An Ella Toone masterclass puts Manchester United top of the WSL following their 4-0 win over Brighton.
A first half double from Toone coupled with strikes from Leah Galton and Adriana Leon ensured there was no let up from Marc Skinner’s side as they enjoyed a routine win.
The had coach handed starts to both Nikita Parris and Lucy Staniforth, with Alessia Russo ruled out due to injury. Hayley Ladd was named among the substitutes for the afternoon.
For Hope Powell’s side, Emma Kullberg and Danielle Carter both returned to the starting XI.Embed from Getty Images
Toone on song for United
The home side dominated the opening throws of the game and almost took the lead when Lucía Garcia’s cross-turned-shot crept beyond Megan Walsh in the Brighton goal. Thankfully for the stopper, it sailed over.
Despite early United dominance, it was Geum-min Lee who had the best chance of the opening exchanges when Poppy Pattinson’s excellent cross fell to her in the box. However, she will have been disappointed to fire wide.
It came back to bite the Seagulls almost instantly thanks to an inch-perfect cross from Ona Batlle. The Spaniard’s found the head of Toone, who nodded home to give her side a deserved lead.Embed from Getty Images
On the 20 minute mark, Toone almost doubled the lead for United when she was set free deep into the Brighton half. The pacey midfielder drove to the edge of the box before unleashing a fierce shot but, disappointingly, it was straight at Walsh.
Toone grabbed her second just five minutes later when a defence-splitting pass from Staniforth played Galton through on goal. She then unselfishly laid the ball onto the Euro 2022 hero, who made no mistake.
United’s No.7 repaid the favour shortly after, providing an excellent through ball for Galton to tuck away to complete the first half masterclass.
There was much less action in the second half as Brighton tightened up and United settled in with the lead.
Substitute Adriana Leon sealed the win on 78 minutes after blasting home from close range following another Galton assist.
The wins means United movs to the summit after a 100 percent start to their WSL season. Although, Arsenal could leapfrog them with a win against Reading later this evening, while Brighton remain in ninth.Embed from Getty Images
Earps; Batlle (Thorisdottir, 90), Blundell (Thomas, 46), Toone (Leon, 66), Zelem (c), Galton, Le Tissier, Garcia (Boe Risa 66), Turner, Parris (Williams 81), Staniforth (Ladd, 66)
Walsh; Fox, Pattinson (Sarri, 46), Lee, Zigiotti, Terland, Green, Kullberg, Carter (Park, 71), Williams (c), Robinson