Daly scores Villa's winner
Rachel Daly joined Villa after a six-year spell at US side Houston Dash

Rachel Daly scored twice on her debut as Aston Villa won a seven-goal thriller against Manchester City in their Women’s Super League opener at Villa Park.

The result marks Villa’s first ever win over the Blues, who until Sunday had won all four of their previous meetings by an aggregate score of 17-0.

Daly, 30, arrived from Houston Dash over the summer and was deployed as left-back in England’s Euro 2022 triumph but showed her versatility with an exemplary forward display in Birmingham.

Her tackle on Spanish midfielder Laia Aleixandri played a major part in the opening goal, allowing Swiss striker Alisha Lehmann to drive into the City area and fire into the bottom left corner.

The hosts deservedly doubled their lead when Daly expertly curled a right-foot effort into the top corner after City had failed to clear from a corner.

It was a difficult opening period for Gareth Taylor’s side, who welcomed back captain Steph Houghton from a long-term Achilles injury but initially struggled to find their rhythm as they adjusted to the loss of Keira Walsh in a world-record deal and several other star players this summer.

However, a mistake by Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton, who tipped a Laura Coombs shot over her own line, was the catalyst for a City fightback.

Khadija Shaw headed in a leveller from Houghton’s nod back across goal and less than 90 seconds later Coombs drove in Chloe Kelly’s cross to put the visitors ahead.

But in a see-saw encounter France midfielder Kenza Dali equalised for Carla Ward’s side with a deflected effort from 20 yards, before Daly prodded in her second of the game to round off the scoring and inflict a first opening-day defeat on City for eight years.

More to follow.


Aston Villa Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Hampton
  • 2Mayling
  • 15Patten
  • 14Turner
  • 33Pacheco
  • 10Dali
  • 6Corsie
  • 19BlindkildeSubstituted forGielnikat 80′minutes
  • 7LehmannSubstituted forGregoryat 80′minutes
  • 8DalySubstituted forMcLoughlinat 90+9′minutes
  • 20Hanson


  • 9Gielnik
  • 16McLoughlin
  • 18Gregory
  • 21Leat
  • 26Goodwin
  • 28Rabjohn
  • 32McAteer

Man City Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Roebuck
  • 14Morgan
  • 6Houghton
  • 5Greenwood
  • 3Stokes
  • 4Aleixandri
  • 12AngeldahlSubstituted forFowlerat 45′minutes
  • 7Coombs
  • 9KellySubstituted forRasoat 57′minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 21ShawSubstituted forCastellanosat 70′minutes
  • 11Hemp


  • 2Casparij
  • 8Fowler
  • 10Castellanos
  • 13Raso
  • 15Ouahabi
  • 17Losada
  • 22MacIver
  • 36Hutchings
  • 41Blakstad

Louise Saunders


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