Manchester City Women 4 – 1 Birmingham City Ladies
Manchester City Women made it a historic clean sweep of the English domestic trophies on Saturday evening, with the Sky Blues beating Birmingham City Ladies 4-1 in the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium thanks to first half goals by Lucy Bronze, Izzy Christiansen and Carli Lloyd followed by a late goal from Jill Scott.
City came into the final as huge favourites to lift the only trophy that was missing from their resume to date, having already the Women’s Super League title and the Continental Cup in their possession.
Their opponents were Birmingham City Ladies, a side that were no strangers to the Manchester club having recently met them at the City Academy Stadium 10 days ago and saw a 1-1 draw. It was back in October when Manchester City beat Birmingham in Extra Time to win their second Continental Cup in three years, so City boss Nick Cushing and the team knew full well what to expect of their opponents.
City had the first effort of the game through Megan Campbell, with the Irish International seeing her shot from an Izzy Christiansen corner hitting the side netting and was a warning shot to their opponents.
Lucy Bronze who has been a big time player for the Blues in their success over the last year, saw the England defender turning up again with another goal on 17 minutes with Bronze heading home from a Megan Campbell free kick to put City 1-0 up in the final.
Izzy Christiansen then made it 2-0 on 24 minutes for the Manchester side, after Lucy Bronze won the ball back inside the Birmingham half she then floated a ball inside the penalty box for the City midfielder to convert.
Mel Lawley then nearly made it three on the half hour mark for the Sky Blues, after Carli Lloyd played a ball forward for Lawley to run onto and saw the winger nearly scoring against her former employees, as it needed Berger in the Birmingham goals to make the stop.
From the resulting corner it saw a short corner taken and passed back towards Megan Campbell who whipped in a great ball and was missed by the keeper, but not by Carli Lloyd as the American header scored on her return to Wemble, having scored for the US in the Olympics.
Manchester City was running riot in the game and saw their opponents needing a miracle now to force their way back into the contest. Birmingham was being outplayed by the League and Cup winners and was a different game to the one played ten days before, when Brum were dangerous throughout.
However this time around it saw Birmingham just unable to muster anything in the way of an attack or something that resembled a threat on Karen Bardsley’s goal.
Second half saw Nikita Parris trying to bend a shot past the Birmingham keeper on 53 minutes, but Berger was equal to it and made a finger tip save to push it away for a corner.
Birmingham then registered their first real shot on goal in the 61st minute of the game, when Ellen White was left with plenty of time to take aim and shoot and see the England striker shooting from outside the area and bringing a save from Karen Bardsley.
After causing City a few problems, it saw Birmingham City Ladies getting on the scoresheet through a stunning Charlie Welling strike on 73 minutes and gave them a glimmer of hope.
That hope was all but extinguished on 80 minutes when Jill Scott fired home a lovely goal into the far top corner of Berger’s net to make it 4-1 for Manchester City Women, and that goal sealed the win to capture their maiden Women’s FA Cup trophy.