Millie Turner takes Mancheser United to the top of the FA WSL
Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United sit at the top of the FA WSL table (at least for the next day) after Millie Turner headed home a Tobin Heath corner to give Casey Stoney's squad their third consecutive league win.

Tottenham are known for being well oragnised against top teams, but this match proved more than just tactis against tactics. Stoney demanded more physicality and eagerness from her players following their loss to Liverpool midweek and the hosts certaintly pushed back.

It was hard for either team to get any kind of fluidity and consistent possession, 25 fouls in total and 14 coming from Manchester United. But the visitors still managed 18 shots versus Spurs' four shots, all off target.

Alex Morgan looked on from the stands (again) watching her team lack any attacking creativity and finishing, characteristics right up the USWNT striker's alley.

  • Story of the match

The first clear chance of the game came five minutes in after a poor pass back from Leah Galton was intercepted by Rosella Ayane who then fired well wide of the goal after finding herself one on one with Mary Earps.

A stand out star in the midfield, Jackie Groenen, controlled the tempo of attack deciding when to be direct on goal and when to pass back.

United's first clear chance came from a combined play from Groenen winning the ball back at the half line, who then laid it off to Christen Press into space down the middle of the pitch who found herself 2v1 against the Spurs defence.

But the two defenders were dragged out onto the wing where their team was dispossed. Heath made the run down the left wing into space and recieved the ball from Press to find herself 1v1 with Becky Spencer, but shot straight to the keeper.

Katie Zelem had the next clear shot on target from the top of the box forcing a spectacular save from Spencer who tipped the dipping ball over the crossbar.

The match was quiet for the keepers as both sides failed to be effective on their attack, with most of their opportunities going well off target. Players were well matched up, with Groenen fighting off the Australian giant, Alanna Kennedy, in the middle, Alessia Russo battling with Siri Worm on the wing and Amy Turner stopping Ayane on attack.

Second Half 

Heath managed a good cross into the box just four minutes into the second half trying to find Russo back post, but floated the ball too high for the 21 year old to get on the end of.

Turner got her first taste on goal when her header went just high of the crossbar from a corner.

Russo found herself in front of net on a transitional play with Heath running squared to her, but decided to take her shot and forced Spencer to knock the ball out for a corner which resulted in the only goal of the match.

Turner soared higher than the Spurs' defenders in front of her and lobbed the ball into the back of the net in the 67 minute; making up for her poor performance midweek and a goal that Stoney is happy to let the centre back have.

A controversial penalty call in the 77 minute, when Ashleigh Neville fouled Heath inside the box, but the ref gave a free kick just outside. It was the last action for the American winger and Lucy Staniforth came in to take the free-kick with her first touch of the game sending the the ball into the stands.

The closing moments of the game saw Stoney hold her breath with the scrappy back and forth football being played, but United managed to keep a clean sheet and leave London with three points.

  • Takeaways

It is evident that Tottenham are desperate to have Morgan on the pitch after failing to have any shot on target against United. Spurs have only scored two goals in their last four league matches. 

The striker's contract is just until the end of December, in which there are only eight matches remaining for her to feature in. 

Moragn's fellow American striker, Press, is still struggling to find her footing in the Manchester squad. She played as a central striker in a front three between Russo and Heath.

She is usually seen on the wings recieving the ball into space and cutting inside to have a shot on goal, from either side of the pitch.

It was noticable that she is not as comfortable in that central position, struggling to get herself into a good position receiving the ball with her back to the net.

Her partnership with Groenen will be crucial and the pair will have to learn each other's strengths and weaknessed, especially with the Dutch's favourite place to recieve the ball being right in front of the oposition's defensive line.

Which means the central striker will either have to make a run into the space behind the defence or drop back to collect the ball from Groenen to open space in behind for another player to run into.

Manchester United still have to figure out how Press likes to recieved the ball and perhaps the striker is figuring that out for herself also. But unlike Morgan, Press is here until the end of the season and has plenty of time to adapt.