Everton faces fellow WSL side Manchester United on Sunday, May 9th at 9:30 a.m. EST/2:30 p.m. BST, with the game being played at the Leigh Sports Village. It will be the Blues’ final league match of the 2020/21 WSL season; they travel to London on May 16th to battle Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round. With last weekend’s loss to Arsenal, Everton can make it a maximum of 10 points from their final five games with a win today.
Since defeating Durham 2–1 in the FA Cup fourth round, the Toffees have drawn West Ham United (1–1) and lost to the Gunners, 2–1. Despite a disappointing domestic record against the top four teams in the league — seven losses — there has been an improvement from the Blues throughout the season.
“We want to be taking points off the top teams,” said striker Simone Magill. “If you look at our first result against Arsenal [4–0] this season and how much we have improved since then.”
“I’ve been vocal in the past that we’ve probably not picked up as many points as we should,” said Head Coach Willie Kirk, “but I still think statistically we have overachieved, which is good to see.”
"I'd love to keep Jill here - she's added so much to what we do on the training pitch and in matches - but there's a long way to before we get to that stage."@WillieKirk on the future of on-loan @JillScottJS8. pic.twitter.com/UDuNEvtdDG— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) May 7, 2021
While the results haven’t come against the division’s top clubs, the Merseyside outfit hasn’t lost to a team below them in the table, which puts Everton as the undisputed fifth-best squad in the Super League.
“This is the first year since I’ve been here that we’ve not lost to anyone below us,” Kirk said. “We wanted to be closer to fourth, but we’re a very clear fifth. We’ve identified what we need to improve on. We’re not celebrating, but we’re content with our progress.”
With one game remaining, United is guaranteed fourth place, which, in a vacuum, is a solid result for a second-year team. In the context of this season, however, it must be seen as a disappointment, as the Red Devils were top of the table early in the season. Two losses in the latter stages of the season — 2–0 to Arsenal and 1–0 to Brighton — effectively cost United a Champions League spot as they slipped behind leaders Chelsea, Manchester City and third-placed Arsenal.
The last time these two sides met was on January 31, 2021. And while Everton held 59-percent possession, the visitors used two first-half goals to fuel a 2–0 win. The Blues and Red Devils also did meet in the group stage of the Continental Cup, a match the Toffees eked out, 1–0. There should be plenty of fireworks on Sunday as both teams look to finish on a positive note.
Competition: FA Women’s Super League
Date and start time: Sunday, May 9th at 9:30 a.m. ET/2:30 p.m. BST
Stadium: Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: 12,000 (behind closed doors)
How to Watch/Listen
TV & Radio: N/A
Match Center: evertontv
Live stream: evertontv (free for members, registration required), FA WSL (free, registration required)