Manchester United picked up a confident 2-0 win over Birmingham City in the WSL, capping an impressive showing with a richly deserved win for Marc Skinner’s side at St. Andrew’s. The clash was meant to be Skinner’s first meeting against his former club and the Red Devils certainly made him proud on Sunday.
Alessia Russo came back into the side, with Kirsty Hanson dropping back to the bench following the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea over a week ago. The likes of Ella Toone, Lucy Staniforth and Leah Galton kept their places in the front four of Skinner’s 4-2-3-1 shape.
While the start was clunky and United initially struggled to carve out too many chances, they began to come alive as the half wore on and it coincided with the increasing influence of Katie Zelem on the pitch.
27-year-old Hannah Blundell got the first of her two assists in the 27th minute, as her impressive run down the left flank found the on-rushing Galton at the near post. A defense splitting pass from deep by Aoife Mannion proved key, as she pierced through the Birmingham midfield lines in a key action during build-up and United took the lead 1-0.
Birmingham failed to do too much in possession, allowing United more space on the break and more room to break into. As the second half wore on, Skinner’s side grew in confidence and the front four began combining very well to carve out openings.
It was Zelem who carved the City defense open for the second goal, as she picked out Blundell’s attacking run on the right and Toone was right on cue to side foot into the back of the net.
It was nothing less than what the Reds deserved, as Toone also hit the post late in the game and United created a fair amount of chance towards the conclusion.
United are now level with 3rd placed Chelsea in the table, but find themselves three points behind table topping Arsenal and Tottenham.