Nick Cushing pleased with attacking intent as Manchester City see off Liverpool in comfortable fashion

Nick Cushing pleased with attacking intent as Manchester City see off Liverpool in comfortable fashion

The Citizens manager was full of positives for his side as they returned to the top of WSL.

Matt Dawson

Manchester City manager Nick Cushing was full of praise for his team as they put in a performance worthy of sending them back to the top of the WSL on Sunday, defeating Liverpool 4-0 at the City Football Academy. 

Nikita Parris got herself on the score-sheet twice, whilst Isobel Christiansen and Abbie McManus also netted.

Dominant display 

Man City came into Sunday's game a point off Chelsea following the latter's win over Birmingham the day before and they therefore knew that a win would take them two points clear at the top - something they were ultimately able to achieve.

Speaking after the game Cushing said: "I think the aim here for us is to control the opponent and I wasn't too frustrated about only being 1-0 up in the first half because I thought we clearly controlled the game.

"Goals are important to us but we know if we keep doing the right things and we stick to the way we want to play then the goals will come - I thought the performance was excellent." 

Liverpool set up to contain their opponents, but an early goal scuppered any plans of being able to hold out as long as possible whilst at the other end the Merseyside club struggled to create clear chances.

Commenting on the opposition Cushing added: "I don't think we gave them the opportunities. I thought we kept the ball really well which minimised the chance of them having it and I thought on the transition when we gave it away we really restricted and controlled them." 

Sunday's win was just the first game Cushing's side have played at home since December, following a lengthy run of away games. Therefore to get back in front of their own supporters clearly helped on the day. "We have really good fans here and we like to play in front of them. To get 2000 plus is excellent - it shows that the fans we have here are really special," he revealed. 

Goals galore 

City lost the Spring Series before this season on goal difference to Chelsea, but this campaign - despite the depth and quality the Blues have in attack - it is the Manchester club who have the better goal difference so far. 

Scoring four against Liverpool was typical of their attacking form. "When you lose the Spring Series on goal difference I think that's telling you you're not scoring enough goals and we've worked really hard at that. That's an area we wanted to improve and this year it's going well," Cushing explained.

Nadia Nadim made her home debut in the win and although she didn't score Cushing revealed she's brought something extra to the squad. "We wanted a dominant number nine and with Jane [Ross] and Nadia [Nadim] we have that. Nadia has brought a little bit of competition to that position which is what we want," he told. 

Parris was the stand out performer for City and she opened her account on the day with a very strange goal. In attempting to clear the ball Liverpool defender Sophie Ingle smashed it straight in to the face of Parris and the ball rolled over the line."I actually didn't see it because we gave the ball away so I turned around to sit down and then the ball was in the goal. I watched it back at half time and it's a strange one." Cushing reflected. 

Injury concerns 

City came into today's fixture without three of their main players and leaders. Goalkeeper Karen Bardlsey and captain Steph Houghton missed the game through injury whilst Jill Scott sat out through illness.

Cushing was able to give an update on the situation of their fitness, saying: "Karen Bardsley is being assessed every day - she's still got a bit of pain around her neck and her shoulders but she's OK, she's progressing well. Steph - hopefully we'll get her in some kind of training by the end of the week." 

Those three missing out gave a chance to players on the fringes to come in and play - and they clearly impressed as City put in a rout against the team placed third in the WSL. "Opportunity comes in football when you don't expect it. You have to make sure you apply yourself well and when the opportunity comes that'll give you the best preparation," he asserted. 

"We've got good people here and really good characters - the personality of the players means that when they get their opportunity they're prepared," Cushing concluded. 

Next up for the league leaders is a trip to Birmingham City on the 21st February before welcoming Chelsea to CFA just three days later.