Georgia Stanway, the match-winner, speaks
It’s just good to get out there. It’s not our best performance. but we’ll take the win. It was nerves and getting back into it, we haven’t played for such a long time; it’s getting back into a rhythm. Every manager is different in how they get their points across. We have brought in new players and it’s exciting. Sam [Mewis] brings her experience, and she will help us massively. I should have had a hundred. Next week I will put my shooting boots on.
Full-time: Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester City
City get off to a winning start and showed off their deep well of talent but were still given the odd scare by Villa. It all came down to those two defensive disasters that handed Georgia Stanway her two goals. Sian Rodgers had a great second half in Villa’s goal while Sam Mewis looked to be settling in quick into life in the WSL.
90+ 3 min: Three minutes have been added on, and are being played out in a rather fatigued fashion. Mewis, who almost started the match with a goal, almost finishes it with one but Rodgers makes another decent save. And that will be that.
90 min: Georgia Stanway is awarded player of the match, as well she might. Villa make a final change. Hutton and Hanssen and for Arthur and the impressive Silva.
89 min: City seem to be idling out time. Villa have proved to be tough opponents, despite the gifts they handed over in the first half.
87 min: Ellie Roebuck claims the ball when Larsen was lurking with intent. Karen Bardsley, another big name, has some work to do to get back into City’s gloves.
86 min: City have so many big names now, and the likes of Scott and White are now no longer definite names on the team sheet. Gareth Taylor’s job is to fit all those names in.
84 min: Some hurried defending from City is followed by a Stanway counter but she can’t find Ellen White, whose movement has given Villa plenty to think about.
Jill Scott, now a player coach, comes on to replace Caroline Weir.
83 min: Stanway’s ball was poor when City had plenty of attackers springing forward. Unusually so from the decisive player in the game so far.
81 min: Can Villa force anything? They seem a tad tired. There’s been plenty of chasing required from them.
79 min: White has the ball in the net this time after a pass from Mewis. A great finish, but an offside given again. Was it? At this point, who knows?
78 min: Ellen White rattles the post. Most of the players had stopped for an offside. The ball had been another backpass so probably wasn’t. Some odd reffing in this match.
76 min: The game is now somewhat bitty. Villa had their chances but are now open to those wildcat City attacks.
74 min: Free-kick chance for Villa as they make a chance. Off goes Follis, on comes Hayles, back at the club after some time at Birmingham City.
72 min: Carving run from Caroline Weir, then a shot over the bar. Then Mewis wins a corner. Both players making runs from deep that are opening up great holes in Villa’s attack.
70 min: Lovely skill by Larsen, who has shown off some fine forward skills before Arthur whips in a ball that Larsen just fails to meet on the return.
68 min: Two Villa changes: Ewes and N’Dow off, Ale and Syme on.
67 min: City sub: Ellen White comes on for Beckie. That pushes out Stanway to the wing from where, after linking with White, she almost lands her hat-trick. Rodgers, though, was excellent again.
66 min: Gemma Bonner booked for a cynical foul on an escaping Silva? No, that was lenient.
65 min: Beckie almost gets Weir in and Villa clear hurriedly. City beginning to create a host of chances. They are, though, vulnerable to the counterattack.
63 min: Stanway finds space in the box, makes room for herself and Rodgers again makes a good save.
61 min: For her part, City’s Roebuck makes an equally good save from Laursen at the other end. She galloped out, made herself big and stopped what would have been a goal to set up a testing last half hour.
60 min: That said, Mewis releases Beckie, whose shot is well saved from Villa goalkeeper Rodgers who has marked herself as a fine shotstopper after those early ricks.
59 min: Mewis’s pass eventually finds Kelly on the edge of the box before the American gets a shot in. But both Mewis and Kelly have been quieter.
57 min: Mewis yet to make much of an impression this half where the first saw her intelligent runs causing all manner of confusion for Villa.
55 min: Steph Houghton’s pass to Beckie wafts out of play, which is out of character. City not so much fluent as effective. They have not shown off the passing football they are known to play.
53 min: Impressive awareness from Ellie Roebuck in City’s goal, just when Larsen looked to have a free run.
52 min: Ewers, the Villa captain, is down after a foul by Georgia Stanway, who has chased the ball all day. Ewers gets up and will be fine to continue.
50 min: City’s Weir has a shot saved after a long run from deep.
49 min: Villa showing the signs that City rattled in the first half before they were undone by their own mistakes. They’ve been much improved, and show off some decent defensive organisation when Kelly, the first-half threat, cuts in and is blocked.
47 min: So close for Villa. Silva steers a shot wide after Follis’s deep run into City’s defence. City had been torn asunder. That has to register as a bad miss, sadly.
46 min: Early Villa attack sees Larsen’s attempt to get a shot on goal blocked. Silva couldn’t get a shot in either. City then mount an attack deep into Villa territory.
And we’re back. Expect to see no backpasses this half after a Gemma Davies half-time rocket. The Villa players take to the field while clapping their hands which suggests that exhortations have been heard and followed. City’s players huddle up and then ready themselves for the next 45.
Half-time: Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester City
Two errors between defenders and the Villa goalkeeper and Georgia Stanway helped herself to two goals. Beyond that, Villa have looked decent, City perhaps a little rusty with new players to bed in. But they still look a significant step up for the promoted club.
44 min: Villa force a corner. What can they find before the break? Larsen’s header was knocked off the line by Stokes. Silva goes down. Contact made? The referee is having none of that. Kelly got the ball first, before Silva went down. The confirmation is that there is no VAR but they have goalline technology – that which failed in the Sheffield United game.
42 min: Stanway chases a first-half hat-trick. She rounded the Villa goalkeeper but lost her balance just at the point the goal was gaping for her.
41 min: Lovely turn from Stanway, and she sends Beckie away. The ball comes back from Mewis, surging forward from midfield but the American fails to keep the ball down.
40 min: Controlled passing from City but good pressing from Chloe Arthur for Villa. Silva fails to escape down the flank.
38 min: City attempt to regain calm after that slight wobble. Villa pushed on, and did look to have had the ball in the net. That was a poor decision, and a bad one for the contest. Villa also seemed to have calmed down in defence.
36 min: Villa suddenly much improved here. City resting on their laurels. But Kelly goes away on the break once more. This time, the ball is cleared before Stanway can cause any further problems.