Sunderland Ladies found Manchester City Women too hot to handle in last night’s FA Women’s Super League 1 clash.
Georgia Stanway bagged a double as City got back to winning ways with amn ultimately comfortable 3-0 win to re-ignite their title defence.
City had lost to Chelsea in Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup semi-final and to Reading last time out in the league.
But they started confidently against the Wearsiders and Stanway’s fine strike, which went in off the post after a sweeping move, put them ahead inside quarter of an hour.
Ex-Sunderland player Jill Scott had a big chance to double the lead, only to be thwarted by Rachael Laws when clean through on goal.
Sunderland’s best chance came through a Lucy Staniforth free-kick which Ellie Roebuck could only parry, with the young goalkeeper thanking Steph Houghton for clearing the loose ball.
City asserted their dominance as the game went on and the introduction of Claire Emslie sparked some life into the home side.
Emslie herself missed several chances to wrap the game up and Nikita Parris was herself denied by a great save from Laws, who turned her goal-bound effort onto the post.
Stanway eventually wrapped things up with just a couple of minutes to go , from outside the box, this one via a heavy deflection.
There was a late blow for City as captain Houghton hobbled off as the game moved into stoppage time before sub Nadia Nadim added a third goal at the death, volleying home a cross.
Sunderland Ladies’ head coach, Melanie Copeland, found the positives in her side’s performance:
“We were in the game, that’s the most important thing for us,” she said.
“You’ve always got to believe you’ve got a chance – the most disappointing thing is we sort of collapsed in the last 10 minutes.
“3-0 looks bad on us. 1-0 is still a defeat, but there’s more small successes from that result, but our game management towards the end of the match had to be a lot better.
“There were tired legs, but it’s like a double-edged sword.
“Some teams are playing every few days whereas we haven’t a game for a couple of weeks, so we haven’t really been able to take any momentum forward. You can train, but it’s not the same as playing 90 minutes.
“I can’t fault the team for effort and desire and they were brave in the first half.
“We created half-chances, but, looking at their team, it’s like playing an international team.”
Manchester City Women (4-3-3): Ellie Roebuck; Esme Morgan, Steph Houghton, Jennifer Beattie, Demi Stokes; Keira Walsh, Jill Scott, Izzy Christiansen; Nikita Parris, Jane Ross (Nadia Nadim 69), Melissa Lawley (Claire Emslie 56). Subs not used: Karen Bardsley, Mie Jans, Ella Toone, Tessel Middag. Goals: Stanway 14, 88, Nadim 90+4
Sunderland Ladies (4-4-1-1): Rachel Laws; Rachel Pitman, Hayley Sharp, Victoria Williams, Kylla Sjoman, Keira Ramshaw, Kasia Lipka (Abbey Joice 60), Zaneta Wyne, Molly Lambert; Lucy Staniforth; Dominique Bruinenberg (Bridget Galloway 69). Subs not used: Anke Preuss, Louise Griffiths, Ellie Stewart, Simona Koren. Bookings: Lambert 60, Pitman 64
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