Shaw returns from illness to power City into Cup semis
Having been sidelined because of the COVID-19 virus, national striker Khadija Shaw marked her return to the Manchester City starting q` 11 with a brace, leading her club to a 3-1 win over Bristol City on Wednesday in their Continental Cup quarter-final match.
Bristol City, which featured national defender Satara Murray, took the lead, thanks to an own goal by Alex Greenwood in the 16th minute. However, Shaw netted in the 27th and 44th minutes, and Vicky Losada got another in the 62nd minute in a come-from-behind victory which puts the club another step closer to winning silverware this season.
It is the first time that Shaw has started for Manchester City since October, and head coach Gareth Taylor said he was satisfied with the production he got, given her recovery from the virus.
“She was great, considering she’s been off with COVID, we were limited in terms of what we could do with her and her minutes. But we checked the statistics at half-time and decided to keep her out there for another 15 minutes to just help Ellen White as well, because her workload has been high in those first three games (of 2022),” Taylor told the club website.
Shaw could not be more relieved to get back on the field, given the difficulties that the positive diagnosis had on her.
“[It] was great to get back out on the pitch and get more minutes with the girls, knowing how my mood was when I found out I had COVID, then following with the symptoms,” Shaw said. “But today was a great team performance, and I am always happy to be on the scoresheet.”
It is the first time that Shaw has been on the scoresheet in three months, with her last tally being Man City’s 5-1 win over Everton in the Continental Cup group stage on October 13. Having ended her goalscoring drought, Taylor said the coaching staff are gradually seeing improvement from the 24-year-old in her first season in England.
“We saw a glimpse of what Bunny’s all about before Christmas, and now we’re seeing more of the player we want to see in Bunny. It was a good performance from her,” Taylor said.
Shaw will face national teammate Rebecca Spencer in the semi-finals as Manchester City will face Tottenham Hotspur, while defending champions Chelsea, which features her other national teammate Drew Spence, will take on Manchester United. The semi-finals are scheduled to take place early next month. Meanwhile, Shaw will return to league play this Sunday when City face Women’s Super League leaders Arsenal on Sunday.