Manchester City were not quite at their best as they got their Women’s Super League season underway with a 2-0 victory over newly promoted Aston Villa.
A new manager with new ideas at the helm, and having only played one competitive game in the last six months were big contributing factors – or maybe City simply did not need to be at their best, as they were gifted two goals inside the first 22 minutes without needing to get out of first gear.
Opening day delight!
🦁 0-2 🔷
But one huge plus from the game for City will have been the performance of Sam Mewis. Because quite frankly, wow.
There was much hype about City’s new high profile arrivals from across the pond, and understandably so. Mewis and Rose Lavelle are two of the biggest signings in WSL history.
But the World Cup winning pair then had their thunder stolen by Chelsea’s record breaking acquisition of Pernille Harder.
With Lavelle currently quarantining and unavailable for Saturday’s fixture, it was up to compatriot Mewis to remind fans what all the fuss was about. And she did just that.
🦁 0-2 🔷
It took the USA international about 45 minutes to settle into English football, and once she did she was an absolute class apart.
After a slightly off the pace first half, Mewis was moved into a more advanced position and absolutely wreaked havoc. She carried the ball with such authority, every pass was crisp and sharp and to its target, and Villa could not cope with her athleticism.
Five minutes into the second half, she showed English football just what she is all about.
Mewis charged into the Villa box, twisting and turning through tackles to create the opening for herself, before displaying her vision and intelligence with an inch perfect pass to Chloe Kelly. Were it not for a fine defensive block from Ella Franklin-Fraiture, City would have been home and dry.
Sam Mewis. City 2-0 up. Still furious at herself as her shot buzzes the bar. So eager to make her mark and see her name on a WSL scoresheet. Will have to settle for a dominant performance in a kind opening game of a season in which there is more, much more to come 🇺🇸🙌
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) September 5, 2020
The 27-year-old looked unstoppable when marauding forward. Villa players seemingly just melted away and bounced off her.
Mewis flashed a shot just over the bar in the dying minutes and was visibly frustrated with herself: not content with just a 2-0 lead and an excellent individual performance.
This is the winning mentality of a USWNT player. A side who famously celebrated every one of their 13 goals against Thailand because being the very best is all they know.
For 45 minutes, Mewis was the very best on Saturday. It’s an exciting, thrilling and terrifying sign of things to come.