Manchester United Women 2 Brighton 0

Sunday 04 February 2024 13:57

Manchester United made it two consecutive home wins in the Women’s Super League, by seeing off Brighton & Hove Albion in a comprehensive 2-0 victory at Leigh Sports Village this afternoon.

Both goals were a mirror image of the other, coming from the link-up of Geyse down the right and Nikita Parris through the middle. 

A sweeping finish on each occasion means Parris now has eight league goals this term, having netted a second successive brace. 

Mary Earps was called into action before the interval, with an excellent acrobatic save denying Elisabeth Terland, and helping the Reds to keep an eighth clean sheet in all competitions in 2023/24. 
An evenly contested first nine minutes preceded our opening goal of the game, when Geyse and Parris linked up to break the deadlock. 

Already causing problems down the right-hand side, Geyse regained possession before bursting towards the byline and beyond her defender, pulling it back into the box where Parris was on her toes ready to bounce. Our no.22 swept the ball into the back of the net to put United 1-0 up. 

After establishing our one-goal advantage, it become one-way traffic at LSV with United dominating proceedings. Geyse once again provided a creative outlet for the Reds, creating chances down the right, but unlike her first cut-back into the box, no one was there to meet her next one. Skinner’s side continued to search for a second goal before the break, with Ella Toone whipping a teasing ball into the back post but the Seagulls defended resolutely. 
Our visitors had their best and only real clear-cut chance of the first half when Terland forced Earps to make a sublime save. Lee Geum-min dinked a great ball into the Norwegian, who burst into the box before unleashing a thunderous volley on target but Earps’ reflexes enabled her tip it over the bar and keep the south-coast club at bay. 

Play was halted momentarily after the half-hour mark, when a collision with Poppy Pattinson led to Jayde Riviere needing treatment from our medical team. Unfortunately, the Canadian could not continue, so she was replaced by Gemma Evans, with the Welsh defender slotting in at left-back and Hannah Blundell switching to the right for the remainder of the game. 

United continued the surge forward for another goal, and a more comfortable advantage heading into half-time, but Toone’s skewed effort bounced wide of the mark after being found just inside the area by Geyse. The Brazilian was almost impossible for the opposition defenders to deal with as we went into the interval a goal to the good.
Geyse was a standout performer in the Reds' victory this afternoon.
United came out for the second 45 hungry for that elusive second goal, as we looked to re-establish our dominance in the game. It was, however, tough to create anything with a stop-start nature that saw a handful of bookings handed out by the referee to our visitors. 

The breathing room we were looking for finally came after the hour mark, in an almost carbon copy of the first goal with Geyse and Parris linking up once more to make it 2-0. Our Brazilian winger picked up the ball with intent down the right, gliding past defenders before rolling a pass into the foot of Parris, whose sweeping shot flew past former Reds goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley and into the bottom corner. 

Parris went in search of her hat-trick moments later, linking up with Leah Galton. Our no.11 slipped the ball in behind for our no.22, but before she could get her shot on goal, former team-mate Maria Thorisdottir was quickly across to put in a crucial block for Brighton.
High-fives all round as Parris makes it 2-0.
With a comfortable lead in the bag, United continued to pile on the pressure against the Brighton backline, creating chances as the clock ticked down. Katie Zelem’s teasing cross found the head of second-half substitute Melvine Malard, but Baggaley was equal to it. 

The Seagulls, despite chasing the game, couldn’t quite get a foothold in the proceedings to navigate a route back into the game. After making a fine save in the first half, Earps was largely untested in the second, with Sunday’s visitors struggling to create anything clear-cut after the break. 

Attention for the Reds now turns to next weekend, when we take on Championship side Southampton in the fifth round of the Adobe Women's FA Cup. 
Ella Toone points out an opening for United.


United XI:
Earps; Riviere (Evans 33), Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Naalsund, Zelem, Toone (Guerrero 77); Geyse (Williams 77), Parris (Malard 77), Garcia (Galton 57).

Substitutes: Tullis-Joyce, Ladd, Aherne.

Parris 9, 64.

Baggaley; Kullberg, Bergsvand, Thorisdottir (Carabali 80), Pattinson (Mengwen 74); Robinson, Zigiotti Olme, Losada (Symonds 73), Sarri (Dent 80); Terland, Lee (Pinto 63).

Startup, Loeck.

Terland 55; Lee 58.