Chloe Kelly at the double as Man City keep faint Women's Super League title hopes alive with victory over West Ham
- Kelly opens scoring with two goals in a minute
- Coombs, Shaw, Houghton and Fowler also on scoresheet
- Man City up to second in the WSL table
TELL ME MORE: There were only six minutes on the clock when the England star profited from a Hawa Cissoko mistake, catching goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold off guard after collecting the loose ball. Exactly 60 seconds later, Bunny Shaw threaded Kelly through for her second as she doubled City's lead with a brilliant arrowed finish from 20 yards out.
Man City didn't have it all their own way, though. Vivianne Asseyi could've given the Hammers the lead had she done better with a free header only minutes after kick-off and the visitors halved the deficit four minutes after Kelly's second, with Emma Snerle's strike from the edge of the box creeping past teenager shot-stopper Khiara Keating.
But a flurry of goals made it more comfortable for City. A Laura Coombs header made it 3-1 before the break, then goals from the league's top-scorer Shaw, birthday girl Steph Houghton and substitute Mary Fowler put the result beyond doubt. West Ham did get another when Lisa Evans' shot hit the post and went in off the unlucky Keating, but it didn't alter the destination of the three points.
The win takes City up to second, three points behind leaders Manchester United. Chelsea remain the favourites for the title, though, sat a point behind City and four off United but with two games in hand. It gives City a three-point cushion inside the European places, too, though Arsenal - the side in fourth, just outside them - have a game in hand.
THE MVP: It was the quick-fire brace from Kelly that got City going in this game, which they absolutely had to win to keep those very faint title hopes alive. Her pace and directness on the ball was a nightmare for the West Ham defence as she doubled her tally for the WSL season in a single game.
THE BIG LOSER: On the flip side, it was the mistake from Cissoko that allowed Kelly to break the deadlock and set the opposition on their way. The reverse fixture between these two teams was a tight affair that City only won 1-0 but once that first goal went in on Sunday, it meant this was going to be a much more open game and that would only suit the hosts.
MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Man City are back in action next Sunday when they welcome a relegation-threatened Reading side. With Chelsea and Arsenal not playing next weekend due to the Women's Champions League semi-finals, they could rack up a few more points to put real pressure on the two London clubs in their games in hand.
MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE): ⭐⭐⭐