After Bristol City — who on Wednesday advanced to the semifinal of the Continental Cup — started on the front foot, Everton countered with a goal after just four minutes of play. Lucy Graham picked the ball up in the middle of the field and found Nicoline Sørensen, who played her third league assist to Izzy Christiansen.
Five minutes later, Christiansen again was wide open on the right wing but hit the ball over the net. With the Toffees working through the middle, Bristol goalkeeper Benedicte Håland kept Christiansen from netting again, making a point-blank save on the England midfielder.
In the 23rd minute, Hayley Raso streaked by two Bristol defenders on the wing and found Christiansen in the box; Everton’s super eight flicked the ball to Graham. As creative as the buildup was, Graham couldn’t control the pass and lost possession out of bounds.
With time running out in the first half and Everton needing to cushion their lead, Danielle Turner sparked the offense. The Toffees’ left back found Raso on the left wing, and the Australian struck a low cross into the box. After Håland bobbled the ball, Simone Magill notched her third league goal of the season.
At the beginning of the second half, Maéva Clemaron nearly scored on a move that mirrored Everton’s first goal but saw her shot stopped on the goal line. Bristol countered with a flurry of shots, all of which were blocked. After stymying the Robins’ attack, Magill won the ball at the top of the 18 and knocked it to Graham. The Scottish international laid the ball into Christiansen’s stride — a swing of the foot saw Everton take a 3–0 lead.
And to add to her brace, Christiansen curled a corner from the left side to the near post where Megan Finnigan, who scored her first career goal for the Toffees, headed the ball into the back of the net — Håland merely watched the ball flutter past her.
Bristol’s final quality chance came through forward Ebony Salmon in the 70th minute: the Robins’ number nine hit a screamer of a shot, but Everton goalie Sandy MacIver was alert to the danger after an otherwise uneventful contest.
Moment of the Match
In the 66th minute, three blue jerseys lined up on Everton’s touchline: Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Valérie Gauvin and Rikke Sevecke. The game against Bristol represented Gauvin’s first game since November 1st and Sevecke’s first game since November 18 — both players missed significant time due to injuries. Seeing them play 23 minutes each surely brought a smile to the faces of Everton supporters all over.
1. Izzy Christiansen
Two goals, one assist, defensive dominance. Christiansen did a little bit of everything against Bristol. With Everton’s next four matches scheduled against teams below them in the table — Birmingham City twice, Tottenham and Reading — Christiansen will have a myriad of opportunities to improve on her league tally of four goals and four assists.
2. Lucy Graham
Graham’s contributions far exceed the one assist that will show up on the stat sheet. She disrupted Bristol City’s offense, picked up possession deep in her own third, moved the ball forward and was consistently involved in link-up play that led to scoring opportunities.
3. Sandy MacIver
For a goalie, nothing is harder than having to make a key save after spending a majority of the game without being called upon — as was the case for MacIver against Bristol. Everton earned their fourth clean sheet of the season, and MacIver was instrumental in a commendable defensive effort.
Everton (3-4-3): 1-Sandy MacIver; 2-Ingrid Moe Wold, 3-Danielle Turner, 20-Megan Finnigan; 8-Izzy Christiansen, 13-Abbey-Leigh Stringer, 17-Lucy Graham, 21-Maéva Clemaron; 10-Simone Magill, 14-Nicoline Sørensen, 16-Hayley Raso
Substitutes: 22-Rikke Sevecke for Clemaron 67, 7-Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah for Magill 67, 19-Valérie Gauvin for Raso 67, 15-Molly Pike for Turner 75, 26-Grace Clinton for Christiansen 75
Unused Substitutes: 23-Tinja-Riikka Korpela
Goals: Christiansen 4, 57, Magill 38, Finnigan 63
Bookings: Stringer 85
Bristol City (4-5-1): 13-Benedicte Håland; 2-Faye Bryson, 3-Gemma Evans, 5-Laura Rafferty, 12-Flo Allen; 6-Chloe Logarzo, 10-Yana Daniëls, 11-Charlie Wellings, 14-Aimee Palmer, 17-Emma Bissell; 9-Ebony Salmon
Substitutes: 4-Jasmine Matthews for Rafferty 46, 21-Abi Harrison for Bissell 46, 26-Ella Mastrantonio for Palmer 46, 25-Naomi Layzell for Allen 88
Unused Substitutes: 18-Maisy Collis, 28-Ellen Jones