Spurs 0 United Women 4

Sunday 10 December 2023 20:58

Manchester United Women returned to action with a win, triumphing 4-0 away to Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays Women's Super League on Sunday.

Hannah Blundell's teasing ball into the box was ultimately awarded to her after the match, with Melvine Malard's move to get a touch on it outfoxing the goalkeeper for United to take the lead.

Ella Toone added a second just after the interval, before Malard got a third with a cushioned finish on the edge of the area. 

On her return to the starting XI, Hayley Ladd finished off a standout performance in the middle of the park with a sublime finish to seal all three points for the Marc Skinner's side. 
Back from the international break, the Reds came into this game looking for three points that would see us close the gap between fourth and the current top three. 

A relatively even start would, however, see the hosts enjoy more of the early chances, with Celin Bizet forcing Earps into an early save. On her return from injury, Bethany England was denied a warm welcome back by Maya Le Tissier, who stood tall to pull out a goal-saving block less than 10 minutes in. 

United soon grew into the game, and began carving out a handful of chances. Blundell was on the end of one of those, latching onto a loose ball in the back with a thumping half-volley that was subsequently blocked by an opposing defender. 
Our next sight of goal fell at the feet of Leah Galton, following slick play down the left between Malard and Jayde Riviere. It was the latter who slipped the ball into our no.11, but her effort was lashed over the bar after taking a deflection, though the corner resulted in nothing. 

We would eventually find the breakthrough on the half-hour mark, after a crucial tackle in the middle of the park from Hayley Ladd regained possession, before Blundell’s teasing ball into the box crept in at the back post. Malard claimed it, but after the match it was confirmed that the France international didn't manage to get the telling touch on it.

After falling behind, Spurs pushed on in an attempt to get back on level terms with Skinner’s side, but resolute defending at the back saw the Reds head into the break a goal to the good. 
A crucial block from Le Tissier denied Bethany England early on.
After a half in which several chances went amiss, the Reds looked to set things right in the second half with a more clinical display - and it would take just five minutes after the interval to do just that. 

A pin-point pass into the path of Malard from Le Tissier would see the French forward hold play up expertly, before lofting the ball over the backline for the onrushing Ella Toone. Our no.7 won the foot race with goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer to dink her effort over the Jamaica international and double our lead. 

Not long after, Malard added United's third of the match. Picking the ball up in the middle, Ladd went on a winding run towards goal before being tumbled to the ground on the edge of the area, but it fell into the feet of Malard who cushioned the ball into the bottom corner.
Toone was back among the goals for United.
Spurs continued to search for a route back into the game with a handful of chances falling their way, though nothing clear-cut. Both Martha Thomas and Bizet had relatively tame strikes held comfortably by Mary Earps between the sticks. 

Their attempts for a late comeback would soon be stunted by United’s fourth of the game, in the form of a sublime Ladd strike. Patient play around the edge of the area eventually saw second-half substitute Lucia Garcia lay it off to the Wales international, who displayed excellent technique to lift it into the top corner and leave Spencer stranded to her position. 

Next up for Skinner’s Reds is a visit from Leicester City in the Continental League Cup on Thursday 14 December, as we look to continue our trophy charge this season. 
A standout display in the middle of the park from Hayley Ladd.

Spurs XI: Spencer; Zardorsky, Bartrip, Turner, Neville; Percival, James; Bizet (Petzelberger 80), Thomas (Linyan 80), Naz (Ayane 56); England (Graham 56). 

Unused substitutes: Votikova, Ale, Buhler, Pearse, Boughton. 

Bookings: Naz 49.

United XI: Earps; Riviere, Le Tissier, Turner (Evans 87), Blundell; Ladd, Zelem, Toone (Naalsund 87); Galton (Williams 82), Malard (Geyse 67), Parris (Garcia 67). 

Unused substitutes: Middleton-Patel, Tullis-Joyce.

Goals: Blundell 29; Toone 51;  Malard 59; Ladd 84.