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Match report: Manchester United Women 3-1 Liverpool Women

by Zoe Hodges

Manchester United Women have beaten Liverpool 3-1 in a pre-season friendly at Carrington.

Ella Toone bagged herself a brace in the first half to put the hosts in a comfortable position but Natasha Flint pulled one back for the visitors just before the break.

New signing Geyse finished things off with a lovely strike from the edge of the area as she got her second goal for the club since her arrival last month.

Marc Skinner fielded a strong starting 11 with Mary Earps, Ella Toone and Katie Zelem returning to the starting line up for the first time since returning from the World Cup.

United started brightly, with an early chance for Nikita Parris who was tying the Liverpool defence in knots!

The Reds made the breakthrough less than fifteen minutes in when Leah Galton who has looked good all through pre-season picked out Toone with a lovely cross and the number seven side footed it past the Liverpool keeper.

After receiving the ball from Hayley Ladd, Toone found the back of the net once again as she chipped it over the keeper to double United’s lead.

The Reds scorer almost turned provider as she picked out the head of Geyse with a lovely cross but the Brazilian could only steer it onto the woodwork.

Liverpool clawed one back as Emma Koivisto made a good run down the right and Earps couldn’t get a strong enough hand to her cross and United’s defence were not alert to the danger, allowing Flint to bundle it over the line at the back post.

In the second half, United made five substitutions and it was Liverpool who looked to be the more dominant side.

A corner led to a golden opportunity for the visitors as Marie Hobinger delivered and found Fisk on the edge of the area but her shot was just wide of the post.

United’s latest signing, Miyazawa got some minutes in the second half and looked promising, helping to create plenty of opportunities going forward for United.

It was the Japanese international who set up United’s third goal, winning possession on the edge of the area and finding Hannah Blundell who crossed it to Geyse.

From there, the Brazilian international danced round the Liverpool defence, patiently waiting for the space to open up before getting her shot away and finding the back of the net.

Liverpool had a couple of late chances to get back into the game but second half keeper Safia Middleton-Patel had a strong game and pulled off a few good saves.

It was a show of strength for the Reds who have just one game left before the season begins on October 1st.

Geyse is settling in to this squad well having already scored twice in pre-season.

Her goal today not only showed her skill but her calmness in front of goal.

Meanwhile, Gemma Evans linked up well with Millie Turner at the back and they could be a strong pairing going forward.

Miyazawa created chances and made a big impact from the moment she stepped onto the pitch whilst Ella Toone and Leah Galton, two members of the squad that were a part of that inaugural season, showed why they are consistently called upon by this club.

Though there may have been panic at the end of last season when Alessia Russo and Ona Batlle departed, today’s game showed that United have invested well and have a team that can compete for silverware in the season ahead.

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