Conti Cup Journey Ends With United Defeat

Everton Women's journey in the Continental Cup came to a close in the group stage following a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United.

The visitors struck twice within the space of three minutes in the opening half to deny the Blues a chance in the quarter-finals.

Jean-Luc Vasseur made five changes to the side that drew 1-1 with West Ham, with Courtney Brosnan, Leonie Maier, Hanna Bennison, Poppy Pattinson and Grace Clinton coming into the starting 11.

Early exchanges saw both sides enjoy spells on the ball, with the Blues edging possession slightly.

The opening goal of the game came through a set piece, with Katie Zelem’s free kick deflecting off Danielle Turner on its way into the goal.

United doubled their lead a few minutes later, as Martha Thomas latched onto Zelem’s through ball and slotted past Brosnan.

Everton responded brightly however, enjoying spells of possession once more.

An excellent display of high pressing from Izzy Christiansen won the ball back high up the pitch, but Poppy Pattinson was unable to direct her header goalwards.

At the half time break, Vasseur would have been reasonably pleased with the overall performance, with only three poor minutes midway through the half being the difference between the two sides.

Kirsty Hanson almost added a third for the Red Devils in the first minute of the second half, cutting in from the right and striking the crossbar with her edge-of-the-box effort.

Half-time substitutes Simone Magill and Kenza Dali almost combined to pull one back for Everton, with the Northern Ireland international sliding the ball into the path of Dali, but the midfielder opted to pass once more instead of pulling the trigger and lost the ball.

The third of the half-time substitutes Anna Anvegård also had a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit, but Turner’s cross was marginally too high for the Swede to make a solid contact with.

Everton’s left-back looked the most likely source of goals, whipping several inviting crosses into the penalty area throughout the second half.

However, the Blues’ second half pressure was not enough to spark a comeback and subsequently an exit to the competition.

Next up for Everton is a trip to the Hive Stadium, as they return to the Barclays FA Women's Super League against third place Tottenham Hotspur.