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Match report: Manchester United Women 0-2 Arsenal

by Zoe Hodges

On a difficult day for the whole club as legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was relieved of his duties for the men’s side, attention turned to the women.

But there was little to lift fans’ spirits as Marc Skinner’s Manchester United suffered a 2-0 defeat at home in the WSL to league leaders Arsenal.

United were pressing well in the opening five minutes, it looked like it could be a promising afternoon for the Reds who were fresh off the back of a derby victory.

However, when Arsenal won possession they were clinical in their passing. Their first shot came in the sixth minute but United were saved by the crossbar.

Blundell was a stand out player for United in that first half, she showed a desire to win the ball first, made good runs and put Arsenal under pressure.

Further up the field, Lessi Russo was getting pushed off the ball too easily, the ref saw nothing in it whilst Arsenal won a series of questionable free kicks.

United seemed scared to turn with the ball and push forwards and played themselves into trouble by passing back.

Earps pulled off a great save to keep the scores level as they went in all square at half time.

Shortly after the restart, Arsenal took the lead through Miedema. The United defence gave Arsenal too much time and space and Miedema struck from the edge of the box.

United lacked belief after that as they made poor choices going forward.

Mannion, who had had a solid first half, brought down McCabe in the penalty area. Earps went the right way but couldn’t get a hand to it as McCabe doubled the Gunners’ lead.

The most promising chance for United came from captain Katie Zelem who hadn’t had such a good game until that point. She made a good run through the middle, connected with the ball first time but hit it straight at the keeper.

Shortly after Arsenal once again rattled the crossbar with 15 minutes to go.

Skinner made changes but it was too little too late as Carrie Jones, who has just signed her first senior contract with the club, replaced Kirsty Hanson.

The youngster brought a new energy and belief to the team and had a good shot in the final minute that went just wide.

A disappointing afternoon for the Reds as they struggle to really get to grips with the league this season.

Team: Earps, Thorisdottir, Batlle, Mannion, Zelem (Boe Risa) Staniforth, Blundell, Toone, Russo, Zelem, Hanson (Jones)

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