Beth Mead scored a hat-trick as we kicked off our Continental Cup campaign in impressive style on Sunday, beating London City 5-0 at Princes Park.
Lia Walti was named in the starting XI for the first time since suffering a knee ligament injury last January, 252 days ago, while Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, Emma Mitchell and academy product Melissa Filis all made their first starts of the season.
That meant there was a total of six changes from our 1-0 win over Manchester United last week, but there was no sign of rustiness in the performance.
Mead kicked things off by forcing Lucy Thomas into a difficult save from distance inside 30 seconds, before Jill Roord saw her low drive cleared off the line.
We continued to dominate play and shortly after Mead opened the scoring, plucking the ball out of the air before weaving past two defenders and firing into the root of the net.
Roord, who pulled the strings in midfield all afternoon, then went on to fire a stunning strike into the top-left corner for her second since joining from Bayern Munich in the summer.
We took things up a level in the second half too, as Danielle van de Donk drifted into the area and teed up Emma Mitchell, who applied the finishing touch to a wonderful team move at the far post.
No sooner than the Lionesses could regroup, Mead made it four by fizzing an effort into the bottom left corner - and 10 minutes from time she completed her hat-trick, firing a deflected effort past Thomas on the turn.
WHAT IT MEANS
We're currently top of Group B with three points and a goal difference of +5
We face Fiorentina in the second leg of the Champions League last-32 on Thursday, September 26.
The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 7.30pm (UK time). Purchase your tickets here!
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