A stunning solo goal from Ebony Salmon set the tone for Bristol City to upset Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village in the first game of 2020.
Bristol City’s fantastic defensive performance gave them the perfect platform to get a shock win away to Man United.
The victory lifts the Robins off the bottom of the Women’s Super League table and marks their first win of the season.
Ebony Salmon opened the scoring for the Vixens in the first half with an incredible solo goal. She broke down the left before cutting in and slipping the ball calmly past Mary Earps in the Manchester United goal.
Sophie Baggaley put in an immense shift in between the sticks. She saved everything that Manchester United could create in the first half.
United did go close a few times, though. The Reds – who had won their previous four home games – had a shot cleared off the line on the stroke of halftime.
Elise Hughes was brought on in the dying embers of the first half to make her Bristol City debut. The on-loan forward struggled to make an impact on the game.
She was left stranded upfront with the focus on the defensive work her team was doing.
Suspenseful second half
United started the second half on the front foot too, winning a corner within seconds and a few minutes later going close through Amy Turner.
They dominated the second half but could not create any true clear-cut chances. Bristol City packed their box full of defenders and gave United no room to manoeuvre.
United brought on Lizzie Arnot, Jess Sigsworth and Ella Toone yet they still trailed.Embed from Getty Images
The Manchester side also had shouts for a penalty in the second half with a very audible handball shot from the crowd. Play continued only for Leah Galton to smash a shot over high and wide.
United were really unlucky not to get the equaliser. Sophie Baggaley denied them over and over, including one of the saves of the season from a Jackie Groenen shot from point-blank range.
Jess Sigsworth’s rebound then cannoned off the bar, straight down onto the goal line and out.
The fourth official flashed his sign to show six added minutes and United were revitalised again. The Reds kept pushing but it was not enough to grind out a result.
United have now lost five games this season. However, their fourth-place spot in the table is safe with Everton’s game against West Ham being postponed.