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Match Report: Birmingham 0-2 Manchester United Women

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United Women bounced back from last weekend’s crushing defeat with a 2-0 victory away at Birmingham.

United dominated possession from the start but it was Birmingham who had the first chance of the half, but in acres of space the Blues dragged it wide.

The Reds pass accuracy had vastly improved from their home defeat to Chelsea which saw them undone by sloppy errors at the back.

It was Leah Galton who made the breakthrough for the Reds in the 27th minute, on her 50th start for the club.

Hannah Blundell had a great run into the box and cut it back to Galton, who fired it home from a tight angle. The away fans were audible in their delight.

Ella Toone had a brilliant first half, showing great control with the ball, some technical skills in the box and caused problems for the Birmingham backline throughout.

The link up play was strong and United used the wider areas much better than in previous games but they struggled to find the target again in the first half.

After being booked early on and giving away a couple of free-kicks, Lucy Staniforth made way at half time for Kirsty Hanson.

Birmingham had a good spell after the break and forced a number of saves from Mary Earps, who had had nothing to do in the first half.

United kept their cool and regained possession. Jackie Groenen, still searching for her first United goal, looked like she had found the top corner as she turned and struck from outside the penalty area but it went just wide.

Blundell also had a chance to double the lead but fired her shot over the bar whilst Toone lobbed the keeper and rattled the woodwork.

The Blues could only hold United off for so long as captain Katie Zelem calmly waited for the space to play the ball to Hannah Blundell who passed it along the face of goal for Toone to tap it in.

Statistics showed United made 518 successful passes compared to Birmingham’s 134, a vast improvement from last week. It was a fantastic team performance.

Team: Earps, Blundell, Batlle, Thorisdottir, Mannion, Zelem, Groenen, Toone, Russo (Risa 71), Galton (Jones 90+2), Staniforth (Hanson 45)

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