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Man United 2-2 (3-4) Leicester City: Reds suffer loss on penalties

Manchester United fought well in normal time, only to lose on penalties...

Leicester City Women v Manchester United Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United fell to a penalty shootout defeat to Leicester City, as they held the Foxes to a 2-2 draw before losing 4-3 on penalties in the group stages of the Conti Cup.

In what was quite an entertaining encounter at Leigh Sports Village, Marc Skinner’s side started in 4-4-2 shape, as opposed to their usual 4-2-3-1 formation. Alessia Russo started on the left of the midfield, while the duo of Ella Toone and Leah Galton started together upfront.

United came in to the game with the confidence of having Man City in the same competition; albeit with a much rotated side.

Skinner’s girls began the game very well, as they dominated possession and came closer to scoring than the Foxes. Lucy Staniforth put a shot wide of the post after being set up by Hannah Blundell. Galton did manage to find the back of the net but the goal was chalked off for offside.

Despite United’s dominance, Leicester struck through their first corner of the game as Sophie Howard flicked it into the back of the net in the 32nd minute.

United kept their dominance regardless, as Galton came close and Katie Zelem shot just over the bar as well. Early in the second though, Galton did combine well with Russo to set up the equaliser, as the duo exchanged passes before Russo found her fourth goal of the campaign.

Leicester had a great chance to go in front, as Natasha Flint found herself 1v1 against Sophie Baggaley, but United’s stand-in stopper made a save.

Flint made no mistake in getting Leicester back in front, as she took full advantage of a loose ball from United. But the Reds responded soon, as Zelem made up for her miss in the first half by looping it over the goalkeeper.

But Zelem and Vilde Boe Risa, who had impressed throughout normal time, missed their spot-kicks.

Despite the loss, United remain second in their group and have six points from three games. They are level on the table with Man City and Everton.