In form Manchester City picked up another win but squandered several chances in the opening spell that could have embarrassed the home side.
City defeated West Ham United away 2-0, extending their unbeaten run to eight in all competitions.
English forward Georgia Stanway opened the scoring in the eighth minute after some calamitous defending from the home team taking her tally to six goals this season in the Women’s Super League and equalling teammate Lauren Hemp.
Citizens had a slow start in the opening match weeks of the season and weren’t helped with all the injuries to their most crucial and influential first-team players, like forward Chloe Kelly, Ellen White, Demi Stokes, and youngster Ruby Mace.
Khadija Shaw headed in a bullet marking her fourth goal of the league season and extending Man City’s lead to two goals from Caroline Weir’s corner kick which the Hammers couldn’t defend.
Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor was delighted with the win but discussed his team’s lack of clinical finishing in the game.
Taylor said: “It was an important win and another clean sheet… it was pleasing, it could have been more.
“West Ham are a team who have only lost twice at home all season and it was a really important win at this stage.
“Performance wise, we could have been three or four up in the first 30 – 35 minutes, which was a frustration. We spoke about a few things at halftime. It’s never easy, it’s the hardest thing to put the ball in the back of the net.
“We had problems with our build-up play, we had to go more direct, but we had firepower and pace at the top end of the pitch, which would be a problem for anyone.”
The win places Man City level on 35 points with local rivals Manchester United but with a game in hand. It marks a fifth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions, however, the East London club fell to a second consecutive loss after losing 2-0 against Brighton & Hove Albion at the end of last month.
West Ham United’s first team manager Olli Harder implied he was disappointed with the result but said there were moments in the game his team should be proud of and they could now focus on the game against the same opponents in the FA cup semi-final in a couple of weeks.
Harder said: “The result wasn’t what we’d hoped for, but overall, I think a lot of things that we did out there were positive.
“We need to be a little bit more clinical in those moments and then maybe it could have been a different result.
“I thought the goals that we conceded were poor. Bunny Shaw scoring from three yards out really killed the game for us.
“The real positive today was our reaction from both of the goals, I love seeing that from the players.”
Manchester City was the winner on the day but only did enough to claim all three points and push for that much-coveted third Women’s Champions League qualification spot.
Westham will be locking horns with Man City again in the semi-finals of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on April 16, with both clubs chasing glory in the cup.