With Everton’s draw, Manchester United loses the top spot
Everton held Manchester United to a terribly disappointing goalless draw at Leigh Sports Village, moving them up to first place in the Women’s Super League.
On a hectic afternoon, Marc Skinner’s team blew several excellent chances, which allowed rival Chelsea to defeat Tottenham 3-2 and take the lead in the WSL.
Ella Toone, an England international, hit the post in the second half after Lucia Garcia’s strike just missed the crossbar in the first. This was more than enough for United to win the game.
Jess Park of Everton, who is on loan from Manchester City, nearly upset the result late on when she missed wide after sustained pressure from United.
United slipped two points behind Chelsea in the race for the championship, but the Blues held on to earn an incredible point.
“The way the game was played definitely cost them two points. We generated enough opportunities to win the match. We must be prepared to accept them “manager of United, Skinner.
“Because they want to be the top team in the nation, our players want to be held accountable. They will take responsibility for the opportunities they missed.
“Even if we are expanding quickly, there are still times when you need to use those little nuances of quality. To energize us, we must utilize it properly.”
United is penalized for lost opportunities
The fact that United did more than enough to earn all three points but lacked ruthlessness may prove to be a decisive outcome in the title battle.
Following United’s rejection of two world-record offers from Arsenal to sign the England striker in the final day of the January transfer window, Alessia Russo has dominated the news this week.
However, Russo, who missed a chance in the first half, was thwarted by Everton’s valiant defense.
Everton under Brian Sorensen was put to the test all game long as United came out strong in the second half while forwards Garcia and Russo and fullback Ona Batlle had opportunities in the first.
Leah Galton set up Toone for the best opportunity, but she was only able to narrowly miss the outside of the goal post.
A nervous audience of more than 5,000 grew as United pressed forward in search of a victory, and a few defensive slip-ups almost gave Everton a startling lead.
After Batlle made a mistake, Park, who always looked dangerous when she had the ball, rounded goalie Mary Earps but missed a great chance to give the Blues a 1-0 lead with time running out.
Goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan performed admirably in place of Emily Ramsey, who was on loan from United but was ineligible to play against her parent club, as Everton clung on and placed their bodies in the way to stop numerous chances from United.
Sorensen said, “I’m really impressed with the whole performance and it shows how far this bunch has gone to come here and grab a point off this really excellent squad.
“We anticipated them opening up because they were determined to win. Jess (Park) had two excellent opportunities, but she was worn out. She will put those in the net if we grow accustomed to this level of intensity.
“The team is exactly where I want it to be and is looking great. Defensively, it was about obtaining a result, and we were organized.”
The outcome opens the door for United’s competitors in the title battle, and Everton once again put on a good defensive performance under boss Sorensen.