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Manchester United’s English starlets take WSL title challenge to new heights in front of Sarina Wiegman

Nikita Parris – Manchester United’s English starlets take WSL title challenge to new heights in front of Sarina Wiegman – Getty Images/Charlotte Tattersall

Manchester United moved onto their highest points tally in their Women’s Super League history and continued their bid for a league and cup double as they outclassed relegation-threatened Tottenham Hotspur.

Playing one week ahead of their first appearance in a Wembley final, as they take on Chelsea in next Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup final, Manchester United established a seven-point lead over third-placed Chelsea in the table, although the defending champions have three games in hand, starting with Sunday’s late kick-off at home to Everton.

In front of the watching eyes of the England head coach Sarina Wiegman in the stands, three English platers scored for Manchester United, on a day when Tottenham’s error-strewn defending greatly assisted the home side but their own technical strengths going forward also shone through impressively. .

Winger Leah Galton opened the scoring with a neat finish with the outside of her foot and Alessia Russo doubled the lead with a clinical volley, with both players moving on to 10 WSL goals for the campaign. It was Galton’s fifth goal in her past five appearances in all competitions, while Russo was on the scoresheet for a third straight home game. Before that, both players had been denied by good last-ditch blocks, with the hosts completely on top.

Nikita Parris then pounced on a Shelina Zadorsky mistake to add the third after the break, on an afternoon when they could have scored six or seven. Marc Skinner’s team’s 50 points this term is the highest WSL points tally the club has achieved in its three years in the division – with two league games remaining – surpassing the 47 points accumulated under Casey Stoney in 2020-21.

That was a campaign in which they finished fourth, which remains their highest finish in the top flight, and they are yet to qualify for Europe, having only reformed senior women’s team in 2018 after a 13-year hiatus from elite women’s football. Despite this term’s improvements, a Women’s Champions League spot is still not yet secured mathematically, but it now looks more likely than ever.

Tottenham, meanwhile, remain unsafe from the drop to the Championship, having started the day three points above the drop zone, with bottom side Reading kicking off later on Sunday afternoon. Their best moment of the second half came after a good cutback from Bethany England to find Mana Iwabuchi, but England goalkeeper Mary Earps produced a strong double save to deny first Iwabuchi and then Rosella Ayane on the rebound.

Match details

Manchester United Women (4-2-3-1): Earps 7; Batlle 7, Le Tissier 7 (Mannion 7, 74), Turner 6, Blundell 7 (Riviere 6, 86); Ladd 7, Boe Risa 7, Parris 7 (Thomas 6, 63), Toone 8 (Williams 6, 74), Galton 7 (Garcia 6, 73), Russo 7.
Substitutes not used: Naalsund, Tounkara, Cascarino, Baggaley (gk).
Tottenham Hotspur Women (4-5-1): Korpela 6; Turner 5 (Petzelberger 6, 77), Bartrip 5, Zadorsky 5, Harrop 5; Bizet Uldusoy 5 (Neville 6, 59); Graham 6 (Iwabuchi 6, 59), Spence 5 (Percival 5, 59), James 6, Naz 6 (Ayane 7, 45); England 6.
Substitutes not used: Ale, Spencer (gk), Summanen.
Booked: Bartrip, Harrop.
Referee: Kirsty Dowle (Kent).
Attendance: 5,796.

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