Stanway’s Treble Seals City Win
Georgia Stanway scored a magnificent hat-trick as Manchester City cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sunderland at the Academy Stadium on Sunday.
After making her debut for City exactly a year ago in the Continental Cup the seventeen-year-old has largely been restricted to substitute appearances ever since – but she made her first start in the WSL this season at Notts County last week and had an immediate impact by scoring a fierce twenty yard strike into the roof of the net – and that performance earned her another start this week against Sunderland.
Stanway looks physically much stronger this year and that added power had a devastating effect yesterday when through determined play she won the ball off Danielle Brown in the Sunderland penalty area before driving a low shot inside Rachel Laws’ right-hand post after sixteen minutes.
City had other chances either side of that goal and Jane Ross was unlucky to see her header come back off the bar after six minutes as was Lucy Bronze with a shot on the half-hour – while a header from Scott was well-held by Laws.
In the second half, Bronze linked up well with Scott before Stanway added her second with another low drive from outside the box on fifty four minutes.
Sunderland undoubtedly have some exceptionally gifted players and they move the ball around very well at times – but having only won once in WLS1 this season their confidence is not high and they didn’t venture forward too often. When they did their best effort came from a long range shot from Rachel Firness which Karen Bardsley was forced to tip over the bar.
Although it will be Stanway’s goals that will rightly dominate the narrative of this match, this win was very much a team effort and there were other stand-out individual performances. Jill Scott in particular had an excellent match in midfield and never stopped running for ninety minutes. As did Nikita Parris who gave Abby Holmes a torrid time down the right wing until she came off after seventy minutes to be replaced by Toni Duggan who is always a threat and intimidating for the opposition.
But it was Georgia Stanway who was to have the last word as she saved her best goal for last when she thundered yet another amazing strike into the top corner of the net from twenty five yards with ten minutes to go.
City now have twenty six points from ten games and they were further boosted by Arsenal’s surprise home defeat to the constantly improving Liverpool. That means Arsenal now remain on twenty points while City have the chance to extend their lead even further when they play at Reading on Wednesday.