Manchester United Women 2 Bristol City 0

Sunday 17 March 2024 14:36

Manchester United Women ran out 2-0 winners against Bristol City on Sunday in our latest WSL outing at Leigh Sports Village.

Lisa Naalsund opened the scoring after just nine minutes, as she weaved between the Robins' defence before placing a low effort that beat goalkeeper Shae Yanez.

Our no.16 grabbed a second with just minutes remaining to complete a fine brace, hooking the ball home from Katie Zelem's set-piece delivery.

United finished the game with a player advantage, after Bristol City's Jamie-Lee Napier was shown a red card in the closing stages, having picked up a second booking for a foul on Jayde Riviere.

Naalsund netted her first two league goals for United.

After just nine minutes, United took the lead thanks to a well-worked goal from Naalsund. Receiving the ball from Lucia Garcia, our no.16 delightfully rolled the ball past Megan Connolly before placing an effort into the bottom corner that beat Shae Yanez.

Marc Skinner's side continued to control the lion's share of possession and continually moved the ball around looking for a second goal. Ella Toone linked up with Garcia but couldn't find the decisive pass to open up the Robins' backline.

Another smart move from the Reds saw Riviere attempt to pick out Nikita Parris in behind, with her pass a little too heavy as the ball trickled out of play moments later.

At the other end, Connolly looked to get Bristol City back on terms. Her cross was tidily dealt with by Millie Turner, defending well to quell the visitors' advances.

As we approached the interval, the Reds almost made it two through Melvine Malard, but as the forward closed in on goal her effort just evaded the target, meaning the scoreline at the break would be 1-0.

It was City who started the second half the brighter of the two teams, as Emily Syme's clever flick was latched onto by Shania Hayles, who smashed an effort against the post, serving as an early let-off for United.

A cross from deep found Malard which marked her last action of the game, with the 23-year-old's connection just not strong enough as the ball bounced out for a goal-kick soon after. Geyse was soon brought on to replace our loanee.

A loose pass was quickly seized upon by Maya Le Tissier as our defender raced through on goal after an hour played. Unfortunately caught up by Robins defender Brooke Aspin, our quest for a second went on.

Garcia was the next player to try her luck, as the Spaniard cut in from the left to shoot from range. With most in LSV expecting the ball to loop into the back of the net, her strike was just a tad too high as Yanez was left relieved in the process.

Rachel Williams's presence up front brought further threat as we pushed for a second, with the experienced forward going close with a header that almost found the bottom corner.

But with just a few ticks remaining of eight additional minutes, a superb corner delivery from Zelem was headed home by Naalsund, who doubled both her own and our tally for the afternoon, helping to secure an important victory in the WSL.
It was great to see Geyse return to action! Our no.23 was back from representing Brazil at the Gold Cup.

Earps; Riviere, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Zelem, Naalsund; Malard (Geyse 58), Toone, Garcia; Parris (Williams 75).

Subs not used: Tullis-Joyce, Evans, Ladd, Aherne, Guerrero, Mannion, Rabjohn.

Goals: Naalsund 9, 90+5.

Bristol City: Yanez; Powell (Harrison 64), Aspin, Connolly, Struck (Stratigakis 63), Napier; Morgan (Evans, 90), Rodgers, Syme, Hayles (Ward 53), Thestrup.

Subs not used: Bentley, Bull, Clark, Kendall, Slocombe.

Booked: Harrison.

Sent off: Napier.