A solid performance from Manchester United saw them cruise past Tottenham Hotspur and recorded back-to-back Women’s Super League victories.
Both sides came into this game as newly-promoted sides and contested for the first in the top tier of the Women’s Super League. The visitors who opened the deadlock through Kirsty Hanson’s deflected effort.
Spurs defender Ashleigh Neville turning the ball into her own net following Leah Galton’s low cross early in the second half.
Lauren James received a red card after receiving two bookings, but Jane Ross knotted United’s third in added time.
Story of the match
United almost made a dream start following a mix-up in the Spurs defence allowed James to break into the box and forced an excellent save from Rebecca Spencer. James’s second effort from the rebound collided against the woodwork, before Hanson saw her effort cleared off the line.
United goalkeeper Mary Earps reacted quickly to dodge away Kit Graham’s strike, followed by Katie Zelem curled strike which went around the post at the other end for United who made a promising start in the opening 10 minutes.
The away side didn’t have to wait much longer to break the deadlock as Jackie Groenen’s effort was well blocked, but Hanson managed to beat Neville whose strike deflected off Ria Percival to give the visitors the lead in the 13th minute.
United were close to double their lead through Leah Galton who has given time to take her opportunity which flew beyond Spencer’s far post. United’s midfield remained dominant and exploiting Spurs’ high backline to regularly finding runs of James, Galton and Hanson in behind.
Tottenham goalkeeper Spencer made a number of saves to keep her side in the game before half-time.
In the second half United continued where they left off and steadily grew back into the game. But it was Neville who turned the ball into the back of her own net as she tried to slid in to try and clear Glaton’s low cross and stretched United’s lead.
Tottenham responded well, Rachel Furness forced a stunning acrobatic save, with Earps tipping her long-range effort on to the woodwork and out for a corner.
James received a second yellow and was sent off, although United ended the game in emphatic style as Ross shoved the ball the home for United’s third goal of the game and secured a comprehensive win.
Takeaways from the match
Tottenham Hotspur defensive woes- the biggest issue was on the defensive end with Spurs failing to move fast enough to close down United in and around the box.
This gave Lauren James who is fantastic a lot of time in the ball. United looked like a team that could push to gate-crash the top three. Spurs are looking like a team that could escape relegation battle if they can bounce back from this defeat.
However, it was hard working display from Spurs, and despite the result they didn’t look like they were blown out of the water. United were simply the better side and the gap now has clearly closed between the two sides.
United’s attacking three- the attacking three of Kirsty Hanson, Lauren James and Leah Galton who were all effective in the flanks and utilising wide areas. The attack is led by James who has an incredible worth ethic and leads the attack as she is strong and physical player. James can go by people and brings other players into the game, particularly Hanson and Galton which complements those two well. James is able to take three to four players out of the game allows the rest of the attackers to get above the ball. We cannot fault those attacking three players and made a strong statement to the other teams competing in the Women’s Super League.
Stand Out Player
Leah Galton- Galton’s performance shows how much of a special player she is and is one of the best left wingers in the world according to United manager Casey Stoney. It also proved that she can go 1 v 1 and able to beat players from the inside and outside as well as deliver to the highest standards. If she is isolated and has the ball on her feet, she can make things happen. She is a player to watch this season.