Bristol City Women 0-4 Aston Villa: Villa make their mark with crucial win
Image: GettyImages/HarryTrump

Aston Villa Women earned a huge 4-0 away victory away to Bristol City in the FA Women's Super League on Wednesday night.

A first half goal from Ramona Petzelberger rounded off a dominant 45 minutes, but the visitors ramped it up after the break.

Petzelberger netted her second and Shania Hayles scored a brace to earn her side a crucial three points in this bottom of the table clash.

Story of the match

The visitors dominated possession in the early stages, pushing the Robins deep into their own half.

An early corner was scrambled away by the City defence, who still  remained at threat on the counter attack.

The hosts gradually grew into the game with two corners in quick succession on the 15 minute mark, the second of which was comfortably collected by the Villa keeper, Lisa Weiss.

Villa nearly had their breakthrough on 21 minutes as a ball was played through to Hayles, but City keeper Sophie Baggaley was quick off her line to claim it.

With 26 minutes played, Bristol City created their first real chance of the half with a well-worked move, but the offside flag was up against Ebony Salmon before she had the chance to cross it into the path of Emma Bissell.

30 minutes in, Marisa Ewers found herself in plenty of space on the right, but her cross into the box was headed well over the bar by Hayles, who was unable to give Villa the lead.

The visitors found their breakthrough on 41 minutes as Emma Follis squared the ball across goal and Petzelberger was there to poke it home and give her side the lead heading into half-time, to end a very tight, competitive 45 minutes of football.

City looked livelier in the opening stages of the second half, a driving run from Jemma Purfield saw her weave through the Villa defence, but her eventual shot was blocked.

Moments later, Salmon had a chance to equalise as she ran in behind, but the offside flag was up against the forward before she could get a shot away.

But it was Aston Villa that stepped up with their second goal on 56 minutes, with a swift counter attack from the visitors.

Hayles did well to fend off her defender and send her shot beyond Baggaley from a tight angle.

The game then well and truly slipped away from City as Villa extended their lead, through another Petzelberger goal.

Hayles drove into the box and found her teammate, who smashed it past the keeper.

Hayles kept pushing for her side, and her hard work paid off 10 minutes later as she netted her second of the night.

This time from a well-worked free kick, the forward forced her way into the box and sent an effort into the far corner.

This victory takes Villa above both Tottenham and West Ham and into ninth in the WSL table - still with a game in hand. 

City remain bottom on two points, two behind West Ham who have four.

Player of the match

Hayles was involved in everything good Villa did on the night, scoring two and assisting Petzelberger's second.

She put it on a plate for her teammate as the visitors extended their lead to three on 66 minutes.

The forward took both her goals extremely well, a fine effort for her second which she sent into the far corner.

Takeaways from the game

A huge statement from Villa

From start to finish the visitors controlled the game, giving City very little joy going forward.

It took them a while to get going, despite dominating possession, but second-half they looked like scoring every time they broke on the hosts.

A fine display away from home.

City have it all to do

This was a huge game for both sides, and that showed with a very cagey first half.

Despite earning a crucial point against Reading on Sunday, a win here would've elevated the Robins off the bottom of the table.

But they were unable to step up to the plate and the fight for survival has just gotten that little bit harder.

Villa face a tough test away to Tottenham this weekend, whilst Bristol City welcome West Ham to Twerton Park.