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Manchester United 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur: Reds continue title push with dominant win

Galton, Russo, and Parris on the scoresheet as United batter Spurs...

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Women’s Super League - Leigh Sports Village Photo by Barrington Coombs/PA Images via Getty Images

It’s the business end of the football season, and the pressure is on Manchester United. An FA Cup Final against Chelsea in front of a sold-out Wembley is just a week away, and there’s no room for error in the FA Women’s Super League either. And yet, with that pressure, United continued to show their quality in the race to the finish line, battering Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday afternoon.

Marc Skinner’s side was shuffled a bit due to the suspension of Katie Zelem, with Norwegian midfielder Vilde Boe Risa coming into midfield alongside Hayley Ladd. Nikita Parris got the start on the right wing as well with Lucia Garcia on the bench. Otherwise it was United’s regular setup, and another dazzling attacking display.

The pressure was on Spurs early, with both Leah Galton and Alessia Russo seeing shots saved in the opening ten minutes. Bethany England nearly found an answer on the break for Spurs, but Maya Le Tissier recovered wonderfully to block the shot at an open net.

It would be the last Spurs look at goal until just before halftime.

For most of the opening half hour United pressed high and possessed in Spurs’ half. Multiple chances were denied either by deflection or by the glove of Tinja-Riikka Korpela until the breakthrough came in the 32nd minute.

Blundell’s press forced a bad giveaway straight to Galton, who had a clear run down the left towards goal. She calmly finished past Korpela with the outside of her left foot, placing the ball in the far corner, and United’s enterprising play was finally rewarded.

It took almost no time for the second goal to arrive, this time from a set piece.

A corner taken short fell for Batlle out wide. Millie Turner and Galton attacked the cross at the near post, popping it up for Russo to follow in with a lethal volley for 2-0.

It’s Russo’s 10th goal of the FA WSL campaign, putting the England star in double digits for the second season in a row, and from there it never really felt like Spurs had much fight in them.

The third and final goal of the match came early in the second half, courtesy of another defensive blunder by the Spurs backline. Kerys Harrop and Shelina Zadorsky both came together in an attempt to clear a cross in over the head of Parris, but only succeeded in bouncing the ball right to the feet of the England veteran. Parris happily controlled and volleyed the ball past Korpela,

United continued to push for goals with three points all but wrapped up, and nearly found the net a few more times. Ella Toone and substitute Martha Thomas both missed on chances to add to the lead, and Russo nearly had a spectacular brace with yet another volley. Spurs created another couple chances as well, with a Mary Earps double save keeping them from getting back in the game late.

Skinner took the opportunity to get some minutes for a couple players, with Aofie Mannion coming on for a late cameo and Jayde Riviere making her United debut. The game had calmed down by the closing stage however, and the Reds saw out another big league win.

Fans will await results from Chelsea’s matches, hosting Everton later on Sunday and Leicester City on Wednesday. The Blues are the challenger in both the title race and the looming FA Cup Final, both of which they are the defending champions of. All they can do in the league is continue to put points on the board and hope Chelsea slip in one of their games in hand, but wins like the one today will be a nice boost for confidence as they look to finish strong and bring home some silverware.