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Match report: Reading Women 1 – 3 Manchester United Women

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United women have furthered their chances of Champions League football next year as they beat Reading 3-1 on the road.

United got off to a flying start with Alessia Russo almost putting them in front as she hit the bar after 17 seconds.

It was Leah Galton though that broke the deadlock after five minutes, heading in a cross from Hannah Blundell.

Three minutes later Captain Katie Zelem had a shot but it was straight at the Royals’ keeper.

United’s lead didn’t last long though, as a poor pass from Blundell sixteen minutes in fell straight to Rose, who levelled things up.

Marc Skinner called for a response and the girls delivered. Less than ten minutes later, Russo played Galton in. She took it round Grace Moloney and found the back of the net.

Though she hadn’t got herself on the score sheet yet, Ella Toone was having a superb game, creating chances and troubling the Reading defence.

United had further chances, Toone played Thomas in but Cooper cleared it off the line.

Batlle too thought she’d got her name on the scoresheet as her shot came off the crossbar and seemed to cross the line but the officials ruled no goal so it was up to Russo to follow up on the rebound and she made no mistake. It was 3-1 United.

The second half began with Reading having the first chance but United’s defence stood firm.

Earps showed why she’s United’s and England’s number one between the sticks, pulling off a fantastic save to keep the score at 3-1.

There were a couple of questionable decisions. United had a good shout for a penalty after Thomas was brought down in the box but the officials waved play on.

The final whistle felt a lifetime away for United’s defence, who were looking shaky as fatigue set in.

The points solidified the Reds’ intentions for chasing Champions League places.

Team: Earps, Thorisdottir, Blundell, Toone, Thomas, Zelem, Galton (Boe Risa 89), Groenen, Caldwell, Batlle, Russo (Hanson 70)

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