Manchester City swept aside Birmingham City 4-1 to win the SSE Women’s FA Cup for the first time in their history.
In front of a lively record crowd of 35,271 at Wembley, Nick Cushing’s side blew the Blues away in a fine first-half display full of pace and power to seize the initiative.
PFA Women’s Player of the Year Lucy Bronze headed her side in front when she met Megan Campbell’s free-kick from the right after 17 minutes.
- SSE Women's FA Cup Final
- Saturday 13 May 2017
- Wembley Stadium connected by EE
It was a special moment against her former club for the lively Christiansen, who was an unused substitute for Birmingham in their 2012 FA Cup final triumph over Chelsea.
Marc Skinner’s side tried to find a way back into the game, but they struggled to utilise the forward threat of Ellen White and Ellie Brazil, with Steph Houghton marshalling a resolute City backline.
And it went from bad to worse for the Blues on 33 minutes when the FIFA World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd headed home Campbell’s looping back-post delivery after Birmingham keeper Ann-Katrin Berger had missed her punch.
It was a moment to forget for Berger, who had made an excellent stop to deny Melissa Lawley moments earlier.
The German stopper redeemed herself early in the second half, pulling off an outstanding one-handed save to keep out a Nikita Parris effort.
Birmingham pushed and probed as they looked for a way back into the game, and Karen Bardsley had to be on her toes to deal with a 25-yarder from White.
Charlie Wellings gave Skinner’s side hope 17 minutes from time with a rasping cross-shot that fizzed past Bardsley’s outstretched right hand after Brazil’s tenacious and unselfish work down the right hand side.
Birmingham briefly rallied and had their opponents worried with some incisive play, but Jill Scott made the points safe with City’s fourth ten minutes from time.
City broke at speed through substitute Toni Duggan and Christiansen, the latter feeding Scott on the edge of the box. Scott beat her marker and powered an unstoppable effort past Berger to throw the City faithful into raptures.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Karen Bardsley; Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Megan Campbell, Demi Stokes; Keira Walsh, Jill Scott, Izzy Christiansen; Nikita Parris, Carli Lloyd, Melissa Lawley.
Substitutes: Toni Duggan for Lawley 56, Georgia Stanway for Parris 70, Abbie McManus for Campbell 78.
Substitutes not used: Marie Hourihan, Jennifer Beattie.
Birmingham City (3-4-1-2): Ann-Katrin Berger; Kerys Harrop, Aoife Mannion, Meaghan Sargeant; Paige Williams, Jess Carter, Andrine Hegerberg, Sarah Mayling; Ellen White; Ellie Brazil, Freda Ayisi.
Substitutes: Charlie Wellings for Ayisi 64, Chloe Peplow for Hegerberg 83, Abbey-Leigh Stringer for Williams 87.
Substitutes not used: Sophie Baggaley, Emily Westwood.
Referee: Rebecca Welch