Manchester City 5-0 West Ham: Shaw hobbles off at half-time as City claim WSL top spot

Manchester City’s five-goal thrashing of West Ham United at Joie Stadium on Sunday leaves Bristol City’s fate hanging in the balance for at least another week.

The Robins would have been relegated had the Hammers clinched a surprise victory in Manchester, though their fate will likely be confirmed when they host the Cityzens at Ashton Gate next weekend.

Leila Ouahabi opened the rout inside a minute, with Khadija Shaw bagging a brace before being withdrawn at half-time and watching the second half from the bench, donning a protective boot and crutches.

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Laura Blindkilde Brown and Jess Park also netted as the match neared its conclusion, with Manchester City remaining three points clear of Chelsea – though the reigning champions have a game in hand.

As it happened

Manchester City occupied second-place in the Barclays Women’s Super League standings ahead of Sunday’s clash at Joie Stadium, with a three-point gap and their inferior goal difference keeping them pegged behind a seemingly indomitable Chelsea side.

Victory – and five-goal swing in goal difference – leaves the Cityzens occupying pole position for the time being, and it took no time at all for Gareth Taylor’s side to kickstart their title pursuit on Sunday.

Leila Ouahabi knocked past Mackenzie Arnold from a Jess Park cutback inside the opening minute, before Khadija Shaw controlled a Lauren Hemp delivery with her chest and fired past West Ham’s Australian goalkeeper on the half-volley less than five minutes later.

Shaw completed her brace before the half-hour mark, but despite looking more than capable of bagging a hat-trick, the Jamaican forward was substituted at the break and reappeared on the bench in a protective boot after the interval.

But her withdrawal did not dampen the hosts’ prowess in front of goal, with Laura Blindkilde Brown firing a loose ball past Arnold to register her first goal for the club since signing in January. Jess Park also added to her impressive tally, picking out the back of the net from the edge of the box.

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The lineups

MCI: Keating; Ouahabi, Greenwood, Kennedy, Aleixandri; Coombs, Hasegawa, Park; Hemp, Shaw, Fowler

WHU: Arnold; Zadorsky, Tysiak, Denton; Smith, Hayashi, Shimizu, Cissoko; Asseyi, Ziu; Ueki