WOMEN’S RECAP: Manchester United vs Bristol City

Manchester United vs Bristol City Match Recap

Manchester United beat Bristol City 1-0, following a closely contested encounter at Twerton Park. A late own goal ensured the visitors all three points from the second-last game of our Women’s Super League campaign. Read on to see how the Reds fared in Manchester United vs Bristol City.

Set Up

Manchester United: Earps, Batlle, A. Turner, M. Turner, Smith, Zelem (c), Staniforth, Sigsworth (Ross 65), Toone (Groenen 58), Hanson, Press
Substitutes not used: 
Ramsey, Bentley, Harris, Thorisdottir, Galton, Jones

Bristol City: Baggaley; Bryson, Sargeant (Mastrantonio 89), Evans, Purfield, Humphrey (Bissell 89), Skeels, Salmon (Woolley 90), Pike, Daniëls, Wellings (Harrison 61)
Substitutes not used: Håland, Rafferty, Allen, Palmer, Layzell

Casey Stoney made no changes to her team that beat Spurs last week for the Reds’ penultimate WSL outing.

First Half

It was end-to-end football from kickoff as both teams came firing, but United had the first chance of the game. Jess Sigsworth aimed a header at goal after Kirsty Hanson’s cross found her from the left, but her shot went well over the post. Bristol’s first chance came from Kiera Steels, whose attempt ricocheted off the bar after finding the ball from a corner.

It was an evenly contested match as Christen Press followed up immediately after with a chance for United. After her first strike at goal — she made a beautifully curled attempt from inside the box, manoeuvring around Bristol’s defence — was headed away, she fired in the rebound just wide of goal.

Bristol had the next chance as Ebony Salmon stole the ball from our captain Katie Zelem and charged towards goal. Her shot took a deflection, though, and Mary Earps collected it easily to deny the hosts. Bristol kept mounting the pressure as Salmon later found a brilliantly lobbed through ball and raced towards goal, but Earps did well to reduce the angle to deny Salmon yet again. Molly Pike looked to put the hosts ahead shortly after, but her header narrowly went wide of the post.

United needed a stroke of luck, and Lucy Staniforth provided just that from just outside the penalty box. Spotting Ella Toone’s run, she passed instead of going for goal herself, but Toone fired straight at keeper Sophie Baggaley. Staniforth tried her luck moments later with a low strike, but Baggaley pushed it just wide to deny United.

Baggaley had a busy first half and she was called on again at the stroke of half-time. Zelem and Toone linked up as Toone found some space in the box, but Baggaley dealt with the attempt easily.

Mary Earps denies former Red Ebony Salmon a goal at Twerton Park.
[2nd May, 2021. Bath, England, Getty Images.]

Second Half

Sigsworth charged straight into the penalty box as she sought to give her team the lead once play resumed. She aimed her shot just wide of the post as she raced in from the right in search for the first goal.

United did put the ball behind in the back of the net just before the hour mark; the assistant referee flagged Toone as offside though, having run ahead too soon to meet Amy Turner’s through ball.

With just over 10min left in the match, substitute Jackie Groenen drove forward and found Press to her left. Striker Jane Ross diverted Press’s low ball in for a goal, but it was given as an own goal by Bristol’s Yana Daniels because of a slight deflection.

Stoney’s team weren’t content sitting back to defend the lead and were looking for a second goal. Press saw her attempt from the left sail over the net, and Hanson launched a curled attempt just over.

Bristol fought until the end to get the equaliser, but the United defence held strong to deny the hosts as they took home all three points.

Stoney’s side will now be hoping to finish the WSL campaign strongly next Sunday when Everton are the visitors to Leigh Sports Village for a 14:30 BST kick-off in the final round of fixtures.

Wrap up

United’s hopes of securing a Champions League spot for next season are well and truly over despite Sunday’s victory. Earlier in the day, Arsenal beat Everton 2-1 to secure third. Meanwhile, Bristol have everything to play for in their final match of the season against Brighton. They need to win and hope that Aston Villa lose to the Gunners next weekend to avoid relegation.

The Reds’ play their final match on Sunday, May 9th at home against Everton.

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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