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Match report: Manchester United Women 2-2 Arsenal Women

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United have drawn 2-2 with Arsenal at home as shunned striker Alessia Russo got a frosty reception on her return.

An early corner for Arsenal was dealt with easily by United. At the other end, a mistake at the back allowed Garcia to pick up the ball and go on a run but her cross into Galton who was arriving in the middle was plucked out the air by the keeper.

14 minutes in and with Blundell out of position, the visitors took the lead through Stina Blackstenius.

United had been playing well up until that point but conceding seemed to shake them and Arsenal piled on the pressure.

Geyse had a few attempts going forward but she couldn’t quite keep them on target.

Hayley Ladd and Jen Beattie clashed and required treatment which gave Skinner chance to have a word with his side.

They must have headed his words because as the game restarted, assisted by Gabby George, Leah Galton got the Reds back on level terms.

The keeper, D’Angelo, came to clear George’s long ball and completely mistimed it, allowing Galton to get on the end of it and level things up.

Geyse and Garcia were linking up well towards the end of the first half but D’Angelo had recovered her confidence and came to collect.

In injury time in the first half, Alessia Russo saw her shot fly over the bar much to the delight of the home crowd who had booed her all game.

Millie Turner had plenty of work to do as she defended well, heading a Catley delivery away from danger before finding herself unmarked in the box at the other end and headed a Zelem corner goalwards but unfortunately it was just off target.

Geyse came out determined in the second half and a brilliant cross almost found Ladd but she couldn’t quite turn it past D’Angelo.

United were piling on the pressure in the second half but could they make it pay?

Russo wasn’t getting a pleasant reception on her return, her move to the Gunners is still raw for these Reds fans who feel betrayed by their star striker.

On the pitch it wasn’t any easier for the England international as she was wiped out by her former Captain Katie Zelem.

Despite the atmosphere, Russo had her chances but she was denied by Earps, first with her hands and secondly with her foot as she stopped her shot sneaking into the bottom corner.

Momentum throughout this game kept shifting like a pendulum. It was Arsenal’s turn as Russo grew into this game and it was time for United to make some tactical changes as Williams came on for Geyse.

As United made changes, bringing in Malard for her WSL debut, Russo looked to be getting closer to that goal she so desperately wanted as she rattled the woodwork.

But moments later and the two substitutes combined as Miyazawa played it to Malard who squeezed between two defenders who seemed to be waiting for D’Angelo to collect but the French international was faster and dinked it over the keeper.

The Gunners weren’t down and out yet though and Maanum thought she had drew things level as normal time came to a close but as the net rippled, the flag went up for offside.

But Lacasse who had come on for Maritz with a note in hand equalised for the Gunners deep into injury time.

Team: Earps, Blundell, Turner, Le Tissier, George, Zelem, Ladd, Toone (Miyazawa 76), Garcia (Malard 76), Galton, Geyse (Williams 72)

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