Manchester City moved back to the Barclays Women’s Super League summit with a strong 5-0 win over West Ham at the Joie Stadium – our record-breaking 13th straight league success.

It betters the previous best of 12 successive WSL victories set by Gareth Taylor’s side during the 2020/21 season and sees us leapfrog Chelsea to first place – albeit having played a game more than Emma Hayes’ side.

Goals from Leila Ouahabi and Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw gave the hosts the perfect start inside four minutes, and we continued to turn the screw despite our early advantage.

The Jamaican then bagged her brace before the interval which represented her 50th WSL goal in 57 appearances.

Laura Blindkilde Brown then extended our lead late on with her first for City before Jess Park added a fifth which, preciously, boosted our goal difference to +42 with three matches in 2023/24 remaining.


Having missed our last outing at Liverpool through injury, Ouahabi returned to the starting lineup and made up for potential lost time by breaking the deadlock after 24 seconds with her first for the Club.

Jess Park showed her skilful class by dancing down the right before sliding the ball across the face of goal where the Spaniard lost her marker to coolly curl home from just inside the box.

After netting the opener, the versatile defender showed her and City’s support for Sandy MacIver, whose season was sadly curtailed through injury, by holding the Scotland international’s shirt aloft.

With Taylor’s side embroiled in a fierce title race with Chelsea, goal difference could be crucial in deciding who lifts the trophy by the term’s end and we gave ours an early shot in the arm through Shaw who doubled our lead three minutes later.

The Jamaican brought down a drilled cross before impressively swivelling and firing into the top corner which saw her become the first-ever player to record a goal contribution in 10 straight WSL matches.

It also lifted her league tally for City to 49 goals and she soon racked up her 50th when she expertly lost her marker in the area to head home Hemp’s pinpoint cross from the left - by doing so she became the second-fastest to that total in the division’s history.

Despite our dominance, West Ham showed they still packed quality aplenty and the visitors would’ve reduced the deficit had it not been for heroics from Khiara Keating who superbly saved Viviane Asseyi’s effort from close range. 

On the cusp of half-time the Hammers fired another warning shot and came from the width of the bar away from pulling a goal back when City failed to clear and Ziu fired a venomous effort which cannoned off the woodwork via a Ouahabi deflection. 

As the half-time whistle blew there were slightly worrying scenes as Bunny limped off after chasing a through ball - the Jamaican was then replaced by Chloe Kelly at the interval.

Soon after the break, West Ham started to curse their luck in front of goal by seeing two separate efforts strike the woodwork. 

Firstly, the visitors hit us on the counter attack and the ball found the feet of Asseyi whose curling attempt struck the far post before Rehanne Skinner’s team recycled the ball and Riko Ueki’s speculative shot skimmed the top of the crossbar. 

Following the visitors’ quickfire chances, the match resumed to a similar pattern to the first half with City enjoying the ball at our feet and the Hammers looking to soak pressure and hit us on the counter.

Taylor’s team struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances 20 minutes into the second half without Bunny’s presence up top but Laura Coombs came close with an effort which squirmed just wide.

With a series of stoppages for minor injuries and fouls in the closing stages, the sting in the match’s tail was diminished slightly with the Blues maintaining possession nicely.

However, Blindkilde Brown injected the match with fresh life with her first goal in sky blue since her January arrival from Aston Villa late on when she showed poacher’s instinct to latch onto a rebound and lift into the top corner.

Buoyed by extending our advantage, Park then scored her fourth goal in three matches by collecting the ball in the middle of the visitors’ half, driving forward and drilling low into the net.  

The midfield duo’s strikes added the gloss to a fine afternoon as our relentless pursuit of a second-ever WSL title continued in the Manchester sunshine. 


Fresh from winning the Joie and WSL Player of the Month awards for March, Park continued her fine form in our first match in April. 

Once again operating classily in the engine room, she utilised her pace and trickery to create opportunities. 

Her goal and assist means she’s now scored four goals and provided three in her past three outings.


Gareth Taylor made one change from the team who beat Liverpool in our previous assignment with Leila Ouahabi replacing the suspended Kerstin Casparij.

This meant the Spaniard played in a back four alongside Laia Aleixandri, Alanna Kennedy and Alex Greenwood in front of Khiara Keating in goal.

The midfield three was anchored by Yui Hasegawa with Laura Coombs and Jess Park playing slightly further forward.

Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw led the line with Mary Fowler operating on the right flank and Lauren Hemp playing on the left.

Emergency loan signing Katie Startup was also included in her first City matchday squad after her April arrival from Brighton.

City XI: Keating, Aleixandri, Kennedy, Greenwood (C), Ouahabi, Hasegawa, Coombs (Blindkilde Brown 64’), Park, Fowler, Bunny (Kelly 46’), Hemp.

Unused substitutes: Startup, Stokes, Houghton, Angeldahl, Morgan, Pritchard, Mace.

West Ham XI: Arnold, Smith, Shimizu, Tysiak, Ueki, Zadorsky, Ziu (Harries 68’), Denton (Cooke 77’), Hayashi, Asseyi, Cissoko.  

Unused substitutes: Walsh, O’Hanlon, Bergman Lundin, Snerle, Ademiluyi.


The victory at the Joie Stadium moves City back to the top of the WSL table having played a game more than second-placed Chelsea.

We also now boast a goal difference which is three superior to Emma Hayes’ side’s.


Next up for City is a trip to Bristol City on Sunday 28 April, with kick-off at Ashton Gate scheduled for 18:45 (UK).

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