Today was supposed to be Izzy Christiansen’s Everton debut against her former club Manchester City, however she picked up a knock in training and was not able to play. Unfortunately, top goalscorer Chloe Kelly is also injured so manager Willie Kirk was forced to put out a different starting 11 than he had wanted. And to top it all off, defender Esme Morgan was unavailable for the game because she is on loan from City so Taylor Hinds started in her place. New goalie Sandy MacIver served as a substitute in place of Kirstie Levell.
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If you haven’t heard already, Manchester City manager Nick Cushing is leaving in February to be an assistant coach for MLS team New York City FC and the consensus at Royal Blue Mersey is that this is a perplexing move downwards but whatever.
Despite a strong first 15 minutes from Everton, they suffered from a defensive error and Pauline Bremer capitalized making it 1-0. City gained momentum and continued to dominate possession for the rest of the game, with Bremer scoring again early in the second half to make it 2-0. Gemma Bonner made it nearly impossible for Everton to come back into the game when she scored from close range in the last third of the game to make it 3-0.
In the final minute of the game, an Everton corner deflected off of Manchester City forward Georgia Stanway to make it 3-1, which meant that while City moved up one spot to second place, they didn’t surpass Arsenal for first place due to goal differential. Everton Women remain in fifth place despite the loss.
Blues Keeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela and defender Gabby George made crucial saves and kept the game closer than it could’ve been considering that City took 24 shots with 8 of them on target.
It would’ve been interesting to see how much better Everton could’ve been if Kelly and Christiansen could’ve played but it wasn’t in the cards for today. Let’s hope they are fit enough to play soon but especially for the upcoming Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in February!
Everton Women face Reading on Sunday 19 January.