Vilde Boe Risa scores for Man Utd

Manchester United Women 5 Durham 0

Sunday 26 February 2023 14:30

Manchester United Women are into the last eight of the FA Cup following a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Championship side Durham.

Despite a frustrating opening for Marc Skinner’s side, the Reds were able to go into the break a goal to the good following a phenomenal Vilde Boe Risa free-kick that broke the deadlock just moments before the half-time whistle. 

The game opened up in the second 45 minutes, with United reaping the rewards. Leah Galton was the first to get on the scoresheet after the break, finishing off Katie Zelem’s searching ball over the top. After the hour mark, a full-back to full-back combination saw us get our third of the afternoon, with Ona Batlle setting up Hannah Blundell. 

Second-half substitute Alessia Russo headed home from Zelem’s lofted free-kick into the box to make it four before Nikita Parris reacted quickest to put the game to bed as we booked our spot in the quarter-finals of the competition. 
United are into the hat for the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

The Reds were quick to make a lively start in front of the Leigh Sports Village faithful this afternoon, demonstrating nice link-up play between midfield and attack. 

For all our possession in the opening stages, though, the first real chance didn’t come until the 15th minute. Zelem lifted a teasing ball into the box, met by the head of Galton but Durham’s shot-stopper Naoisha McAloon was equal to it. 

Minutes later, an in-swinging cross from Batlle resulted in a mix-up at the back from the visitors, before ushering the ball out for a corner. Galton curled the set-piece into the box, but Millie Turner’s thumping header flew over the bar. 
At the 30-minute mark, the visitors had a big chance as Mollie Lambert won possession just outside our area, before opting to unleash a thumping effort on goal. Mary Earps was alert to the danger, though, and made a big save to deny Durham the lead. 

Ten minutes later, Boe Risa delivered a moment of magic to break the deadlock and send us into half-time in great spirits. Our Norwegian no.8 stood over a free-kick, won by Blundell, and buried it into the top corner – completely out of reach for the diving McAloon, who couldn’t get a glove on Boe Risa’s unstoppable strike. 
Leah Galton and Hannah Blundell were on target to add our second and third goals of the game.

United came out for the second half with a mark of real intent, flooding the opposition half in search of a second goal. Though for a few moments it looked as though Durham were threatening to get back into this one, the Reds were two-up just seven minutes into the second 45. 

Much like our opener, it was yet another sublime goal from Skinner’s side to put a dent in Durham's hopes. Zelem’s searching ball over the top was right into the path of Galton who, one-on-one with the keeper, made no mistake in lifting the ball over McAloon to double United’s lead. 

To the delight of our home fans, we had no intention of stopping there. The Reds camped inside the opposition's half, peppering the goal at any given opportunity – and Blundell soon added a third after the hour mark. In the same passage of play, Boe Risa rattled the crossbar before Batlle picked up the loose ball and played it into her fellow full-back, with our no.6 taking the shot first time on the half-volley and sweeping it into the bottom corner. 
A thumping header from Alessia Russo made it 4-0.
A handful of changes in the final 20 minutes included Russo entering the fray and our no.23 needed just five minutes to make her impact known. Zelem was creator for the Reds once again, lifting a dangerous free-kick into the box where Russo rose highest to head up and over McAloon. 

Even with four games under our belt, the front line played with real ruthlessness to continue carving out chances on goal. Minutes before the end, that would pay off as Parris put the finishing touch to a five-star afternoon to poke home our fifth of the game. 

The Reds become the first of the last 16 to book our place in the quarter-finals of the competition. 
Nikita Parris finished off a five-star performance from Skinner's side.

United: Earps; Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell (Mannion 74); Ladd, Zelem; Garcia (Parris 58), Boe Risa (Russo 73), Galton (Leon 73); Thomas (Williams 73). 

Unused substitutes: Baggaley, Thorisdottir, Toone, Tounkara.

Goals: Boe Risa 42; Galton 52; Blundell 67, Russo 78, Parris 88.

Durham: McAloon; Robert (Salicki 70), McFadden, Wilson, Ayre; Hepple, Lambert, Crosthwaite (Christon 75); Galloway (Noonan 61), Clarke (Farrugia 70), Bradley (Briggs 70). 

Unused substitutes: Saunders, Hardy. 

Bookings: Robson 76.