Last Sunday witnessed a very entertaining game between Manchester City Women and Everton Women who were both battling for the 2019/20 FA Cup title at the glorious Wembley stadium. The match ended with a deserved 3-1 win for Manchester City after going to extra-time since Everton did their best to prevent the Citizens from getting their second goal in regular time.
This tactical analysis article will look at how Manchester City were able to beat Everton and score the three goals which enabled them to win the trophy while at the same time carrying out an analysis on Everton’s tactics and what lacked this team to beat Manchester City, knowing that the same team is currently doing very well in FAWSL and ranking second in the league just behind Arsenal.
Manchester City lined-up according to a 4-3-3 formation that included Ellie Roebuck as a goalkeeper, Demi Stokes as a left-back, Steph Houghton and Alex Greenwood as centre-backs and Lucy Bronze as a right-back.
In midfield, Manchester City played with Sam Mewis, Caroline Weir and Keira Walsh as central midfielders while Chloe Kelly and Rose Lavelle played in attack on wings to support the team’s forward, Ellen White.
For Everton, the team also started this game according to a 4-3-3 formation with Sandy MacIver as a goalkeeper, and in front of her Ingrid Moe Wold as a right-back, Danielle Turner as a left-back while both Rikke Sevecke and Megan Finnigan played as centre-backs.
In midfield, Damaris Egurrola, Izzy Christiansen and Lucy Graham were the team’s central midfielders while in attack, Hayley Raso and Nicoline Sørensen were employed on the wings to provide Valérie Gauvin, the team’s striker, with passes and crosses.
A convincing Manchester City performance
Manchester City started this game with a clear determination to score. And this was apparent from their various scoring attempts which were emanating mostly from the wings. And this was partly thanks to Stokes and Bronze’s performances because these two full-backs contributed a lot to the attacking phase of the team.
And they often created numerical superiority by either passing to a teammate on the wing and then running to provide passing options or by accelerating and creating space for themselves on the wings.
In addition to that, both players acted like attacking midfielders at many instances and created space for Manchester City’s actual midfielders and wingers to move in the space behind them. You can see in this example for instance how Stokes was positioned as if she was an advanced playmaker and gave a lot of passes mainly to Lavelle, Kelly, Weir, and Mewis.
The same applies to Bronze since who put in an excellent and generous performance this time compared to her start of the season. She did contribute so often to the attack not only from the right-wing but also by cutting inside or entering midfield to create more space for the others and have more passing options as you can see in this example.