What Man City need to win the title is clear as Manchester United could do bitter rivals a favour

Man United could do Man City a favour this weekend
Man United could do Man City a favour this weekend -Credit:Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Manchester City now know what they must do if they are to win the Women's Super League (WSL) title this season - with rivals Chelsea having secured a hard-fought victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.

Gareth Taylor's side had been top of the table since their 5-0 demolition of West Ham United on April 21 but now find themselves behind Chelsea on goal difference heading into the final weekend of the campaign. Emma Hayes' side won their game in hand against Spurs 1-0 thanks to a goal from Maika Hamano and are now level on points with City with a better goal difference than the Manchester club.

Chelsea are two goals better off than their title rivals ahead of Saturday's trip to Old Trafford where they will take on fifth-place Manchester United, who knocked them out of the Women's FA Cup last month. City, meanwhile, will face seventh-place Aston Villa at Villa Park, with the Blues having won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in December.

ALSO READ: Man City player ratings vs Tottenham as Stefan Ortega incredible and Erling Haaland good

ALSO READ: Erling Haaland breaks Tottenham curse after inspired Man City changes

Chelsea’s victory over Spurs means, if both City and Chelsea win on the final day, City must win by a three-goal margin if they are to secure their first WSL title since 2016 this term. FA rules state that, if the teams end the final day level on goal difference, the champions will be decided by most goals scored, then by most matches won, then by head-to-head league records.

Chelsea have a significant advantage when it comes to goals scored, having netted 65 goals compared to City's 59. As both teams have won the same number of matches, there is a possibility head-to-head league records could come into play.

If that is the case, then it is City who will be victorious. Taylor's side were held to a draw by Chelsea at the Joie Stadium back in October but beat the reigning champions 1-0 at Kingsmeadow in February.

City had looked in pole position to win the title following Chelsea's shock defeat to Liverpool two weeks ago. Hayes went as far as publicly declaring the title race "over" before the Blues lost 2-1 to Arsenal four days later.

"I always said I thought it would go to the final game and it’s never changed," Taylor said after that defeat. "We knew what we had to do. Of course it would have been nice to win the game. We have another opportunity now at Villa.

"Chelsea opened the door the other night and we’ve opened it back again a little bit. It is what it is, but nothing has changed in our thought process."