City close in on Premiers Plate after dominant Melbourne Derby win
Melbourne City placed one hand on the Premiers Plate with a crushing 4-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Lakeside Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The comprehensive performance put City six points clear of Sydney FC at the top of the Westfield W-League table, meaning they need just one point from their remaining two fixtures to clinch the Premiers Plate.
The first half belonged to a City outfit who completely controlled their local rivals as Westfield Matildas star van Egmond ran the show for the visitors; City's number 10 was involved in everything early, striking two warning shots toward Casey Dumont in Victory's goal within the opening two minutes of play.
Victory offered little offensive threat as the league leaders pushed for an opener, and eventually found it through van Egmond who collected the ball on the corner of the box, feinted to shoot before curling a strike into the top right corner.
With the lead and all the momentum City began to turn on the style, crafting chance after chance through Steph Catley and Ellie Carpenter bombing down either flank and getting in on goal.
With half an hour on the clock City struck once again as Carpenter sliced Victory's defence wide open to find Claire Emslie running in on goal; the Scottish striker cut around Dumont to fire the ball home and make it 2-0.
City burst out of the blocks in the second half intent on putting their local rivals to the sword and it didn't take long for them to score their third goal of the afternoon.
Emslie was the benefactor of a terrific run and pass from Catley which played her in on goal; Emslie's strike cannoned off Dumont and into the air but the rebound fell directly to City's striker to tap home an easy finish to claim her brace and push City's lead out to three.
What was a comfortable lead quickly extended to an emphatic advantage when the visitors put a fourth goal into Victory's goal on the hour mark; Yukari Kinga crafted the chance with a ball into Catley on the byline, whose shot on goal squirmed through Dumont's legs and fell to Kyah Simon waiting in the goal mouth to tap home the simplest of finishes.
With the game all but put to bed at 4-0 the intensity dropped as both sides rode out the remaining half hour of the contest in relatively subdued fashion.
Victory enjoyed a greater share of the ball as the clock ticked down but couldn't find a goal of their own, leaving City to wrap up a simple win and all-but secure the Premiers Plate with two rounds to play.
SATURDAY REPORT: Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers
SATURDAY REACTION: Juric says Sydney can keep the pressure on in Premiership race
Van Egmond tucks home a cool finish to open the scoring
As if she wasn't satisfied with her four goals in two games for the Westfield Matildas in midweek, van Egmond returned to City's lineup on Saturday to continue her red-hot form in front of goal with a sumptuous curling attempt.
Receiving the ball from Catley on the left of the box, van Egmond opened up the angle with a faked attempt at a shot before guiding a sweet effort past Dumont into the top right corner.
Emslie rounds Dumont and makes it two
Played in on goal by an invasive pass from Carpenter, Emslie was faced with two options: cut the ball to the waiting van Egmond, or back herself to score one of her own.
Emslie chose the latter, chopping the ball around the out-rushing Dumont to fire the ball into the back of the net through two helpless Victory defenders guarding the goal line.
Emslie at the double to make it three
City took all the momentum into half time and came out in the second stanza with that momentum very much intact as Emslie pounced to score her second of the game and her side's third of the afternoon.
Catley marauded through midfield and sliced a pass through Victory's defence to find Emslie; the number nine shot directly into Dumont but the looping rebound fell right back into her path, which she tapped into an unguarded net.
Right place, right time for Simon to score a fourth City goal
Kyah Simon could hardly believe her luck when a shot from an acute angle from Catley spilled through Dumont's legs and directly into her path inside the six-yard box.
Simon took the gift graciously, touching the ball which was dribbling across goal into the back of the net.
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Kick-off: 4pm AEDT
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City
Thursday, 20 February 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
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