Everton opened the game struggling to break Aston Villa’s high press, but the home side got their first look on goal early in the affair, courtesy of Hayley Raso. The Australian winger fired a shot off an Ingrid Moe Wold cross, but the Lions’ defense was sharp to the danger.
With the Toffees continuing to attack and make life difficult for the visitors, it was dynamic midfielder Jill Scott who led the charge for the Blues’ opening marker. The Manchester City loanee picked up the ball at half field and played a pass out wide that snuck under Jodie Hutton’s foot. Claire Emslie picked up the loose ball and found Izzy Christiansen, who looped a cross into the box. Lucy Graham found herself in acres of space and crushed a header into the back of the net.
On the stroke of halftime, Everton appeared to have doubled their lead — Christiansen sent a searching ball off a set piece, Rikke Sevecke got a head on it, and Raso tapped it into the goal — but the assistant referee flagged the home team for a questionable offside.
Villa were the beneficiaries of a Lisa Weiß moment of brilliance early in the second half, as the German shot-stopper blanked Graham from the penalty spot to keep the deficit to just one. The Villains were safe for only ten minutes; however, they committed a second penalty when Hutton tackled Sevecke inside the box. Christensen, who netted from the penalty spot last weekend against Brighton, stepped up to double her side’s advantage.
In the 78’, Moe Wold found Graham, and the Scottish international threaded a pass through to Emslie, who feathered the ball to a cutting Scott. And while the first shot was blocked, Simone Magill buried the rebound on the ensuing kick.
An otherwise perfect day was stained by a 94th minute Villa goal, which came on a set piece and a looping header that got the best of Sandy MacIver, who was called into action just once before.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
With yesterday’s three-goal outburst, the Toffees now have four players — Christiansen, Gauvin, Magill and Raso — who have scored five goals in the Super League this season. The team gets contributions from every position, and with Sunday’s victory, they remain undefeated against all teams lower in the table.
Everton (4-2-3-1): Sandy MacIver, Ingrid Moe Wold, Megan Finnigan, Rikke Sevecke, Poppy Pattinson, Jill Scott, Lucy Graham, Hayley Raso, Izzy Christiansen, Claire Emslie, Alisha Lehmann
Substitutes: Simone Magill for Lehmann 66, Gabby George for Pattinson 79, Abbey-Leigh Stringer for Christiansen 88, Grace Clinton for Scott 88, Nicoline Sørensen for Emslie 88
Unused Substitutes: Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Valerie Gauvin, Maéva Clemaron
Goals: Graham 36, Christiansen 64, Magill 78
Aston Villa (5-4-1): Lisa Weiss, Asmita Ale, Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Anita Asante, Marisa Ewers, Jodie Hutton, Olivia McLoughlin, Chloe Arthur, Freya Gregory, Shania Hayles, Nadine Hanssen
Substitutes: Elisha N’Dow for Ewers 20, Caroline Siems for McLoughlin 65, Stine Larsen for Hayles 65, Emily Syme for Hanssen 81, Diana Silva for Gregory 8
Unused Substitutes: Sian Rogers, Amy West, Natalie Haigh
Goals: Arthur 94
Bookings: Hutton 45, Ale 75, Arthur 83