Match Report: Leicester City 0-1 Manchester United

Photo: @ManUtdWomen

Manchester United maintained their perfect start to the Barclays Women’s Super League season after overcoming a valiant and resilient Leicester City by a single goal at King Power Stadium.

Leicester came into this game off the back of a difficult start to their WSL season that has seen them fail to pick up a point whilst only scoring once.

For United on the other hand it’s the total opposite, with their form, much like their shirt, being red hot, meaning they came in top of the table and unbeaten.

The first major chance of the game came with just short of five minutes gone when a promising attacking move from the Foxes allowed Natasha Flint to send a superb ball to the feet of Jemma Purfield, with the resulting effort forcing a stop out of Mary Earps in the United goal.

The visitors had a big chance of their own not long after, with Ella Toone sending a short pass in the box towards Hannah Blundell, but the latter’s shot was well-saved by Kirstie Levell, much to the appreciation of the home crowd.

As the game hit the 25 minute mark, Leicester’s defence continued to hold firm and they were proving effective at stopping United in their tracks, with the most notable chance being a Katie Zelem free-kick for the visitors that failed to trouble Levell.

The deadlock was finally broken on the 33 minute mark after Zelem whipped a wide-angled free-kick towards the head of Nikita Parris, who steered the ball past Levell to give United the lead and end the Foxes’ up to this point valiant resistance.

Following this, the half would fizzle out with little of note happening, meaning that United went in with a hard-earned but slender lead that they would no doubt be looking to extend after the break.

The second-half began with the visitors keeping possession well, but they were nearly caught out when Earps failed to clear the ball properly and was caught off her line by Aileen Whelan, but the Leicester captain was unable to capitalise.

Immediately after, the home side had a corner found the feet of Josie Green, who unleashed a stunning effort that forced a last-ditch save out of Earps to keep United ahead and give them a massive wake-up call.

United had their first notable chance of the half past the hour mark after a passing move that led to the ball finding substitute Rachel Williams, but Levell comfortably dealt with her tame effort.

The visitors nearly had a second on 80 minutes after some poor distribution from Levell allowed Parris to send Toone briefly one-on-one with the Leicester keeper, but her effort was deflected and bounced out for an uneventful corner.

United would manage the game well in the closing stages, allowing them to hold on and secure a narrow win against a Leicester side who looked like anything but the bottom of the table side, with them having nothing to be ashamed of after a strong performance.

Leicester XI: Levell; Simon, Howard, Tierney, Plumptre, Purfield; Pike, Whelan, Green (Scofield 84); Goodwin (Baker 71), Flint (Bott 84). 
Unused subs: Lambourne, Vance, McManus, Jones, Smith.

Bookings: Howard 7; Plumptre 20. 

United XI: Earps; Thorisdottir (Moore 90), Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell (Thomas 61); Zelem, Staniforth (Ladd 61); Garcia (Williams 61), Toone, Galton; Parris. 
Unused subs: Baggaley, Tounkara, Boe Risa, Leon. 

Goals: Parris 30.  

Bookings: Zelem 58, Toone 90. 

📸 @ManUtdWomen

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