Manchester United clinched a vital 2-0 win over Brighton in their bid to close the gap on Arsenal in the Super League table.
Heading into the game, Marc Skinner’s girls were three points behind the Seagulls and as many as ten points separated them and Arsenal. United hadn’t won a league game since the beginning of October and Skinner opted to bring Hayley Ladd back into the side, with Alessia Russo and Vilde Risa also starting the game at Broadfield.
United showed intent from very early on, as Risa had a shot and the rebound saved by Brighton keeper Megan Walsh. Both sides struggled to create much and they failed to take control of the game, even though Katie Zelem tried to keep play ticking.
United did spring into action in the 25th minute, as Risa had another shot saved by Walsh after having gone through on the right. The Norwegian forced a low save from Walsh in the 35th minute mark too, as she had come up with a shot from distance.
At the halftime mark though, United deservedly went ahead. One Batlle had put the ball into the box and while the ball wasn’t perfect, Ladd came up with a neat and improvised shot to hand United the lead.
The Reds continued to create chances in the second half, as Risa drew out a save from Walsh once again after being set up by Staniforth. The Norwegian had another chance two minutes later in the 56th minute after Brighton had given it away, but she had her effort saved and Toone skied her shot.
Risa finally got a goal for her efforts in the 69th minute, as Batlle was involved once again in the goal. The Spaniard’s pass from the right was converted from close range by Risa, who got her first goal in United colours.
United restricted the chances from Brighton for the remainder of the game to pick up a rather comfortable win. It was a much needed win, as United head into a rather easier run of league fixtures next.