Manchester City thrash Leicester to reach Women’s League Cup quarter-finals

Leicester City 0 Manchester City 5

Gareth Taylor praised his Manchester City side’s “professionalism” after they coasted past a youthful and under-strength Leicester City to reach the Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup quarter-finals.

Having endured seven defeats in 12 games between September and November while beset with injuries, Taylor’s revitalised team appear to have turned a corner and they backed up Sunday’s 6-0 thrashing of Brighton with another resounding win as fit-again England defensive duo Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton continued their comebacks after lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Leicester made seven changes and gave five youngsters their debuts, and they were outclassed. Ellen White’s near-post effort, Lauren Hemp’s far-post header, Georgia Stanway’s fine finish from range and another Hemp header put the visitors 4-0 up at half-time, before Spain’s Vicky Losada rifled in an excellent fifth from outside the box after the break.

“We knew we had to win, and it’s mission accomplished,” Taylor said. “The players were really professional, we controlled the game. We have to be pleased with the start we’ve made in 2022, with the quality of our play, but we know we’ve got a long way to go, it’s about remaining consistent.”

Taylor’s team will now host Championship club Bristol City, last season’s beaten finalists, in the last-eight next week after finishing top of Group B, above Manchester United, who were already through. Group C runners-up Charlton could have snuck through if Manchester City had failed to win, but the comfortable result at a crisp and fresh Pirelli Stadium ensured that the London club went out, along with Leicester, who had needed to win by an unlikely nine-goal margin.

“Tonight wasn’t about the result for us, it was about giving an opportunity to some young players and some players who have had less minutes,” said Leicester head coach Lydia Bedford. “The girls will have learnt a lot, some of them really stepped up which was pleasing.”

Match details

Leicester (4-5-1): Harris; De Graaf (Tierney, 75) Brown (Pike, 84), Brougham, Purfield (Howard, 75); A Barker, Robinson, Zajmi, S Barker, Camwell (Devlin, 45); Grant
Subs not used: Lambourne (gk), McManus, Plumptre, Wood
Yellow cards: None

Manchester City (4-3-3): Keating; Bronze (Stokes, 45), Houghton (Mace, 56), Greenwood, Stanway; Losada, Walsh (Scott, 56), Angeldahl; Park, White, Hemp (Beckie, 45)
Subs not used: Taieb (gk)
Yellow cards: None

Referee: Amy Fearn (Loughborough)

Williamson signs new Arsenal deal

England defender Leah Williamson has signed a new contract with Women’s Super League leaders Arsenal, in what is a major boost for the club that she has represented for 16 years.

The 24-year-old Arsenal academy product’s existing contract was expiring at the end of this season and interest was high from rival clubs hoping to sign her on a free transfer, but Williamson said she is “exactly where she wants to be” as a lifelong fan of the club.

The length of her new deal has not been disclosed, but sources told Telegraph Sport it is significantly longer-term than the one-year extension she signed last summer.

Versatile centre-back Williamson, who is also adept in holding midfield, has made 179 senior appearances for Arsenal and helped them win the 2019 league title. She is currently sidelined by a hamstring injury but captained England for four games in September and October of last year, in the absence of injured skipper Steph Houghton.

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