18 October 2020

Alessia Russo scores twice as Manchester United maintain unbeaten start

Alessia Russo scored twice as Manchester United beat West Ham 4-2 to continue their unbeaten start to the season and leave their opponents still searching for a first win.

The Red Devils started on the front foot, with England international Russo shooting just wide twice in the opening three minutes.

Russo and fellow summer signing Tobin Heath were continually causing West Ham problems and it was the USA international’s looping cross in the 20th minute that found Leah Galton at the far post and she squared for Russo to tap home.

Just three minutes later, Heath doubled the visitors’ lead when she drove unchallenged into the box, lashing the ball into the left-hand corner for her first United goal.

West Ham struggled to keep possession in midfield but managed to claw a goal back with their first shot on target in the 39th minute when Kenza Dali hooked a ball into the box from the right-hand side and Emily Van Egmond rose to head home.

United restored their two-goal advantage shortly afterwards when Galton crossed superbly from the left flank for Russo to glance the ball into the net.

West Ham stayed patient in the second half and cranked up the pressure in the last 10 minutes.

Rachel Daly drove down the right-hand side in the 83rd minute, looping a cross to the far post that squirmed its way over Mary Earps and into the net to halve the deficit.

Manchester United’s strength in depth paid dividends in the 87th minute, though, when Lucy Staniforth’s pinpoint set piece found fellow substitute and two-time World Cup-winner Christen Press at the back post and she side-footed home to secure the points.

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