympic Games Final in 2012 and a hat-trick in the 5-2 demolition of Japan in the World Cup Final of 2015, which included her wonder-strike from just inside her own half.

Despite nice touches, she hadn’t influenced the game as she would have wanted until just over half an hour into the match. An exquisite flick released Melissa Lawley on the left. Lawley went close. A minute later a short corner routine resulted in Campbell drifting a cross in from the left, which Berger came for and missed – Ellen White tried and failed to mark both Steph Houghton and Lloyd – leaving Lloyd with an easy header for 3-0.

Gulf

The gulf in resources and class was clear. Birmingham got to half time without conceding further and regrouped for the second half. They were fortunate not to concede a fourth when Berger cleared – it rebounded back to her. It was contagious, but Freda Ayisi couldn’t profit from Karen Bardsley’s fumble. She was replaced by Charlie Wellings. Berger redeemed herself by clearing Demi Stokes’ through-ball with Parris poised to pounce.

IMG_1300Aofie Mannion’s foul on Lloyd, but Steph Hougton wasted the free-kick. Toni Duggan, fresh from a hat-trick started on the bench. She was keen to prove a point, but a poor touch from Stokes’ pass allowed Berger to intervene at the expense of a corner. Lloyd wins corner after being put through on left of area, but Duggan’s corner was headed wide by Houghton.

Birmingham countered. An excellent move culminated on the right of the area with Elli Brazil puling it back to the edge of the area for Wellings to lash it past Bardsley – an excellent goal. A couple of minutes later Ellen White clattered Bardsley out of play. She insisted that she was going for the ball. Shortly afterwards Substitute Georgia Stanway collided with Berger – the keeper was awarded the free-kick.

With just over 10 minutes left, Duggan crossed it from the left and Harrop nearly tripped Jill Scott, who stayed upright and lashed it in to make it 4-1 The first booking, Jessica Carter came on 87 minutes when she clattered Abbie McManus. In added time Lloyd chased a through ball and was pulled back by Manion. Referee, Rebecca Welch, tried to play an advantage, but Duggan’s shot gave no advantage, so Welch called it back and booked Manion – good refereeing. Houghton’s free-kick was easily saved by Berger.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 1, 2017 11:47