Reigning FA Women’s Super League champions Manchester City secured their second victory of the Spring Series as Toni Duggan’s hat-trick secured a comfortable three points with a 3-0 win at Bristol City.
The visitors dominated possession and territory before the break but took until two minutes before the interval to make a breakthrough, Duggan tucking home from close range after Nikita Parris provided the cross.
The same combination had almost produced an opener on 12 minutes but Duggan’s lofted attempt hit the bar and Parris was unable to capitalise when the rebound fell o her in front of goal.
Bristol still could have gone in to the break level but Chloe Arthur saw her shot saved by Marie Hourihan’s dive to her right after she had capitalised on a defensive error to break through.
The Blues increased their advantage early in the second half when Vixens keeper Caitlin Leach was penalised for a push and Duggan sent her the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick.
And it didn’t take Duggan long to complete her treble when she was put through by Parris to steer the ball past Leach and put the outcome beyond doubt with 30 minutes remaining.
The home side were able to create little of note by way of opportunities, with Claire Emslie ballooning a shooting chance late in the game after dispossessing England skipper Steph Houghton, who had started the evening on the bench.
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WHAT THEY SAID:
Manchester City’s hat-trick hero Toni Duggan:
"I seem to have tendency to put the ball in the back of the net in Bristol - I scored a hat-trick here for Everton two seasons ago and I enjoyed this one.
"I've been in and out of the side in the last few weeks, which has been disappointing for me because I want to be playing, but I put them in the back of the net tonight and that's my job as a striker.
"I've felt good and sharp in training so it's good that I seem to be finding my form."
Bristol City midfielder Chloe Arthur:
"We knew it was going to be tough against the reigning champions because they are a great team with great experience and great individuals.
"We gave it our all but in the end we were disappointed with our performance. But we'll learn from this experience and take it into our next game at Birmingham next Wednesday.
"We were three goals down inside an hour and we were determined to keep it to that and not concede any more - and at least we did that.
"We have had three games in the space of seven days so now we will have a few days off before the Birmingham game because we need to rest our bodies."
Bristol City 0
Manchester City 3
Read more at http://www.fawsl.com/matchesReport/bristol_city_women_v_manchester_city_women_09_may_2017_report.html#rC3783Cm1P3lTAfm.99
photo Getty Images
photo Anton Vos
By Ian Chadband
By Alex Sharp