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Manchester United 5-0 Durham: Reds return to action in style, advance to FA Cup Quarter-final

Manchester United Women v Durham Women: Vitality Women’s FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Charlotte Tattersall - MUFC/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United Women are through to the next round of the FA Cup after a 5-0 thumping of Durham in the 5th round on Sunday. Marc Skinner’s side took a while to break down the opposition, who held them to a draw and penalty defeat in the Conti Cup earlier this season, but a goal just before the half put momentum in their favor. A rampant display in the second half provided plenty of insurance as well, with five different Reds getting on the scoresheet by the full time whistle.

The starting XI was rotated a bit for this match, with Martha Thomas and Vilde Boe Risa coming in for the usual pairing of Alessia Russo and Ella Toone, but much of the rest of the lineup remained the same.

As expected the Reds dominated possession, holding Durham to just one shot on target, and found a breakthrough in the 43rd minute. A free kick was won a few yards from the edge of the 18-yard box, angled to the left. It seemed better territory for a cross to the back post, but Boe Risa had other ideas. The Norwegian went for goal herself, and found the upper 90 of the near post for the 1-0 advantage.

It didn’t take long after the break for the Reds to double their advantage. Switching the field from back to front quickly, Katie Zelem turned and launched a ball forward from well within her own half. It was played perfectly into the path of Leah Galton, who split the centre back pair with her run and fired first time past the keeper.

It all came a bit easily for the Reds after that, building on their lead with goals from Blundell and substitutes Russo and Nikita Parris.

With a couple weeks since their last match there was some worry of rust, not to mention the difficulty the Reds had the last time they played against Durham, but there were no signs of slowing down on Sunday.

The Reds return to FA Women’s Super League action next Sunday, taking on Leicester City at Leigh Sports Village before travelling to London for a date with title rivals Chelsea the following week.