Man City beats erring Villa in WSL opener

Georgia Stanway's brace powered Manchester City to a 2-0 win over Aston Villa to begin its 2020-21 campaign on a winning note.

Manchester City's Georgia Stanway was declared player of the match for her brace against Aston Villa in their Women's Super League encounter on Saturday.   -  FAWSL

Georgia Stanway's brace powered Manchester City to a 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park, thereby giving last seasons runner-up a winning start to its 2020-21 campaign.

It took all of 22 minutes for City to get a two-goal lead, one that would stay untouched until the final whistle. Playing its first WSL game, Villa seemed unsteady, with both of City's goals coming off defensive errors made by the opposition.

Natalie Haigh unsuspectingly allowed Stanway to net her first goal of the afternoon after just six minutes, while a short pass from Villa keeper Sian Rogers found Stanway again, with the forward making no mistake from close range.

READ: FA WSL fixtures announced, Villa hosts Man City in opener

Villa had the chance to peg one back when a neat finish from Stine Larsen was ruled offside, a decision replays later showed to be incorrect.

Stanway missed a hattrick and Sam Mewis also missed two opportunities to get on the score sheet despite being threatening in the final third.

 

Rogers made up for the errors of the first half by keeping things tight in the second, blocking shots from Janine Beckie and Ellen White, thereby preventing further damage.

City's new head coach Gareth Taylor will be pleased with his side's performance, especially with that of American import Sam Mewis. She had two strong chances and was threatening in the midfield while also playing for a full 90 minutes. She will soon be joined by compatriot Rose Lavalle, who is currently in quarantine.

Villa will also view new signing Diana Silva's showing as a positive. Larsen also looked confident as she pressed City's defence.

City and Chelsea were tied on points last season and lost the title to the latter by virtue of fewer games played when the coronavirus pandemic brought the league to a grinding halt.

Villa travels to Reading while City hosts Brighton & Hove Albion next weekend.

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