A depleted Manchester City side demolished struggling Aston Villa 7-0 in a Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture at The Academy Stadium this afternoon.
City were again without injured duo Aoife Mannion and Megan Campbell while Gemma Bonner, Demi Stokes, Ellie Roebuck and Caroline Weir joined them on the sidelines. The club’s three American players were also missing due to being on international duty. This meant that four academy players were promoted to the first team squad for today’s fixture.
As for Villa, they were coming into the match off the back of an FA Women’s Continental League Cup elimination at the hands of Bristol City midweek and were looking to bounce back from that disappointing result.
Gemma Davies’ side got off to the worst possible start in Manchester when Chloe Kelly picked up the ball on the right wing and played a wonderful low cross to teammate Lauren Hemp to tap in for a simple finish at the back post.
Lucy Bronze then whipped in a deep cross from the left and found Jill Scott who stretched to get her head on the ball and divert it beyond Lisa Weiss to double her side’s lead.
The home side soon had their third goal just after the half-hour mark when Bronze played a beautiful first-time ball down the left flank for Georgia Stanway. There were shouts for offside but nothing was given and the City number 10 powered towards goal and fired past Weiss at her near post.
City’s fourth goal then came courtesy of Lauren Hemp getting her head on the end of a corner kick at close range to bag her second of the match. The young winger then created the fifth goal as she weaved down the left flank before her low cross was inadvertently turned into her own net by Villa defender Natalie Haigh.
On the stroke half-time, Ellen White got in on the act. Some loose play at the back from Villa allowed Hemp to steal in. She could’ve gone on her own for her hat-trick but she was incredibly unselfish and laid it off for White who had a simple finish.
Villa looked much better in the second period as City struggled to break down their defence and add to the scoreline. However, all the good work was undone when a short pass back to Weiss was chased down by Kelly who won the 50-50 with the goalkeeper and hammered the ball into the empty net to make the scoreline 7-0.
The result puts City just a point behind Arsenal in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table ahead of the day’s other games and has also significantly improved their goal difference which could be crucial come the end of the season. Villa remain just one place off the bottom and if their poor run of form continues, they could find themselves in serious trouble.