Manchester City 7-0 Tottenham: Khadija Shaw nets first-half hat-trick at Joie Stadium

Gameweek 8 of the Barclays Women’s Super League saw sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur travel to the Joie Stadium as they faced Manchester City, who would be looking to bounce back from their Conti Cup defeat in midweek.

MCI: Keating; Aleixandri, Kennedy, Greenwood, Ouahabi; Hasegawa, Angeldahl, Roord; Kelly, Shaw, Hemp

TOT: Spencer; Ale, Buhler, Bartrip, Neville; James, Summanen, Zhang; Bizet, Thomas, Clinton

With the visitors unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions, it looked set to be a challenging match for City who lined up with an unchanged side from their last WSL fixture against Brighton.

However, quickly controlling possession and winning a corner within the first three minutes, City settled into the game quicker than Spurs, limiting their time with the ball and forcing them to defend. Spurs tried to soak up this early pressure as they looked to attack on the counter but a perfectly timed interception from England international, Alex Greenwood, started the attack from the light blue shirts.

Just before the 15-minute mark, a chance to open the scoring came for the hosts. Lauren Hemp burst down the left wing playing an inviting cross into the box that Angeldahl narrowly headed wide of the far post. Jill Roord was brought down with the ball in the 18th minute winning a free kick that Kelly laid off to Greenwood. The defender lofted the ball to the back post only to be headed away by the Lilywhites before Bunny Shaw could pounce.

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The first goal was looking more crucial than ever as City’s high intensity continued and eventually paid off in the 23rd minute when the deadlock was broken. A dream cross for a striker was delivered into the area by Ouahabi with brilliant pace on it, to be powerfully headed into the net by Bunny Shaw. The power and pace diverted the ball past Rebecca Spencer who was just able to get a hand to it before watching it crash into the back of the net.

Whilst City had avoided defeat in their last six WSL matches when scoring the opener, Spurs ignited a quick counter attack showing that they were far from out of contest with Bizet driving into the box, forcing a diving save from Khiara Keating.

Shaw doubled the hosts’ advantage in the 32nd minute as she netted her fifth goal of the season, heading home on the end of Jill Roord’s cross. The last meeting between the two sides saw Bunny Shaw grab a hat-trick as her side fought back from a goal down to secure the three points back in March, a feat she would recreate in this fixture.

The third came five minutes later as Shaw scored her ninth goal in five games against Spurs, completing her hat-trick within the first-half. The Jamaican forward collected the ball under pressure on the edge of the area and instinctively fired into the bottom corner on the turn to complete a 15-minute treble and grab the match ball before the interval.

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The fourth came two minutes into the second half, as Lauren Hemp fired into the top corner from range on her weaker foot after Spurs had initially blocked two successive attempts from Roord. Vilahamn’s side had their best chance of the game in the 51st minute as Ouahabi gave away possession in the middle of the area allowing the ball to be played into the path of Thomas, who was sent clean through on goal. Keating read the shot well and got down to make the save to keep her clean-sheet intact.

Hemp turned provider for the fifth goal, winning the ball back and crossing it across the face of goal to be headed home by Dutch international, Jill Roord, from close range, causing more pain for the visitors. Substituted on the in the 56th minute, Laura Coombs scored her first goal of the season in the 59th minute, getting herself on the scoresheet for the second game in a row after scoring in the Conti Cup midweek, adding more misery to Spurs’ evening who looked to be on their way to recording a record defeat.

England international Lauren Hemp burst down the left wing once more, entering the box and pulling the ball back to be met by her England teammate who calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner with the inside of her boot.

Whilst three goals in 11 minutes secured the three points for Taylor’s side, the clean sheet was still to be defended as a low cross into the box from Spurs caused panic – sending Keating and Kennedy into action as they cleared the ball for a corner. The corner was taken short to allow an accurate cross into the box to be played as the visitors looked for their first goal of the evening, with the ball eventually met by Bizet – who would’ve scored from point-blank range had it not been for Keating’s stretch to tip the header over the bar.

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Alex Greenwood had the opportunity to get herself on the scoresheet at the other end with only 15 minutes left to play as her curling free-kick hit the crossbar from 30 yards out. City hit seven in the sixth minute of added time as substitute Jess Park drove to the touchline, drilling the ball into the path of Laura Coombs who scored her brace with a curling shot into the top corner, past Rebecca Spencer.

Whilst this margin of victory equaled City’s biggest ever WSL win, it also became Tottenham’s heaviest loss. City have moved up to third in the WSL table as they sign off for the international break in style, returning to league action on the 9th December when they host Aston Villa.