WOMEN’S RECAP: Manchester United vs Leicester

Manchester United vs Leicester Match Recap

Manchester United took on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium and came away with all three points. Ella Toone’s first-half screamer and debut goals for both Maria Thorisdottir and Martha Thomas gave the Reds their second straight victory against the Foxes.

Leicester had a consolation goal of their own from former Red Abbie McManus, 1 of 3 former Reds who transferred to Leicester (the other 2 being Jess Sigsworth and Charlie Devlin). Read more in our Manchester United vs Leicester match recap.

Set Up

Manchester United: Earps; Blundell, Mannion, Turner (Thorisdottir 15), Batlle; Zelem (c), Groenen; Staniforth (Thomas 68); Hanson, Toone, Galton (Russo 83)
Substitutes not used:
Baggaley, Harris, Boe Risa, Jones, Ladd, F.Fuso

First Half

United started the match as the dominating side, Kirsty Hanson forcing Leicester’s keeper Kirstie Levell into a formidable save barely a minute into the match.

On the other end though, Mary Earps was kept on her toes as she had to dive low to deflect a shot from Leicester’s Natasha Flint. Millie Turner was injured during this attacking spell, and had to be stretchered off as Thorisdottir came on as an early replacement for the England international.

United struggled to get back into their rhythm of play, but a powerful strike from Lucy Staniforth saw United regain control of the match. The Reds took advantage of this period and scored the opening goal, courtesy of a brilliant Ella Toone strike in the 36th minute. Toone’s strike whizzed past a helpless Levell to open the scoring. 

Into the 8 minutes of stoppage time, former Red Charlie Devlin joined Jess Sigsworth in the Foxes attack, but it was Leah Galton who nearly got a second goal for United, her shot hitting the post.

Leah Galton fires a shot on target at the King Power.
[12th September, 2021. Leicester, England.]

Second Half

Little changed on the other side of the half, with United still coming out as the superior side. A half-cleared header from Staniforth allowed Thorisdottir to neatly increase United’s lead and open her scoring account since she transferred to United last season.

Galton was a continuous threat to Leicester from the left, creating more opportunities that her teammates couldn’t capitalise on. Leicester came back to create an attack that forced Earps into a top quality save in an otherwise quiet spell for her.

The hosts got their goal to keep themselves in the fight, as former Red McManus’s downward header was ruled to have crossed the line despite Earps parrying the ball back into play.

Far from shaken, the Reds took it to their opponents and saw shot after shot saved or miss the target — both Batlle and Jackie Groenen hit the woodwork, while Hannah Blundell broke forward from the right, only to have her shots saved and miss goal by inches.

United looked on the brink of getting a third goal, and it was Thomas who toed the ball inside the box just moments after coming on as a sub for Staniforth. The Reds continued the charge forward as Kirsty Hanson dribbled past Leicester’s keeper, only for the hosts’ captain Ashleigh Plumptre to clear it off the line. 

Wrap up

It was a disappointing match for Leicester City Women, who played their first match at the King Power Stadium. Manchester United Women, meanwhile, extended their unbeaten run under Marc Skinner with an impressive showing.

About Sabaa 41 Articles
New Yorker living in London. Likes beyond football include chocolate, naps, coffee, and doing nothing. Dislikes include losing (anything, not just football matches), insects, and waking up before my alarm clock. The one thing I know for certain is that I'll never stop loving this team.

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