Manchester City are blessed with some of the best strikers in the world at the moment. While Erling Haaland has been breaking records in the Premier League and Europe over the last two seasons, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw is on a mission to return City to the top in the Women’s Super League.
Since winning the Women’s Super League title in 2016, City have struggled to recapture league success, finishing second in the next five consecutive seasons from 2017 to 2021. Despite having a huge squad and being in and around success, with their last trophy, the League Cup coming in 2022, the team has largely underperformed.
But reigning champions Chelsea have been at their best at the same time City have been underperforming. Emma Hayes’ side has won five league titles from 2018 to date. It’s been a total dominance that is rather unacceptable given the squad Manchester City have.
With quality on every area of the pitch, the players can walk into any top women’s team in Europe. One player in particular, Khadija Shaw, is doing her best to shoot City back to the top .
Signed from French side Bordeaux in 2021, the striker has been on fire since moving to City. With 41 goals in 49 appearances for the club so far, she is easily the key figure driving the team’s success.
Currently topping the scoring charts in the Women’s Super League with 13 goals in 11 matches, her goals are keeping City within touching distance of Chelsea in the title race.
Chelsea currently top the table with three points ahead of City, meaning just one slip-up will be enough to close the gap. But that is easier said than done. City are equally in danger of falling further behind with just one bad result.
Chelsea seem to have mastered the art of winning the competition, achieving success using superior head-to-head results against the big four teams. Then for the rest of the league teams, it’s a clean sweep.
The other big sides then cancel each other out for the remaining spots in the Champions League.
So the only way City can genuinely challenge Chelsea is to be near perfect against the big teams, while making a clean sweep of the relatively small sides.
With Shaw in top goal-scoring form this season, that may be achievable. The likes of Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp are also in top form. Their four and five goals respectively are only surpassed by midfielder Jill Roord’s six.
The trio also have a combined nine assists, making them effective contributors to the course. The defensive unit has also been reliable. Assistant captain Alex Greenwood leads from the back with three assists of her own.
At this rate, City only need to maintain the pressure on the champions and be ready to take advantage of any failings from Chelsea to emerge champions come season’s end.