Manchester United have kept the pressure on Arsenal in the race for UEFA Women’s Champions League football as they ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over Tottenham Hotspur at The Leigh Sports Village this afternoon.
The victory for The Red Devils means that they temporarily overtake The Gunners into third place, although Joe Montemurro’s side still have two games in hand.
United started the game strongly and they nearly had the lead inside the opening three minutes when Christen Press was played through but her shot was parried by Spurs goalkeeper Becky Spencer. They soon break the deadlock when a good ball out wide from Press found Kirsty Hanson who drove to the byline and delivered a great low cross to Ella Toone in the area. The United number seven fired at goal first time and Spencer couldn’t keep it out as the ball found the back of the net.
Ten minutes later, Spurs looked to have cleared a corner but Toone whipped in a delightful cross that was met by the head of Press who beat Spencer at the near post to double United’s lead. Jess Sigsworth then grabbed the third just after the half-hour mark when Spurs again failed to clear their lines and the United number nine clinically finished from 12 yards out.
United went in at the break in complete control while the visitors were struggling to create any real opportunities.
It was the worst possible start to the second half for the North Londoners. Toone played a neat through ball towards Lucy Staniforth and she was brought down in the area by Alanna Kennedy. The referee pointed to the spot and Toone stepped up to send Spencer the wrong way and pass the ball into the net.
The home side continued to push forward through Hanson, Press and the returning Leah Galton who came on as a substitute, however, they couldn’t find that killer finish to put themselves five up and Spurs managed to grab themselves a consolation goal in stoppage time.
A tremendous free-kick from Kennedy took a slight deflection off the wall and left Mary Earps with no chance as the ball found the top corner. Sadly for the visitors, it was too little, too late and the hosts took all three points.
Casey Stoney’s United will now hope that they can get a favour from Brighton & Hove Albion as they face off against Arsenal later this afternoon. Anything other than a win for The Gunners will mean that United will remain in third place until Arsenal face West Ham United in midweek.
It is still very much an uphill battle for Stoney and her players if they are to secure qualification for Europe next year but they are keeping the pressure on for as long as they can.