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City slickers lift Continental Cup

Manchester City 3 (Weir 49.69. White 58)

Chelsea 1 (Kerr 34)

at the Cherry Red Records Stadium

Manchester City produced a superb second half performance to overturn a half time deficit and lift the Continental Cup for the fourth time.

Chelsea were chasing a hat-trick of successes in the competiton and made the quicker start to the game without really creating anything clear cut, although it took an alert piece of defending from Alex Greenwood to clear as Ji So-Yun picked out Guro Reiten in the area.

In fact, the best chance in the opening half hour came at the other end when Lauren Hemp hit the post from close range with the goal gaping after getting on the end of a low  cross by Georgia Stanway.

Chelsea stepped up the pace after this scare and were rewarded on 34 minutes as they went in front. Reiten’s cross from deep was not held by Ellie Roebuck under pressure and Sam Kerr got to the loose ball first and swivelled before steering her shot inside the far post.

Niamh Charles fired a shot over the bar as Chelsea continued to press but they had to be content with their one-goal advantage going into the interval.

It was City who made the flying start in the second half and, four minutes after the restart, they were back on level terms. Stanway picked ball up near the touchline and drove at the City area and her pass picked out Caroline Weir, who took a touch before drilling in a low shot from twelve yards which Ann-Katrin Berger could not keep out.

Chelsea responded with a strike from the edge of the area by Charles which brought out a fine diving save from Roebuck. City went back on the attack and Hemp seized on a loose pass before weaving her way into the area and although Berger got a hand to her shot, she could only divert the ball to Ellen White who bundled the rebound past her to put her side in front for the first time.

City were no in the ascendancy and ten minutes later, they were to take an even firmer grip on the game. A corner was headed back across goal by Lucy Brozne, Sophie Ingle managed to divert the ball away from Alanna Kennedy but weir stole in to crash a sweetly struck volley past a helpless Berger for her second on the day and to make it 3-1.

The third goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Chelsea and City could even have added to their lead. A reverse pass by Keira Walsh released White on goal where she shot straight at Berger who then made further saves from Bronze and Hayley Raso, the latter being a fine block from point blank range.

Berger then pulled off another excellent stop to keep out a strike from Hemp which looked destined for the top corner whilst substitute Julie Blakstad shot high and wide after being found by Hemp.

Chelsea tried to rally and salvage something from the game but it was not their day and Manchester City celebrations could soon begin. The trophy was manager Gareth Taylor’s first for the club and their bad start to the season is now looking to be a distant memory.

Manchester City: Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh, Alex Greenwood, Alanna Kennedy, Hayley Raso (sub Julie Blakstad 81mins), Caroline Weir, Ellen White (sub Khadija Shaw 89mins), Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp. Subs not used: Khiara Keating, Laura Coombs, Janine Beckie, Filippa Angeldahl, Jess Park.

Chelsea: Ann-Katrin Berger, Niamh Charles (sub Beth England 79mins), Aniek Nouwen, Millie Bright, Sophie Ingle, Jonna Andersson (sub Alsu Abdullina 90mins), Jess Carter, Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr, Ji So-Yun (sub Drew Spence 79mins), Guro Reiten (sub Lauren James 68mins). Subs not used: Zecira Musovic, Magdalena Eriksson, Maren Mjelde.