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Man City 3-1 Man Utd: Jess Park shines as Manchester City brush aside Manchester United

Jess Park produced an outstanding display as Manchester City beat rivals Manchester United to keep up their Women's Super League title chase.

England forward Park, 22, scored twice and assisted one for Khadija Shaw as City brushed aside their neighbours at Etihad Stadium to move three points clear of Chelsea at the top of the table for at least a day.

United's hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League have all but evaporated with the defeat as they trail third-placed Arsenal by six points, with the Gunners still to play Aston Villa on Sunday.

It was a damaging afternoon for United not just in terms of the result but also for their pride as rivals City, though not at their best, were ruthless in front of goal and left the Etihad as comfortable winners.

Park's opener should have been ruled out for offside by Shaw in the build-up but it was allowed to stand in the absence of a video assistant referee, as the midfielder volleyed home Leila Ouahabi's cross.

She doubled City's lead eight minutes later - celebrating in front of United's away fans in the corner on both occasions - and within seconds of the restart slid a pass through for Shaw to place her effort past goalkeeper Mary Earps.

Shaw's goal saw her overtake England midfielder Georgia Stanway as City's all-time record scorer in the WSL era with 68 goals.

United responded later in the second half when Hannah Blundell's cross was deflected into the far corner by City defender Kerstin Casparij, but the visitors could not get back into the game.

City, who are chasing a first WSL title since 2016, have equalled Chelsea's goal difference, but Emma Hayes' side will return to the top on Sunday if they beat West Ham.

Jess Park celebrates for Man City
Jess Park was called up to the England senior squad for friendly matches in Spain last month

Park masterclass deals major setback to United

With England manager Sarina Wiegman among the 40,086 watching on, Park enjoyed a hugely successful afternoon in Manchester.

The midfielder, now a regular in City's side following the anterior cruciate ligament injury to record-signing Jill Roord, proved her credentials as one of the country's most exciting talents with a mature display.

"The cherry on the cake we were looking for with Jess was goals and assists and she gave us that today, on the big stage," said City boss Gareth Taylor.

Park forced a strong save out of goalkeeper Earps midway through the first half after United had threatened, with Brazilian Geyse getting the better of Ouahabi down the right-hand side.

Chances had come and gone for the visitors - Nikita Parris was denied by Khiara Keating before Geyse stabbed wide - and Park's strike from distance was the first real opportunity for City.

That was the catalyst Taylor's side needed and they began to settle, testing Earps again through Yui Hasegawa before Park's quick double put them in the driving seat.

United's frustration at Shaw's role in Park's opener was justified but the Jamaican had a goal disallowed for offside moments later when she poked in a deflected rebound.

Shaw, who had earlier gone down claiming a foul from Blundell, with the United defender already on a yellow card, scored her record-breaking goal at the start of the second half as she produced a cool finish.

"'Bunny' is just a unique player, she really is," added Taylor. "Not only does she give us the goal, she's a big focal point for the team."

United, to their credit, did not give up in the second half but they had left themselves too much to do and while City must wait to see Chelsea's response on Sunday, Marc Skinner's side will be hoping fifth-placed Liverpool don't overtake them.

It is the latest blow in a disappointing campaign for United, while City look more and more capable of ending Chelsea's WSL dominance.

Manchester United's players react during their team's 3-1 defeat away at Manchester City in the Women's Super League
Manchester United have won one of their last four Women's Super League matches