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Women's Super League round-up: Lauren Hemp scores twice in Man City's thrashing of Aston Villa

Tom Garry
·2-min read
Lauren Hemp nods home City's fourth goal against Aston Villa - Getty Images
Lauren Hemp nods home City's fourth goal against Aston Villa - Getty Images

Manchester City raced to a six-goal half-time lead as they went on to beat Aston Villa 7-0 to keep themselves firmly in the hunt for the Women’s Super League title and improve their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

England’s 20-year-old forward Lauren Hemp scored twice for the free-scoring hosts, while her fellow England internationals Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway, Ellen White and Chloe Kelly all got on the scoresheet too, alongside an own goal from Villa’s Natalie Haigh.

It was Manchester City’s first game since Telegraph Sport revealed earlier this month that four of their squad had tested positive for Covid-19 after travelling to Dubai during the Christmas break, which led to two City games being postponed.

They were missing several players on Sunday - with three United States stars all on international duty - while manager Gareth Taylor was at home self-isolating, but he will have been delighted by what he saw from his side on television.

Arsenal were also playing for the first time since the Christmas break, with their manager Joe Montemurro saying on Thursday that his players “understood” the impact of trips to Dubai that were made by three of their squad. However, Arsenal had a very different Sunday afternoon on the pitch compared to their rivals City.

Montemurro’s side fell behind to Reading inside five minutes when former Arsenal defender Emma Mitchell’s free-kick was angled home by Lauren Bruton. The league’s record goalscorer Vivianne Miedema equalised before half-time, but Arsenal were unable to find a winner after the break and dropped valuable points in the title race.

Elsewhere, two WSL managers lost their first games in charge, as new West Ham boss Olli Harder oversaw a 1-0 loss at home to Tottenham, while Bristol City’s interim manager Matt Beard - who is providing maternity cover for Tanya Oxtoby until the end of the season - saw this bottom-of-the-table side lose 4-0 at Everton. Meanwhile, mid-table Birmingham City held Brighton to a goalless draw.