There were quite a few takeaways from Everton Women’s match against WSL giants Manchester City on Sunday, but the main one is this:
Everton can compete with a team in the Big Three.
This is no small thing. Just last season, Everton was in a relegation battle and now they are cutting it close with City.
Sure, it was a horrible rainy day with difficult pitch conditions. Yes, several Manchester City players were injured. But that doesn’t matter because the score still ended in a very respectable 1-0 loss to City. The lone goal came from a spot kick from City and Lionesses captain Steph Houghton in the 7th minute.
Can she do it on a rainy Sunday in Southport? @stephhoughton2 scores from a free-kick for @ManCity just like we've seen her do for the @Lionesses pic.twitter.com/cvmpgFjwdq— Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) September 29, 2019
To put this result into perspective, take a look at two other WSL results from the same weekend:
Arsenal beat Brighton 4-0 and Chelsea beat Bristol City 4-0.
Around this time last year, Everton had lost to Manchester City 4-0.
According to BBC Sport, City slightly dominated possession at 57% but both teams had around the same amount of shots (13 for City, 12 for Everton). In-form Chloe Kelly and Simone Magill both took their chances and there seemed to be a renewed confidence from Everton that they could get a positive result against City.
Everton captain Lucy Graham told WSL.com after the game that the Blue Women are not afraid to go “toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in Europe”:
“We’re up towards the top of the table on merit. I don’t care who it is we’re playing against, they are just names on paper. When you put in performances like that, you take away a lot of praise and a lot of confidence and hopefully we can play like that again.”
Other great news:
Kika van Es started
The Netherlands defender is back from injury and was in the starting lineup.
Tinja-Riikka Korpela is worth her weight in gold
We can’t emphasize enough how much of a game changer the Finnish keeper is for the Toffees. City had 6 shots on target and Korpela stopped all but one sneaky spot kick. In the final moments of the game, Korpela went in CIty’s box for a corner and then rushed back to the other end of the pitch to stop a City player from getting a last ditch effort shot off.
The new stadium is slated for October 27
Attendance at Haig Ave was 378, which is a little higher than the 200 or so attendees that were coming to games last season. But watch out because when the Toffee Women debut at their new stadium in late October, it’s over for all you WSL teams! The new location is only a mile away from Goodison Park and bigger crowds cheering on the Blues will help them in their quest to remain in the top half of the table.
The next WSL game is against Reading, 13 October at Adams Park.
Everton (4-1-4-1): Tinja-Riikka Korpela; Kika van Es, Megan Finnigan, Gabby George, Danielle Turner; Maeva Clemaron; Simone Magill, Lucy Graham, Molly Pike, Chloe Kelly; Hannah Cain
Substitutes: Elise Hughes for Cain 60, Taylor Hinds for van Es 71, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah for Magill 80
Unused Substitutes: Kirstie Levell, Georgia Brougham, Inessa Kaagman, Faye Bryson