Advertisement

Manchester United 4-1 Everton: Ella Toone scores twice as hosts go fourth in WSL

Millie Turner scores for Manchester United
Manchester United scored three times in an eight-minute spell in the second half [PA Media]

England international Ella Toone scored twice as Manchester United fought back from conceding an early goal to beat Everton and keep alive their slim hopes of qualifying for next season's Women's Champions League.

Everton, the lowest goalscorers in the WSL, were gifted a 10th-minute lead when Maya le Tissier's backpass was underhit, enabling Katja Snoeijs to take the ball around Mary Earps and score.

England goalkeeper Earps was furious with her defenders, but then nearly made a costly error herself as her loose clearance fell to Kathrine Moller Kuhl, who had earlier hit the outside of the post, but she fired over and could not capitalise.

United nearly equalised just before half-time but Geyse's powerful low strike was well blocked by goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan.

Some fans booed United off at half-time, but they performed much better after the break and scored three times inside an eight-minute period to take complete control.

Millie Turner headed in the first from a right-wing corner, before Toone got two goals. For her first, she fired low into the net from 20 yards and she then finished off following Lisa Naalsund's bright run after Everton had lost possession in their own half.

Substitute Leah Galton sealed the victory with a low, hard strike into the bottom corner in the final minute.

This result takes United into fourth in the WSL, back above Liverpool, who were beaten 4-1 at home by Manchester City on Saturday.

United are six points behind third-placed Arsenal - who occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot - although the Gunners have played a game fewer.

Man Utd bounce back from derby disappointment and poor start

Manchester United had already put 12 goals past Everton this season - a 5-0 away WSL win followed by a home 7-0 thumping in the League Cup.

But boss Marc Skinner warned this game would not be as easy, and so it proved with Everton battling throughout.

Everton score a goal
Katja Snoeijs scored only her second goal in the Women's Super League this season [PA Media]

The Toffees nearly took a sixth-minute lead only for Moller Kuhl to strike against the outside of the post from 20 yards out after Justine Vanhaevermaet's run.

The visitors went ahead in bizarre circumstances four minutes later as a result of England centre-half Le Tissier's poor passback, with Snoeijs capitalising to score only Everton's 15th WSL goal of the campaign.

United had suffered the disappointment of losing 3-1 to neighbours City in the Manchester derby, but their fans finally had something to cheer as they dominated the second half.

Geyse had an effort blocked, then United should have had a penalty with Turner pulled to the ground, but with nothing given.

Lucia Garcia headed wide, Naalsund had a shot tipped over and Geyse's effort was deflected into the side netting before Turner nodded in from Katie Zelem's corner to start the fightback.

From then on, there was not much resistance from Everton as Toone got her sixth and seventh goals of the campaign to put the game beyond the visitors.

Galton made the winning margin even more comfortable, to take United's total against the Toffees this season to 16 goals.

FA Cup semi-final next up for Man Utd

Despite this win, it has been a disappointing campaign for Skinner's side, last season's WSL runners-up and beaten finalists in the FA Cup at Wembley.

However, they still have a chance to salvage something special as they next play Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday, 14 April.

Everton are 10th and, mathematically at least, still in danger of being relegated.

However, the chance of that happening is slim as bottom-placed Bristol City are nine points behind them, having won once all season, and with matches against four of the top five still to come before ending the season at home to the Toffees.