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Crystal Palace 1-5 London City Lionesses: A London derby to remember for the Lionesses

Sunday saw the London City Lionesses put in a dominant display on the road, as they put five past Crystal Palace to climb into second in the FA Women’s Championship.

From the outset, City looked to impose themselves on the game, with midfield and attack linking well in the opening few minutes to try and carve out chances.

Indeed, the Lionesses didn’t have long to wait for their first goal, with Mollie Rouse playing in Charlotte Fleming who drilled her shot into the far corner.

Then just two minutes later, City doubled their lead, with Amy Rodgers adding another superb strike to her growing collection of City goals.

Like Fleming’s just minutes earlier, Rodgers’ curling shot from range left the Palace goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

The arrival of the third goal of the day was just as timely, with Shanade Hopcroft, making her full debut for the club, whipping in a dangerous corner, which wrong-footed the Palace backline and ended up landing at the feet of Rouse, who poked it home on the line.

Despite the score line, Palace continued to be a danger going forward throughout the first 45’, with Shae Yanez called into action twice in quick succession just after the half hour mark, the first seeing her deny the Palace forward one on one.

The second half saw City continue to look to extend their lead, and once again, they soon got a reward for their hard work.

Yet again a Hopcroft corner proved to be the home side's undoing, with Rouse meeting the cross with her head to guide it into the back of the net.

But Palace remained undeterred by the deficit, as just minutes later they pulled one back with Millie Farrow just getting her shot past Yanez after being played in one on one.

Yet City seemed determined that the Eagles wouldn’t have the final say that afternoon, as with half an hour left on the clock Rodgers grabbed her second of the day.

A Karin Muya cross was then flicked on by Atlanta Primus, but with Palace unable to clear it, it fell to Rodgers who made no mistake.

For the Lionesses, the rest of the game was a case of staying professional until the final whistle.

A historic day on the road for the London City Lionesses.

Speaking after the game, manager Melissa Phillips had this to say:

“It was a fantastic performance by the group as a whole,” said Phillips, “and credit to the girls who managed the game really well in tough conditions.

“To put away three early goals in such quick succession made a statement for the way the rest of the game was going to go.

“We felt a bit hard done by with the result last weekend, so we were looking to bounce back and put in a solid performance again this weekend.”

For Rodgers, this was a game where she and the rest of her teammates knew it would present its challenges.

“We knew they’d come out looking to attack, and they’re so dangerous on the counter, so we knew we’d have to manage that threat and build from there,” she said.

“Getting that first goal early on was so important for us, so we then could go forward and build from that.

“They did get past us eventually in the second half, but from that point it was just a case of managing the game, keeping focused and preventing them from creating too many more chances.”

For Phillips, the performance of Rodgers was one stand out among many that afternoon.

“The goal that Amy scored in the first half is something that she trains every single day at the end of the session, so it was no surprise to see it come off,” said Phillips.

“There were some brilliant performances throughout the team too; a debut for Katie Kitching today, Shanade Hopcroft with her first start and Mollie (Rouse) was absolutely fantastic in front of goal and when she was dropped into the central midfield role.

“We also had a lot of contributors come off the bench and put in a lot of really solid performances. It's an extremely competitive environment that we have right now, and we've got a lot of depth and a lot of players who can contribute.”

That depth is going to be vital as, following the international break, City once again head into another competitive round of fixtures.

“The league's always competitive and every game is a huge game for us, but we've got ample time to make sure that we're fresh and prepared for the next test, which is Bristol," said Phillips.

“But right now, we’ll take some time to celebrate this one and reflect as a group as we always do before looking ahead.”

For the London City Lionesses, the next game is against Bristol City here at Princes Park! Click the link to get your tickets now!



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