Manchester United Women 3-0 Brighton: Stoney's side carry on their unbeaten start to the season
(Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

Manchester United carry on their unbeaten start to the Women's Super League season after their 3-0 victory at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

USWNT internationals Tobin Heath and Christen Press both made their debuts while Alessia Russo and Lucy Staniforth also had their first appearances in a United shirt.

Story of the match

It did not take long for the hosts to open the scoring, with Ella Toone providing the goods on her 50th Red Devils appearance. Toone beat her defender on the right and played in a looping cross towards debutant Alessia Russo at the back post, but Russo was pushed over on the goal-line by Maya Le Tissier. Toone stepped up to take the penalty and calmly fired her effort into the bottom-right corner.

Although it has looked solid so far this season, Brighton's defence looked shaky, with Toone or Kirty Hanson finding their way behind the back line on a number of occasions and providing the hosts with their main attacking opportunities.

Both sides adopted a high press when defending, leaving them exposed behind and reliant on the midfield to stop the opposition from breaking through. Kayleigh Green found a number of pockets of space for Brighton but was not able to direct any chances goalwards.

Alessia Russo showed promise in her first game since leaving the University of North Carolina in the USA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tall forward received a number of chances and earned the penalty which allowed the hosts to open the scoring.

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Kayleigh Green received a yellow card four minutes into extra time in the first half after she brought down Kirsty Smith at the byline.

Second half

It was all United from the start of the second half, with the hosts consistently finding themselves with goalscoring opportunities but not being able to convert them towards the target.

Russo was often left alone and wanting the ball in the middle of the front three, the side preferring to use their wide players when going forwards.

Casey Stoney's side made the first substitution in the 60th minute with Lucy Staniforth making her debut after joining from Birmingham City in the summer, replacing Ella Toone in midfield.

Alessia Russo marked her first start for her brand new club in the perfect manner. Fed through in the middle of the pitch, the defence was left completely open and the 21-year-old calmly slotted the ball under Megan Walsh.

After scoring the second goal of the game, she was replaced by another debutant in USWNT international Tobin Heath.

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A few minutes later and the other American signing of the summer also made her first appearance for United, with Christen Press replacing Kirsty Hanson.

Only one minute after coming on, Press found her name in referee Elliot Swallow's book after a late challenge on a Birhgotn defender.

She came close to getting her name on the scoresheet in the 87th minute when she found the ball at her feet inside of the box, but she was denied by the woodwork.

Danique Kerkdijk received a booking in the final few minutes of the game after she left a foot in on Christen Press.

After coming on as a substitute, Jane Ross made her mark on the game in the 90th minute, getting on the end of an inswinging Tobin Heath cross to head the ball into the back of the net for the game's third.

Player of the match

Alessia Russo - Manchester United

It was a brilliant team performance for the hosts, with young signing Russo having the dream debut.

Performing well throughout the game, she earned the penalty which resulted in the first.

It was an impressive solo goal for the game's second with Russo breaking through the defence before calmly putting the ball past Megan Walsh

Manchester City: Earps; A. Turner, M. Turner, McManus, Smith; Ladd, Groenen, Toone (Staniforth 60'); Galton (Ross 77'), Hanson (Press 77'), Russo (Heath 69')

Brighton: Walsh; Le Tissier, Kerkdijk, Williams (Stott 76'), Gibbons; Whelan, O'Sullivan, Bowman, Kaagman; Connolly (Jarrett 76'), Green

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