Chelsea 0-1 Man City: Player ratings as Cityzens go level on points at top of WSL

  • Man City defeated Chelsea 1-0 to end the Blues' run of 22 games unbeaten at home in the WSL
  • Bunny Shaw netted the winner in the 14th minute
  • City now level on points and goal difference with Chelsea at top of the WSL table

Man City secured a vital win
Man City secured a vital win / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

FROM KINGSMEADOW - Manchester City put in an inspired performance to defeat reigning WSL champions Chelsea 1-0 on Friday, blowing the title race wide open and ending the Blues' run of 22 games unbeaten at home in the league.

Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw helped City in their race for the title by netting the winning goal in the 14th minute, continuing her own quest for the Golden Boot in the process.

Her impressive strike dented Chelsea's impressive home record, while before this meeting, Chelsea had defeated City in their last six home games in the WSL.

Shaw's goal was the product of brilliance from Jess Park, who earned a recall to the Sarina Wiegman's Lionesses squad during the week. On her first league start after Jill Roord suffered an ACL injury last month, Park excelled in the midfield, keeping City one foot in front for the entire evening and ensuring the pressure never ceased on a mismatched Chelsea defence.

The result now leaves the two sides level at the top of the table. They are tied on points (34) and goal difference (+28), with only Chelsea's superior goals for keep them at number one. But after this defeat, Emma Hayes will be looking over her shoulder as any minor mistake could gift City the title in her final season.

How the game unfolded

With both teams vying for early dominance, it was a highly contested opening few minutes before the deadlock was broken 14 minutes in. Park careered down on goal after robbing Erin Cuthbert of the ball and played in Shaw, and the Jamaican striker made no mistake to fire home past Hannah Hampton.

Two minutes later, Shaw could have added a second after some nifty footwork foiled two defenders but she rolled her limp shot wide.

After City faced some questionable officiating having had two players sent off in the reverse fixture, it was Chelsea who would be aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty this time around after skipper Alex Greenwood brought Mayra Ramirez down in the box, but got away with a clear foul.

As the Blues searched for an opening, Lauren James made headway on the left flank, but Fran Kirby's eventual shot was sent wide after Khiara Keating managed to get a hand to the goal-bound strike.

With half-time swiftly approaching, Cuthbert, donning the captain's armband for the hosts, sent a rocket just inches over the crossbar.

Struggling to string passes together, Chelsea were losing the midfield battle with Park and Yui Hasegawa keeping the Blues' usually formidable trio - Cuthbert, Melanie Leupolz and James - uncharacteristically quiet.

City, sitting back and defending with 20 minutes still left to play, were relentless in piling the pressure on the hosts as Park continued to press the hosts. Chloe Kelly chance to add a second was well anticipated by Hampton who grasped the looping shot with relief.

In the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, a goal line save from Keating denied substitute Jelena Cankovic, who looked to loop over the shot-stopper, with a fine save. Sjoeke Nusken lurked ready to poke home but a scrambled clearance ensured City took all three points back to Manchester.

Chelsea player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Chelsea FC  v Manchester City - Barclays Women's Super League
James couldn't find a way through / Crystal Pix/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: Hannah Hampton - 7/10 - Anticipated shots well and regained composure after the early goal.

RB Ashley Lawrence - 5/10 - Struggled against Hemp who was out-smarting the full-back with pace and inverting in-field.

CB: Nathalie Bjorn - 6/10 - Kept calm and composed but failed to track back leading to Shaw's goal.

CB: Jess Carter - 6/10 - Physicality seemed a miss for the centre-back who struggled against a menacing City attack.

LB: Niamh Charles - 7/10 - Did well at left-back, but the switch to the back three removed her progressive attacks.

CM: Melanie Leupolz - 6/10 - Was unable to completely extinguish Hasegawa's threat but maintained composure.

CM: Erin Cuthbert - 5/10 - Fell victim to City's press after being lulled into making errors.

RW: Fran Kirby - 7/10 - Had a handful of positive chances but struggled to really make them count.

AM: Lauren James - 7/10 - Provided the majority of chances for Chelsea but was tied up dealing with Hasegawa to fully attack City.

LW: Guro Reiten - 6/10 - Struggled to have much effect on the game after losing the battle against Casparij for control.

CF: Mayra Ramirez - 6/10 - Had a few really positive opportunities to claw one back but was unable to convert the chances.


SUB: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (62' for Kirby) - N/A

SUB: Aggie Beever-Jones (62' for Reiten) - N/A

SUB: Sjoeke Nusken (71' for Lawrence) - N/A

SUB: Jelena Cankovic (78' for Leupolz) - N/A

Unused subs: Zecira Musovic (GK), Eve Perisset, Maren Mjelde, Kadeisha Buchanan, Sophie Ingle.


Emma Hayes - 6/10 - Was unable to conjure any magic to win the battle of the midfield; what ultimately cost them the win.

Man City player ratings (4-3-3)

Khadija Shaw
Shaw scored the winner / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

GK: Khiara Keating - 8/10 - Another superb performance from the shot-stopper who kept City in front for nearly the entire evening.

RB: Kerstin Casparij - 7/10 - Kept Reiten quiet on the flank, reducing Chelsea's attacks to coming solely from the right.

CB: Alex Greenwood - 6/10 - Was lucky not to have given away a penalty but aside from that was once again a stalwart in leading the visitors from the back.

CB: Laia Aleixandri - 7/10 - A controlled and composed performance from the Spaniard who dealt with Chelsea's attack with aplomb.

LB: Leila Ouahabi - 6/10 - Made a few risky tackles, but was able to match James to keep her threat minimal.

CM: Yui Hasegawa - 8/10 - Like a composer, she directed play from the middle, keeping City one foot in front throughout the evening.

CM: Jess Park - 8/10 - Making her first league start, the midfielder impressed one again, controlling and setting up numerous chances to keep the pressure on the Blues and the title race stacked.

CM: Laura Coombs - 6/10 - Aided the midfield control well but was carelessly dispossessed a few times.

RW: Chloe Kelly - 7/10 - Provided effortless attacks to steer City forward.

CF: Khadija Shaw - 8/10 - Took her chance to score but struggled to add another. Nevertheless, she provided the goal to keep City's title race alive.

LW: Lauren Hemp - 7/10 - Used her pace well and tracked back to put in a big shift defensively to keep City ahead.


SUB: Filippa Angeldahl (78' for Kelly) - N/A

SUB: Alanna Kennedy (88' for Aleixandri) - N/A

SUB: Mary Fowler (88' for Park) - N/A

SUB: Demi Stokes (90+ 3' for Coombs) - N/A

Unused subs: Sandy MacIver (GK), Esme Morgan, Laura Blindkilde-Brown, Ruby Mace.


Gareth Taylor - 8/10 - Started his best XI and dealt with all the threats Chelsea posed. Taylor engineered a highly inspired performance to keep City within grasping distance of the title.

Player of the match: Jess Park (Man City)