Manchester United earned a huge three points against Arsenal on Wednesday night to move four points clear at the top of the Women’s Super League table.
Alessia Russo popped up with the only goal of the match at Leigh Sports Village to put a dent in the Gunners’ title hopes. As it stands, United lead the pack with 44 points, while Arsenal remain in third, level with Manchester City on 38 points.
Second-placed Chelsea boast an advantageous two games in-hand over the leaders, leaving a lot of life still left in this WSL title race.Embed from Getty Images
Man United vs Arsenal — Starting XIs
Earps; Battle, Mannion, Blundell, Toone, Zelem (c), Galton, Ladd, Le Tissier, Parris, Russo
Zinsberger; Wienroither, Wubben-Moy, Rafaelle, Maritz, Williamson (c), Walti, Maanum, Pelova, Kuhl, Blackstenius
Alessia Russo bags important goal for Man United
With Arsenal plagued with an extensive injury list, the sight of Leah Williamson requiring treatment on what appeared to be a knee injury just 12 minutes in would no doubt have filled fans’ hearts with dread. The England captain appeared to sustain the issue with no contact apparent.
As the match resumed following a substitution, the visitors appeared to take some time getting back into their rhythm. Throughout the first half, both sides had good chances, however the opening goal of the tie would come during the prolonged period of injury time.
Russo capitalised on a strong United attack, firing the ball home into the bottom corner past Manuela Zinsberger.Embed from Getty Images
As the second half got underway, there were initial strong spells of play for both sides. Both Jonas Eidevall and Marc Skinner made changes as they searched for a way to get past their opponent.
A strong 20 minutes for Arsenal saw the hosts forced to defend, however despite good chances from the Gunners, United were able to maintain their slender lead.
The three points see United go six points clear of Arsenal, however the Gunners do have a game in hand. Emma Hayes’ Chelsea side now sit four points behind the Reds with their two game advantage.
Manchester United will next face Aston Villa away before taking on Tottenham at home. Meanwhile, Arsenal will play Wolfsburg away for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, before facing the German side at the Emirates Stadium.