Birmingham City Women 0-2 Manchester City Women: City find 3 comfortable points in the midlands
(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The match

Inside only 34 seconds, Manchester City made it 1-0 with the first goal of the game through ex-Birmingham City striker Ellen White. A long ball from the back found Janine Beckie on the wing, who touched it inside to Jill Scott, and the 32-year-old supplied a superb pass inside for the poacher to tap home from only a handful of yards out.

After the first goal, however, the game quietened down pretty much immediately, with Birmingham settling in after their first minute of complacency. City carried on their strong play going forward and dominated most of the possession

The first real chance for the hosts was provided in the 23rd minute by Lucy Staniforth. After good build-up play from the Blues' backline, the midfielder unleashed a dipping long-range shot, but it was met by Ellie Roebuck on the ground.

The two were locked in a stalemate for the rest of the first half. Nick Cushing's side were dominant going forward but were unable to break down the tight defence of their opposition. Birmingham did their best to close down the half, playing the ball out from the back somewhat audaciously at times, and holding onto it whenever they could.

The second half

Man City made their first substitution of the game in the 46th minute, with Georgia Stanway replacing Janine Beckie. Stanway went down soon after clutching her head, but after a short break in play the game was commenced and she got back up.

City came close to making it two in the 56th minute. Gemma Bonner connected with an inswinging corner, but her effort was cleared off the line by Lucy Whipp.

Against the run of play, Birmingham City came close to equalling the scores. Latching onto a poor throw by Georgia Stanway, the blues found space going forward, but a powerful shot was blocked by Gemma Bonner.

Keira Walsh made her mark on the game on the 65th-minute mark and raised the scoreline to 2-0. Picking up a ball from Jill Scott to the center of the box, she unleashed a chipped shot that flew over the heads of the entire defence and dropped into the net after bouncing off the post.

Takeaways

Mancunians' prowess shines

Throughout the entirety of the match, it seemed as if Manchester City were never truly playing at 100%, and they still comfortably found all three points.

The class of player that Nick Cushing had at his disposal was too much for Birmingham City, who struggled to defend against the packed attack of Beckie, Bremer, Hemp, and White. They have not yet had a true tough test since the end of the winter break, and next weekend's tie against Manchester United could be a very difficult one. They now have a number of difficult games coming up against United, Arsenal twice, and Chelsea, with the sheer volume of games over the next month or so something that could be worrying for the squads' fitness

Birmingham play well at the back but lack a goalscoring threat

Despite the eventful scoreline, Birmingham still were very strong throughout the match, and were good at closing down their opposition.

As a side who look to be in a relegation battle with Bristol City and Liverpool, their defence does not seem to be an issue, and they often passed the ball out from the back and had lots of good build-up play.

The main issue that was evident at Damson Park on Sunday was the lack of threat that the blues have going forward. It is something that is shared with fellow strugglers Liverpool, but a more potent attacking threat could have easily earned them a goal, with a number of chances created.

Stand-out players

Birmingham City - Hannah Hampton

The blues' youngster was instrumental in keeping the scoreline as narrow as it was on Sunday, and made a number of good stops.

Hampton is somebody who will definitely be on the radar of a number of clubs right now, and seems to be on track for a very bright future. Her close-range shotstopping abilities are strong, and if issues with deliveries can be iron out, then she could compete with clubs at the higher end of the division.

Manchester City - Jill Scott

It's difficult to single out a player who was Man City's best against Birmingham, with the entire squad giving their bit in what was a perfect team performance.

Scott provided assists for both of her sides' goals, and was in and around the action for the full ninety minutes. Her performances are always exemplary, and there are not many players who are such a good engine as her, and even after 138 WSL games played, she does not seem to be slowing.

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