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Man City leapfrog Chelsea at top of WSL after big win at Liverpool

Manchester City moved three points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Women’s Super League table with a 4-1 victory at Liverpool.

Liverpool boss Matt Beard called for his side to be aggressive against City and his players responded. The hosts made an extremely bright start, dominating possession and asking plenty of questions of City’s defence.

However, the visitors held firm and all Liverpool’s good early work was undone when Rachael Laws pushed Jess Park’s shot back into the path of Lauren Hemp, who showed great composure to finish into the bottom corner.

Man City

City hardly had a kick in the first 15 minutes of the game but they doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute when Park danced her way through the Liverpool defence before firing in off the post to leave Laws with no chance.

It got worse for the hosts just two minutes later when Khadija Shaw skipped past Gemma Bonner before smashing the ball past a helpless Laws and into the top corner to put City out of sight heading into the break.

With the battle for the title between City and Chelsea so close, goal difference could prove crucial. City’s three first-half goals gave them a better goal difference than Chelsea and Gareth Taylor’s side would have been eyeing further improvement after the break.

Liverpool made a triple change at the interval with Melissa Lawley, Taylor Hinds and Missy Bo Kearns on for Marie Hobinger, Lucy Parry and Gemma Bonner, but there was no change in their fortunes as City extended their lead in the 50th minute.

Shaw rose highest at the far post to head Mary Fowler’s corner into the back of the net for her 19th WSL goal of the season.

The WSL’s top goal scorer was denied a hat-trick after straying offside to latch onto Chloe Kelly’s through ball late in the game before substitute Taylor Hinds grabbed a consolation goal for the hosts with a stunning long-range effort going in off goalkeeper Khiara Keating.

It was the only blemish of the afternoon for City, who cruised three points clear at the top of the table and importantly improved their goal difference to pile the pressure on Chelsea, who don’t play in the league this weekend due to involvement in the League Cup final against Arsenal on Sunday.

WSL table
WSL title race

Sweetman-Kirk: Man City will be a little disappointed

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk on Sky Sports:

“We should be mentioning how good City were and we will do that in due course, but we know how fine the margins are in the WSL.

“You see what that goal has done for the goal difference and how close it makes it again.

“For me context is everything 3-0 up, they go 4-0 up early in the second half. When you really expected them to motor on, to make it five and make that goal difference even bigger, they don’t.

“You’ve got to credit Liverpool, they went to a back four, they changed it, the substitutes worked. But I think Man City will be a little disappointed.”

Schwarzer: Credit to Liverpool

Mark Schwarzer on Sky Sports:

“You’ve got to give credit to Liverpool, they did close things down. They were better in the second half, but for City there is a sense of disappointment they didn’t finish this game off. “

The goals…

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Lauren Hemp gives Manchester City an early lead as they go 1-0 up against Liverpool in their WSL clash.

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Jess Park’s superbly taken low stirike gives Manchester City a 2-0 lead over Liverpool early on in the first half.

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Bunny Shaw produced a moment of magic as her fantastic strike gives Manchester City a 3-0 lead over Liverpool.

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Bunny Shaw puts the game beyond any doubt as her header stretches Manchester City’s lead to four against Liverpool.

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Liverpool vice-captain Taylor Hinds took aim from distance and fired a screamer past Man City’s Khiara Keating to pull one back

Aston Villa 2-2 Leicester

In Saturday’s other WSL fixture, Aston Villa were held to a 2-2 draw by Leicester City.

More to follow…

What’s next?

Manchester City host West Ham on April 21, kick-off 2.15pm, while Liverpool travel to bottom club Bristol City the day before, kick-off 12.30pm.

Aston Villa face Chelsea in the WSL on April 17, kick-off 7pm, while Leicester are involved in FA Cup semi-final action when taking on Tottenham on April 13 at 12pm for a place in May’s final at Wembley.

Sky News
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