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Tottenham Women 0-3 Manchester United: hard-working Spurs fall at home to Reds

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Spurs fall at home to United — a familiar result, but it does feel a bit different this time around.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

New teams, new season, new league but the same result for Tottenham Hotspur Women against Manchester United. The Reds attacked from the opening kick and got a goal from Kristy Hanson in the first half before doubling their lead early in the second from an own goal from Spurs’ Ashleigh Neville. Substitute Jane Ross made it three for the Reds after going down to ten women in the dying moments.

Spurs’ starting 11 was very similar to their last match where they ran out to a big win over West Ham at the London Stadium — a 4-2-3-1 with Rianna Dean leading the line. Rachel Furness, Kit Graham, and Rosella Ayane were just behind. Club captain Jenna Schillaci again started the match on the bench.

First Half:

1’ — Almost immediate action from United as they attack from the opening kick. Lauren James plonks one off the post and Becky Spencer makes two good saves to keep United out.

7’ — First shot on target from Spurs is by Kit Graham from close range, forcing United’s Mary Earps to save.

13’ — Goal United. It’s been coming. Kirsty Hanson pounces on a rebound effort and plonks a deflected, bouncing shot past Spencer to take the lead. 0-1 United.

33’ — United continue to pepper shots at Spurs’ defense. Tottenham are looking slow to step up on the defensive end and are lucky that United haven’t capitalized more than they have.

42’ — A good chance for Spurs after Rachel Furness was fouled just outside of United’s box. Chloe Peplow takes the free kick but fires it over the bar.

45’ — Halftime! United look the better of the two sides but Spurs looked much brighter in the last 15 minutes of the half. A 1-0 deficit isn’t insurmountable.

Second Half

52’ — Goal United. It’s an own goal from Ashleigh Neville, who tries to go low to block a cross and instead puts it past Spencer into her own net. 2-0 to United.

59’ — Despite the scoreline, Spurs are looking brighter in possession in this second half. They are facing a better side but they’re not getting run off the pitch by any means.

64’ — Graham with a shot at goal, but she was just leaning back a bit and got her foot underneath it too much and it sails over the bar.

66’ — Subs for both sides. Rianna Dean is replaced by Lucy Quinn for Spurs, and Hanson comes off for Jessica Sigsworth (last year’s FAWC scoring champ) for United.

69’ — Second sub for Spurs as Coral-Jade Haines comes on for Chloe Peplow. Spurs look to get a bit more attacking as they try and find a way back into this match.

71 — Rachel Furness with a looooooong shot from midfield, and it’s dead on, forcing Earps to tip the ball off the bar and out for a corner.

76’ — Nearly three for United — Jackie Groenen was one-on-one with Spencer who rushes out and gets a deflection on the Dutch international’s shot. Anna Filbey hoofs the ball off the line and Spurs save it.

79’ — Sub for United: Ladd is off, Toone is on.

81’ — Final sub for Spurs as Megan Wynne comes on for Filbey.

89’ — Red card for United! Lauren James picks up her second yellow card of the match and is sent off.

90’ — Goal United. Galton puts an inch-perfect cross into the box and Jane Ross bundles it over the line. 3-0 to United and that’s pretty much that.

91’ — Another good chance from Spurs, but Furness plonks one off the post and out from 35 yards away. Rats!

FULL TIME — Final score Spurs 0-3 United. It’s the narrowest defeat Spurs have had against the Reds, but it’s still a defeat.

Reactions:

  • It was a hard-working display from Spurs, and despite the scoreline they didn’t look like they were being blown out of the water. United are just a better team, though the gap has clearly closed.
  • The biggest issue was on the defensive end with Spurs failing to move fast enough to close down United in and around the box. That gave Lauren James (who is fantastic) a lot of time on the ball.
  • Rianna Dean had a rough day today. She wasn’t getting the service she needs to thrive and was eventually subbed off in the second half.
  • Last match against West Ham Roselle Ayane had all kinds of space up the flanks. United’s game plan was to deny her that space, and it was very effective — she was mostly neutralized.
  • It’s a bummer, but United are looking like a team that could push to gate-crash the top three. Spurs look like a team that could comfortably avoid a relegation battle if they keep playing well. Spurs next play at West Ham in the FA WSL Cup. Next league match is Oct. 27 at Bristol City.