Manchester City in the driving seat for the WSL title – Full Time with Jessy Parker Humphreys

Manchester City made short work of going back to the top of the Women’s Super League table, winning 5-0 against West Ham United to establish a three-point lead over Chelsea and, crucially, a superior goal difference.

It took City 23 seconds to open the scoring as Spanish full-back Leila Ouahabi scored her first goal for the club. Then, 150 seconds later, it was 2-0 as Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw had time to chest down Lauren Hemp’s cross before finishing on the turn. She then scored her 21st league goal of the season by the 24th minute.

In midweek, Chelsea had hosted Aston Villa, winning 3-0 but failing to fully punish their opponents after goalkeeper Anna Leat was sent off after just four minutes. City, though, made sure they scored as many as possible, adding two late goals in the 81st and 86th minutes from Laura Blindkilde Brown and Jess Park.

Park scores her side’s fifth goal (Ian Hodgson/PA Images via Getty Images)

Once again, however, it was the Bunny Shaw show, as she became the second-fastest player to reach 50 WSL goals and the first to have a goal involvement in 10 consecutive matches. Shaw is now only two goals off breaking the single-season WSL scoring record of 22 goals, which has been achieved by Vivianne Miedema and Rachel Daly.

The time she has to achieve that, however, might be limited after she was substituted at half-time with what manager Gareth Taylor called a “foot injury”. Shaw was pictured in a boot after the match but Taylor played it down.

“It always looks worse when they’re on crutches but that’s just to offload them (not to put weight on the foot),” he said. “It was touch and go whether she was going to come back on at half-time, which gives a sense of maybe it’s not too serious, but we’ll have to see.”

City have been fortunate to keep a pretty clean bill of health for most of the season with Dutch midfielder Jill Roord their only notable long-term absentee. There is no doubt Shaw would be a huge loss for them, with only a fortnight until their biggest remaining challenge of the season when Arsenal visit the Joie Stadium — but Manchester City are firmly in the driving seat for the title race.



Khadija Shaw: My Game In My Words

What you might have missed

Tottenham and Manchester United played out a dress rehearsal for May’s FA Cup final as Maya Le Tissier scored a 92nd-minute equaliser to keep United in fourth place.

United had gone 1-0 up through Lyon loanee Melvine Malard but two goals in two minutes from Bethany England and Jessica Naz saw Tottenham turn it around. Those were Tottenham’s only two shots on target in the whole game, as they played without United loanee Grace Clinton, who will also be ineligible for that final.

Robert Vilahamn’s team lost 4-0 to United in the reverse fixture but Spurs have got progressively better this season. He will hope they can take that a step further when they get to Wembley.

Moment of the week

Finding themselves 2-0 down with 80 minutes gone, Lyon were facing a rescue mission in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain. However, three goals in six minutes stunned their league rivals and saw Lyon come out 3-2 winners. Amel Majri came off the bench to score the winner, letting the ball run delightfully through her legs on the edge of the area before spinning around and catching goalkeeper Constance Picaud off guard.


Amel Majri celebrates her winner (Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Before the match, PSG might have been satisfied to head into their home leg with only a one-goal deficit, but throwing away a two-goal lead could be a knockout blow mentally.

When it comes to Lyon in the Champions League, they can never be written off.

Player of the week

Chelsea’s 1-0 first-leg Champions League win against Barcelona was a historic result against a side who had not lost at home for five seasons.



How Chelsea stunned Barcelona with a defensive masterclass

It should also be a particular moment of pride for Jess Carter. The 26-year-old England centre-back has grown immensely as a player over the past couple of years but her dominant defensive display was a huge step up from how she struggled in Chelsea’s 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the 2021 Champions League final.

Simultaneously aggressive and composed, Carter always looks at her best as part of a back three, and her vocal leadership on the pitch has developed significantly during the long-term absence of captain Millie Bright.

As a 16-year-old, Carter announced herself in football with a player-of-the-match performance in this same competition for Birmingham City. A decade later, she deservedly picked up that award again.

Jess Carter Chelsea scaled e1713732723269

(Alex Caparros /UEFA via Getty Images)

Goal of the week

Brighton & Hove Albion’s defensive frailties once again cost them as Everton won 2-1 at the Broadfield Stadium on Friday night. Whilst Brighton have improved under Mikey Harris, they handed Everton far too many opportunities from lax marking or errors at the back.

Everton’s opener came with personal satisfaction for one family as the Holmgaard twins linked up to score in the 60th minute. It was Sara who found the space to pick out a cross for Karen who was arriving at the back post.

Despite Tatiana Pinto equalising soon after, Guro Bergsvand’s own goal gave Everton manager Brian Sorensen three points in the week he celebrated signing a new contract with the club.

What’s coming up

The second leg of the Champions League semi-finals takes place on the weekend, with Barcelona attempting to overturn the deficit on Saturday evening at Stamford Bridge (KO 5.30pm UK; 12.30pm ET) before PSG and Lyon play on Sunday (3pm UK; 10am ET).

(Top image: Ian Hodgson/PA Images via Getty Images)

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