Aston Villa 5-0 Leicester - WSL: Player ratings as Daly & Lehmann braces sink Foxes

Daly was on fire
Daly was on fire / Gareth Copley/GettyImages
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Aston Villa put relegation-battling Leicester City to the sword on Women's Football Weekend, prevailing 5-0 in their WSL clash on Sunday.

The Foxes saw plenty of the ball when the game was tight at Villa Park but were unable to make their chances count as Carla Ward's side continued their fine season, further cementing their position in fifth place.

The hosts threatened to take the lead with just over 90 seconds on the clock, with Kirsty Hanson slipping in Rachel Daly, but the forward could only find the side-netting from a tight angle.

Straight down the other end, an unmarked Sophie Howard nearly nodded Leicester into a surprise lead from a corner, but her free header on the stretch went wide.

Sam Tierney then had an effort cleared off the line in the moments that followed before Aileen Whelan thought she had broken the deadlock for the visitors, but the referee's whistle was blown for a foul in the scramble which preceded her strike.

Villa took advantage of this early chaos and took the lead after six minutes. Kenza Dali roamed forward from midfield having taken the ball off of Daly and found the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Despite falling behind and sitting bottom of the table, Leicester still endeavoured to take the game to their high-flying hosts. Ashleigh Plumptre notably roamed forward and fired straight at Hannah Hampton following a decent spell of possession and pressing from the Foxes.

But despite that pressure, Villa added a second just after the half-hour mark against the run of play. Dali again drove at the Leicester defence and passed to Hanson to cross, with Alisha Lehmann coming inside and directing the ball past Janina Leitzig at the far post.

From the resulting kick-off, Villa won back possession and went close to scoring a third. A ricochet allowed Dali to sneak in behind a sleeping Leicester backline, with her volley skimming the crossbar on the way over.

On the stroke of half-time Daly made it three for Villa, robbing Howard of possession and calmly rolling the ball into the net.

After the break, Lehmann broke down the right and picked out Daly with a perfectly timed low cross, with the England international finishing from close range.

Villa's fifth came at the end of a superb sweeping move. Daly dropped deep and found the run of Mayumi Pacheco, who was able to put the ball on a plate for Lehmann to tap in.

Substitute Molly Pike went close to grabbing a consolation for Leicester with the clock ticking down, but dragged a shot from the edge of the box wide.

Ruby Mace then attempted an audacious dink from 30 yards but the ball landed on top of the net and Hampton's clean sheet remained in tact.

Villa were denied a sixth when Leitzig pushed away a header from Georgia Mullet in stoppage time and the hosts had to settle for just the five goals.

Leicester remain rooted to the foot of the WSL table, while Villa moved to within six points of title-chasing Arsenal.

Aston Villa player ratings

GK: Hannah Hampton - 5/10 - Had a few hairy moments trying to claim crosses and clear the ball, getting the rub of the green on those occasions.

RB: Evie Rabjohn - 7/10 - The 17-year-old had quite a task trying to silence Leicester's busy attack but she did her job well.

CB: Danielle Turner - 7/10 - Had a lot on her plate early doors but managed to survive.

CB: Anna Patten - 7/10 - Similarly had to withstand plenty of early pressure.

LB: Mayumi Pacheco - 8/10 - Was able to almost singlehandedly play through Leicester's press.

CM: Lucy Staniforth - 7/10 - After a tricky opening managed to stamp her authority in midfield.

CM: Kenza Dali - 10/10 - Superb. Drove forward at will and Leicester were unable to stop her. Opening goal completely changed the game.

CM: Jordan Nobbs - 8/10 - Whenever on the ball, Nobbs always managed to find herself in open space.

RW: Alisha Lehmann - 9/10 - Played on the fringes early on but could smell blood as Leicester crumbled, becoming more and more involved as the game continued.

CF: Rachel Daly - 10/10 - A truly complete performance from one of the signings of the season. Incredible.

LW: Kirsty Hanson - 8/10 - Stretched play with her pace and the following deliveries were usually excellent.


Freya Gregory (60' for Hanson) - 6/10

Laura Blindkilde (60' for Staniforth) - 6/10

Georgia Mullett (85' for Dali) - N/A

Alice Keitley (90' for Lehmann) - N/A


Carla Ward - 9/10 - Villa withstood Leicester's press and enjoyed a memorable day.



Leicester City player ratings

GK: Janina Leitzig - 5/10 - Hard to put the blame at her door for the goals. Suffered a nasty shoulder injury midway through the second half but soldiered on.

RB: CJ Bott - 4/10 - After an aggressive opening had to retreat when Villa's attacking quality took hold.

CB: Sophie Howard - 3/10 - Spurned a great chance to break the deadlock before gifting the opposition a goal. Not great.

CB: Ashleigh Plumptre - 4/10 - Always made herself available for the ball and got forward in tandem with Nevin. Unfortunately this left Leicester a little open when chasing the game and they were punished.

LB: Courtney Nevin - 4/10 - Lulled into a false sense of security by Lehmann's slow and sloppy start, eventually chasing the Swiss' shadow.

CM: Samantha Tierney - 4/10 - Enthusiastic with her pressing and often found herself as the highest player up the pitch.

CM: Ruby Mace - 4/10 - Technically good in her own right but Leicester were eventually punished for trying to go toe-to-toe with a far superior side.

RM: Aileen Whelan - 5/10 - Leicester's interchanging frontline caused Villa problems, but they ultimately lacked penetration - Whelan's early disallowed goal was the closest they came.

AM: Carrie Jones - 5/10 - Had some bright ideas when in possession but couldn't carve out a clear opening.

LM: Josie Green - 4/10 - Tucked inside from the left but to little avail once Villa had raced away with the game.

CF: Hannah Cain - 4/10 - Dropped deep and into the channels when Leicester thought they were in the ascendancy, but later found herself isolated.


Jemma Purfield (70' for Plumptre) - 4/10

Molly Pike (70' for Green) - 4/10

Remy Siemsen (70' for Tierney) - 4/10

Georgia Eaton-Collins (70' for Bott) - 4/10

Missy Goodwin (75' for Cain) - N/A


Willie Kirk - 4/10 - Leicester showed tremendous bravery, but they just aren't on Aston Villa's level.

Player of the match - Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)