Russo voted United Women Player of the Month for March
Alessia Russo has been voted as Manchester United Women’s Player of the Month for March.
The forward – who was shortlisted alongside Reds team-mates Lucia Garcia and Ona Batlle – topped our fan poll in the United App, accumulating 60 per cent of the total selections.
It is the first time Alessia has won the award following its launch earlier this year, with Leah Galton previously claiming February's prize, after Mary Earps had triumphed in January's inaugural edition.
Why Russo is March's Player of the Month
Alessia certainly made her penalty-box presence known during the award-winning month...
Russo scored three goals in United Women’s four matches across the month of March – all of which came as she achieved a historic feat in the 5-1 win over Leicester City.
The England international became the club’s first-ever scorer of a WSL hat-trick, during the demolition of the Foxes at Leigh Sports Village, while also netting her first treble in a match as a Red.
In that contest, she would also provide the first of two assists in the month, when her innovative flick-on teed up Galton to get on the scoresheet.
Our no.23’s impact wasn’t limited to that outing however, and although she was denied any further goal contributions in the two following matches at Chelsea and Lewes, the forward remained at the heartbeat of United’s attack with another pair of lively showings.
So much so that in the win away to Lewes, her run to meet - and attempt to play - a Batlle cross in from the right led to the game’s opener, an own goal, in a fixture United would go on to win and thus set up our first-ever Vitality Women’s FA Cup semi-final.
In our final game of March, Alessia was denied adding to her career tally at Old Trafford but was full of energy again while spearheading our frontline, and did provide the moment of impetus that led to the breakthrough against West Ham.
Russo superbly took a ball - knocked down by Galton - under control, on the turn, before powering into the box, where her quick footwork on the turn would see her clipped by the defender and a penalty awarded. Katie Zelem converted the spot-kick – thus providing Russo with her second assist of the month by our reckoning - and the Reds went on to comfortably triumph 4-0.
Despite the majority of the vote that Alessia did claim, the forward had strong competition for the award following impressive contributions across the month from our Spanish duo Batlle and Garcia.
Lucia, who, like Russo, netted three times in the month, finished as the runner-up in the poll with 31 per cent of the vote, while Batlle accumulated eight per cent after another admirable run of performances from right-back, across which she notably registered four assists.
Thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to Alessia on winning the award for the first time.