United Women 5 Leicester City 1

Sunday 05 March 2023 15:00

Manchester United Women have extended our lead at the top of the Women’s Super League after a recording an emphatic 5-1 victory against Leicester City at Leigh Sports Village.

Alessia Russo’s hat-trick and strikes from Leah Galton and Lucia Garcia saw Marc Skinner’s side move four points clear of second-placed Chelsea in the table, having played two games more than the Blues.

United looked totally dominant in the first half, and opened the scoring early on when Russo smashed the ball past Janina Leitzig with 15 minutes on the clock. Russo then doubled the lead with a powerful header at the back post towards the end of the first half to give the Reds a two-goal lead at the break.

In the second half, Russo’s back-post strike restored our two-goal lead after Remy Siemsen had halved the deficit for Leicester. Our no.23 also provided an assist for Galton on 64 minutes, with the winger going through on goal before beating Leitzig at the far post.

Substitute Garcia got in on the scoring in the latter stages, dancing past the Leicester defence and curling the ball into the back of the net to seal the three points for Skinner's side.

Alessia Russo was in superb form against the Foxes, scoring three times and providing an assist.


United started the game on the front foot, pressing the Leicester penalty area from the very first minute. The Reds almost took an early lead when Martha Thomas’s low right-wing cross found Russo, but our no.23's effort was blocked at the near post.

Moments later, Ella Toone made a darting run into the box, sliding the ball to Galton. The left-winger picked out Hayley Ladd on the edge of the area, who laid the ball back into the path of Toone, but her shot was saved by Leitzig.

But after 15 minutes, the opening goal finally came. Toone’s initial shot was saved well by Leicester keeper and the German was quick to stop the follow-up from Russo. The attack would not end there, however, as Thomas kept the ball in the area and found our no.23, who fired the ball into the back of the net.

United kept Leicester quiet in the first 45 minutes, with the Foxes' best chance coming from Hannah Cain cutting in from left-wing, but her shot sailed wide of Mary Earps’s goal.

Meanwhile, United continued to press the opposition half, and made it 2-0 on 36 minutes. Toone again was involved in the play, as her perfectly weighted pass found the run of Ona Batlle on the right-hand side. The Spaniard's first-time cross found Russo at the back post and the quick header crept in, beyond Leitzig.

The Reds carried a 2-0 lead into the half-time interval, much to the enjoyment of our supporters at LSV.

Ella Toone was a constant threat to the Leicester defence all afternoon.


Leicester came out a much stronger side at the start of the second half, and got a goal back just three minutes after the restart. Josie Green managed to get Siemsen in behind the United defence and the Australian fired past Earps to bring the Foxes back into the game.

United responded almost instantly, with a quickly-taken corner resulting in a Thomas header that managed to beat the entire Leicester defence to find Russo at the back post. The striker made no mistake to restore the Reds' two-goal advantage and complete her hat-trick.

The goals would keep on coming for United, with Russo turning provider to lay the ball off to Galton, who hit a sweet strike past Letizig to make it 4-1.

Leah Galton made it 4-1 with 64 minutes on the clock.

United’s search for a fifth goal was relentless, as Ladd forced Leitzig into a great save before Russo was denied her fourth by the post.

But the Reds did make it 5-1 in the closing stages, through link-up play between substitutes Vilde Boe Risa and Garcia. The former found the latter with a pinpoint through ball. and Garcia forced her way into the penalty area before curling the ball past the Leicester 'keeper at the far post to wrap up a resounding victory for United.

Lucia Garcia's late goal made it 5-1.


United XI: Earps, Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell, Zelem, Ladd (Cascarino 71), Thomas (Parris, 66), Toone (Boe Risa 71),  Galton (Garcia 79), Russo (Williams 79).

Subs: Baggaley, Mannion, Naalsund, Leon.

Goals: Russo 15, 36, 53, Galton 64, Garcia 84.

Leicester XI: Leitzig, Reavill, Howard, Plumptre, Nevin, Tierney (Pike 77), Mace, Green (Robinson 77), Whelan, Cain, Siemsen (Goodwin 55).

Subs: Purfield, Levell, Baker, Smith.

Goal: Siemsen 48. 

Tickets for United Women's eagerly awaited game at Old Trafford, against West Ham on Saturday 25 March, are available now from manutd.com/tickets, or by clicking the button below.

More United Women content: