Manchester City enjoyed a brief spell atop of the Women’s Super League after a 6-1 home win against Bristol Academy to confirm their place in WSL2 next season. City had the lead after just nine minutes as a wonderful cross field pass from Krystle Johnston found Tash Harding who knocked it down into the path of Jill Scott who took a touch to break into the penalty area and fired brilliantly under the Bristol goalkeeper.
On 34 minutes it was 2-0 as Izzy Christiansen continued her fine form of goalscoring, albeit with the aid of the deflection, as Scott turned provider laying off the ball at the edge of the penalty area and Christiansen’s shot was deflected past the stranded Bristol goalkeeper. On 38 minutes it was three as a cross from Harding found Scott who knocked it down to Lucy Bronze who popped up to smash it home. It should have been four on the stroke of half time as a Christiansen cross evaded everyone bar skipper Steph Houghton at the far post but she blazed over from less than a yard.
After the re-start it was 4-0 as Nikita Parris turned her marker in the box, her initial shot was blocked but she fired the rebound superbly into the roof of the net from a low Bronze cross. Bristol didn’t give up and gave the travelling Bristol supporters something to cheer on 54 minutes as Weir’s shot was parried by Bardsley, but she couldn’t hold on and Weir deflected the rebound into the bottom left hand corner.
Manager Nick Cushing made the changes as he replaced Parris and Harding with Georgia Stanway and the returning Daphne Corboz. The impressive Jennifer Beattie went close with an effort from outside the area after a good City move but it rolled just wide of the bottom left hand post. Soon it was 5-1 as Bronze was brought down in the penalty area and Izzy Christiansen added her second firing high into the top left hand corner. It was the England Internationals fifth goal in the last four City games in addition to scoring on her England debut.
City continued to create chances as they sought to get Christiansen her hat-trick but it was Georgia Stanway who rounded off the goalscoring as Lucy Bronze drove through midfield with a brilliant run, she played in Jill Scott whose low cross found Stanway who turned and fired it into the bottom left hand corner.
Stand out performer of the afternoon was Jill Scott as she got the break through with a superb finish to break the deadlock and was involved in the build up for three other goals. The England midfielder switched between the centre and the right of midfield as City effectively utilised her height in the final third.
It was impossible not to feel sympathetic for Bristol Academy as they threatened City on several occasions and looked the more threatening of the two teams early on. They should have had a goal right before half time as they Weir turned and rolled her shot just inches past the post. They were a credit as they refused to give up in the second half pulling a goal back but the gulf between semi-professional and full time players showed as the second half wore on. It will be interesting to see how Bristol progress next season in the second division as one win and 7 goals from 13 games is not the foundation.