Manchester United were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Tottenham Hotspur at the Hive, as Marc Skinner’s side failed to grab a crucial win which could have lifted them above the Lilywhites in the WSL table.
United started with Alessia Russo upfront, following her heroics to help the side beat Durham in the FA Cup a couple of weeks ago. Leah Galton started on the left, while Kirsty Hanson also returned to the side.
Skinner had made a fair share of changes to the side against Durham and importantly enough, Katie Zelem also returned to the side and started in midfield.
Spurs began the game by denying United any time or space on the ball and turning it into a high-tempo clash. Despite the tempo, chances were few and far between for both the sides as they constantly lacked a final pass.
United struggled to get Toone on the ball, as Spurs regularly got their wide players on the ball but failed to create anything noteworthy. Despite dominating territory, United failed to come up with anything concrete in the final third.
Around the 36th minute, Galton had latched onto a loose ball close to goal after Russo’s shot was saved, but the 27-year-old had her shot blocked when it seemed to be going in.
At the stroke of halftime though, it was Russo who found the back of the net through an individually crafted goal. After having received the ball in the right half-space, Russo left two Spurs defenders for dead before slamming home at the near post.
United started the second half very well and sprayed the Spurs goal with shots - only lacking a goal. Hanson drew a fine save from Spurs goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela after Russo had slid her through.
Spurs did grow into the game soon enough and got Mary Earps to work more but United generally managed to keep them at bay, denying them any clear cut opportunities and keeping their lead intact in what looked like a thoroughly compact away performance.
But it was Ria Percival, whose free-kick from deep failed to meet anyone and slipped past everyone to hand the Lilywhites a late equaliser from out of nowhere. The game wasn’t done there, as Russo’s header was brilliantly tipped over by Korpela in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
It was a game which dented United’s title hopes as the Red Devils remained fifth in the league and they remained four points behind league leaders Arsenal.