WSL: Manchester City 4 Tottenham 1
- Credit: PA
Chloe Kelly inspired Manchester City to a comfortable 4-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur with a goal in either half of their Barclays FA Women’s Super League clash.
Kelly’s brace and goals from Ellen White and Sam Mewis ensured the Citizens picked up their second league win of the season, with Spurs grabbing a consolation through Anna Filbey.
City dominated possession in the first half at the Academy Stadium but struggled to find a way through a resolute Spurs defence, with Kelly going closest in the opening ten minutes.
The 22-year-old was found by White on the left before jinking inside past two defenders and smashing a shot towards the far corner, only for Becky Spencer to parry it away.
Kelly continued to look more and more dangerous as the half wore on, linking up with Mewis for a move that ended with the World Cup-winner slicing her shot wide.
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Caroline Weir then picked out another run in behind from Kelly on 21 minutes, resulting in the former Everton forward cutting inside and rifling another shot narrowly wide.
Fellow Lioness White almost gave the hosts the lead on 27 minutes after picking up a pass from Steph Houghton before drifting inside and firing against the crossbar from 20 yards.
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But it was Kelly who eventually made the breakthrough six minutes later, picking up the ball on the left flank before turning inside and whipping a shot into the far corner.
It was nothing more than City deserved, although it came in controversial circumstances as Spurs complained about the hosts playing on while Kit Graham was down injured.
With half time approaching, Ellie Roebuck cleared a moment of panic in the City defence before Mewis hit the woodwork as the score remained 1-0 at the interval.
But any hope Spurs had of staging a comeback was extinguished in the first 15 minutes after the restart as City struck twice more to put the result beyond doubt.
Kelly grabbed her second from the penalty spot on 51 minutes, smashing the ball straight down the middle after Ria Percival was penalised for a push on Gemma Bonner.
Two minutes later, Mewis picked the ball up in the box and, following a one-two with Janine Beckie, the USA international lifted the ball calmly into the roof of the net.
Not content with their three-goal margin, City kept pushing for more and they soon had a fourth when White scored on 68 minutes from a Houghton corner.
The visitors pulled one back with ten minutes to play when Filbey flicked the ball home from close range but it was nothing more than a consolation as City claimed all three points.
Tottenham manager Karen Hills said: “We knew their strengths and we knew that Chloe Kelly is an exceptional player who can cut inside and has great pace.
“We obviously tried to prevent that and we knew what we needed to do but at that moment in time we couldn’t get close enough and we weren’t effective, it was a great finish.
“We had a player down at the time and some of the players may have been over on that side as well, but it was just one of those things that we needed to deal with better.
“It’s tough and we’re playing against top, top sides, teams who have been at the forefront of the women’s game for a long time, and we’re still very new to this league.
“It’s just our second season in and we’ve got players out there who have been semi-professional and they are just coming into this environment, being thrusted into it.
“They are learning and they are having to learn very, very quickly because the games are coming thick and fast, the opposition we’re playing are quality.
“We’ve played Arsenal, Man City, two top sides who are going to be up there at the end of the season, but we know where we are, what we’re trying to and how we’re building.”
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Spencer; Percival, Zadorsky, Harrop, Worm; Filbey, Green (Quinn 69); Kennedy, Graham (Addison 46), Dean (Ayane 69); Davison (Leon 78). Unused subs: Martin, Godfrey, Neville.
Referee: Stacey Pearson.
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