Before the Lionesses arrived at Hayes Lane to take on Crystal Palace, the winter break – and the momentum vacuum it created – hovered awkwardly in the rear-view mirror. Now, it has vanished into the distant past.
“The team’s performance was fantastic,” said a thrilled Melissa Phillips after her side’s 5-0 win. “We felt a little bit off the pace after the break, so for us to come out and look really strong on both sides of the ball was fantastic. It’s a credit to the girls because they really deserve that.”
London City produced a dominant performance versus their South London rivals, with Sarah Ewens, Jamie-Lee Napier, Karin Muya, and Lucy Shepherd providing the goals in an emphatic victory.
When asked about the mood in the camp, Philips answered: “How could they not be up for this match?”
The American has a point.
Crystal Palace are the only team to have defeated the Lionesses in the Barclays Women’s Championship this season, which made the reverse fixture all the more important.
“It’s the only three points we have dropped this season: they knew the occasion and it was a night game,” Phillips added. “We talked about to expect and where we needed to manage the game. It’s a credit to the team because they were fantastic tonight.”
London City remain top of the Women’s Championship and extended their unbeaten streak to the 10-game mark as a result of their win over the Eagles.
“It’s a pleasure and we’ll own it,” Phillips said when asked about the Lionesses’ positive run of results. “We talked about it after the winter break: we’re going to have a target on our back, like all of the teams at the top of the league. We said that we should embrace it and do our thing. We don’t focus on the results: we focus on what is required and expected from us [each week].”
Next for Phillips & Co.? Bristol City on the road, which ushers in the start of another pivotal week at Princes Park. Again, the Lionesses will embrace the challenge.