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Monday, March 20, 2023

Tottenham Women 1-2 Man United Women: Marc Skinner’s side return to top of WSL with win despite Ella Toone seeing red

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Manchester United returned to the top of the Women’s Super League after edging Spurs 2-1 in a fiery encounter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, despite midfielder Ella Toone seeing red. Leah Galton, scoring her fifth goal of the season, had given the visitors a deserved lead (67) but Marc Skinner’s side were pegged back by a wonderful solo strike from Bethany England (75). The celebrations were ultimately short-lived, though, after Molly Bartrip turned substitute Lucia Garcia’s cross into her own net just 14 seconds after Spurs drew level (76).Tempers flared thereafter, as Toone clashed with Eveliina Summanen before losing her cool and raising her hand to the Norwegian international, leaving the referee no choice but to serve Toone her marching orders (80). Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Ella Toone was sent-off after she reacted angrily to a tackle from Eveliina Summanen and shoved the Tottenham midfielder on the floor. The midfielder now faces a three-game suspension and will be absent for United’s trip to title rivals Chelsea on March 12. “You can’t hide from the fact she’s one of United’s best players – it’s a big miss,” former England international Fern Whelan said. How the teams lined up | Match stats WSL news | Fixtures | TableGet Sky Sports | Download the Sky Sports App Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Bethany England hits back for Tottenham with a superb solo goal as she cut in from the left and curled a shot inside the far post. Skinner’s side managed to limp over the finish line, nonetheless, and have re-entered the title race as a result – they now hold a one-point advantage over Chelsea having played a game more. “After last week, drawing 0-0 with Everton, we felt a lot of frustration,” scorer Galton told Sky Sports afterwards. “We’re relieved. We need to keep it positive and keep showing up to every game.” How United overcame Spurs Image: Manchester United players celebrate their side’s second goal of the game, an own goal by Tottenham’s Molly Bartrip (not pictured) It wasn’t until the 67th minute that the game exploded into life, with Galton showing immense composure to convert Ona Batlle’s endeavour into a tangible advantage.The full-back had been making enterprising runs all game but was failing to find a target with searching deliveries into the box, until Galton appeared in the right place at the right time to rifle the ball beyond the clutches of Tinja-Riikka Korpela.Spurs levelled shortly after through January signing England, who responded to her Lionesses snub superbly by scoring a fourth goal for her new club, only for Bartrip’s mistake to cost Rehanne Skinner’s side a share of the points. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Tottenham were level for barely a minute after Molly Bartrip miscued her clearance and diverted Lucia Garcia’s cross past her own keeper. “It was good TV, I’d imagine,” opposite number Skinner summarised post-match. “We’re not here to bank up, we’re here to attack. That’s the Manchester United style,” he added, before revealing plans to appeal Toone’s dismissal.The defeat means Spurs have suffered a seventh consecutive loss in the league, leaving them vulnerable at the wrong end of the table, while United leapfrog Emma Hayes’ Chelsea to go top.Skinner: We’re title contenders | We’ll appeal Toone red Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Manchester United manager Marc Skinner criticised Eveliina Summanen’s role in Ella Toone’s red card. Manchester United manager Marc Skinner: “To come back in this nature once we conceded, which was not good enough from us, it shows true character. The players were trying to fix the frustration before half-time.”Leah [Galton] is deadly. It’s a great finish, she finds the only gap. We deserved it, I felt that. If you want extra forwards in attacks you must ask full-backs to provide the width – we have two of the best full-backs in doing that.”I expect us to move the ball quicker. One and two touch through the lines then use the width. We were a bit passive and that’s not us. We were quicker second half. We knew we could get behind them. They never cease to amaze me. They are showing a real growth and an attitude to want to be successful. Image: Ella Toone receives a red card after reacting to a foul “There is pressure, being a manager or a player of Manchester United means pressure. But we are title contenders. I am not coaching robots, I’m coaching players that are organic and who will learn. When the big pressure moments come they know they can rely on me to take them and they can just do their jobs.”Speaking about Toone’s dismissal, Marc Skinner added: “We want our players to show passion, commitment and energy. Look, it’s play-acting in my opinion. That’s not hurt her [Summanen]. I want to see that from her [Toone]. I want to see passion in our players. For me, it’s something we’ll work on internally because we have to be accountable but you need a bit of help from other players also. I will appeal the red card, yes.”Rehanne Skinner: January additions have moved us forward Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Rehanne Skinner says Tottenham’s losing streak is not a fair reflection of their performances and they were very close to a result against Manchester United. Tottenham manager Rehanne Skinner:”We showed belief and confidence from the first whistle to the last,” said Rehanne Skinner, asked if she was concerned by the seven-game losing streak. “It’s hard to take. We couldn’t get it over the line and we’re disappointed with that.”Since I came [to Tottenham] we were always on a journey of building a team. The first half of the season didn’t go to plan for loads of different reasons.”We have to start to get pieces of the jigsaw together. We had two great transfers in the window that have helped us move forward. The vision and the goal hasn’t changed in that period of time.”Speaking about England’s national team omission, Skinner added: “Beth has got to keep working on what she can control. Sarina [Wiegman] has got to make decisions based on what she feels is right for the team.”Analysis: United capable of pushing Chelsea Image: Leah Galton netted her fifth of an impressive WSL campaign Sky Sports’ Laura Hunter:Marc Skinner described Leah Galton as “deadly” after the game. He was speaking about her effectiveness in front of goal. The forward is so difficult to pick up, because her movement is intentionally late, arriving in the box just at the moment the ball does. She’s a defender’s nightmare. Once she’s got the ball at her feet with a sight of goal most are powerless to stop the aftermath.All of United’s front four were effective, in different ways. Alessia Russo’s mere presence disturbed Spurs’ backline – she dragged them out of shape, while Nikita Parris was United’s ball carrier. She collected forward passes and was bullish and direct, outmuscling defenders to force openings. Ella Toone’s afternoon was blighted by a loss of discipline late on but she was the pivot – the connection between midfield and attack. An integral link in the chain.The youthful exuberance of both Russo and Toone works perfectly with the experience of Galton and Parris on either flank. It’s the ideal blend. For that reason, I think they are in with a shout of the WSL crown this season. “We’re title contenders,” Marc Skinner happily admitted to Sky Sports. They are a part of the title-chasing crop, at the very least. Chelsea will take some stopping but if any team are equipped to go toe-to-toe it’s this talented United side.What’s next?Tottenham host Reading in the FA Cup on Sunday February 26 at 12pm before returning to WSL action at Manchester City. The game kicks off at 2pm on Sunday March 5.Manchester United are visited by Durham Women in the FA Cup before hosting Leicester in the WSL on Sunday March 5 at 12.30pm.

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