Khadija Shaw bags brace as Manchester City win at Liverpool to go top of WSL

Khadija Shaw starred for City (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Khadija Shaw starred for City (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Khadija Shaw scored twice as Manchester City overtook Chelsea to go three points clear at the top of the Women’s Super League with a commanding 4-1 victory over Liverpool at Prenton Park.

City, on their way to a 12th successive league win, were 3-0 up by the 24th minute, as Shaw struck a spectacular long-range effort following earlier goals from Lauren Hemp and Jess Park.

The Jamaica forward – who is the division’s leading scorer – then took her league total for the season to 19 by scoring with a second-half header, before Taylor Hinds struck a fierce shot from distance for Liverpool that went in off the bar and goalkeeper Khiara Keating.

As they seek a first WSL title since 2016, City have climbed to the top with four matches to play – one fewer than defending champions Chelsea, who play Arsenal in the League Cup final on Sunday.

They had to withstand early pressure but then hit Liverpool with three quick goals.

The first came in the 16th minute, as Shaw controlled the ball 10 yards inside her own half, before thumping a pass out to the right that Mary Fowler kept in play, then fed inside for Park to bounce in an angled shot that Liverpool goalkeeper Rachael Laws failed to gather, with Hemp nipping in to finish from eight yards.

City doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute, when right-back Kerstin Casparij cushioned Alanna Kennedy’s ball out of defence inside to Fowler, who slotted infield for Park to dart past Gemma Bonner and drill a shot in off the inside of the far post.

Just two minutes later, it was 3-0. Laura Coombs hooked into the path of Shaw, who stepped away from Bonner to hit a stunning 25-yard shot into the top corner.

Leanne Kiernan missed a chance to pull one back before half-time, driving her shot wide after being played clear, but Hemp almost added a fourth at the end of the half, looping a shot towards goal that Laws backpedalled to claw away.

City did get their fourth, however, in the 50th minute, as Shaw rose at the far post to head in Fowler’s corner.

Shaw, chasing her hat-trick, muscled in behind the Liverpool defence with 18 minutes left, but Laws dived bravely at her feet to knock the ball away. The forward was then ruled offside as she slotted in a pass from Laura Blindkilde.

But Liverpool, who sent on Missy Bo Kearns at half-time to make her 100th appearance for the club, continued to seek a goal, with Keating pushing away a shot on the run from Mia Enderby.

And the home side had the final word six minutes from the end as substitute Hinds struck a fierce shot that went in off the underside of the bar and the goalkeeper.


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