Sunday saw Manchester United secure a 2-0 win over Bristol City with Lisa Naalsund scoring at both ends of the 90 minutes. 

Bristol City haven’t had the season they may have hoped for following their promotion to the WSL last season.

Ahead of Sunday’s match the only game The Robins had won in the 23/24 WSL season was against 11th placed West Ham United.

Following their 7-3 defeat to Brighton on home turf, two weeks ago, Lauren Smith made three changes to her team ahead of playing the Red Devils.

One of these changes included Olivia Clark being replaced by Shae Yáñez, who signed for the club in January.

No changes were made for Marc Skinner’s side despite Gold Cup runner up, Geyse returning from international break.

Instead, the line-up saw Melvine Malard and Lucia Garcia return to the wing while Nikita Parris again led at the front following her impressive season so far.

First Half

Manchester United held the early possession after kick-off, despite the opposition being the ones to get us underway at Leigh Sports Village.

The home side demonstrated just what they could do in nine minutes as Lisa Naalsund scored a clinical goal which she slotted to the right of Bristol’s goalkeeper, Shae Yáñez.

Lucia Garcia fed the ball towards Naalsund who was situated outside of the penalty area.

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This resulted in the Norweigan weaving her way through the visitors’ defence, making it near impossible for the attack to be stopped.

Yáñez reached across in attempt to save the shot but she was beaten as the ball rippled into the back of the net securing Naalsund’s first WSL goal and Manchester United an early lead.

Bristol City struggled to find momentum during the first half resulting in the hosts holding most of the possession.

Second Half 

Bristol’s first attempt on goal came 10 minutes into the second half when Shania Hayles had a shot on target, but it was ultimately met by the safe hands of Mary Earps.

Hayles then had another chance shortly after when she rattled the post after receiving the ball from Ella Powell.

The play continued to go against Bristol City and in the 82nd minute, defender Jamie Lee Napier was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.

The Robins were forced to play the remainder of the game with just 10 players.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors, as in the 5th minute of added time, what was to become a crucial corner was played in by captain Katie Zelem.

In a dramatic ending to the game, Lisa Naalsund scored her second goal of the afternoon as she saw an opening of space exactly where the ball was looking to fall.

The game ended 2-0 to Manchester United who remain 4th in the WSL table while Bristol City remain 10th with just six points.

Featured image courtesy of O.Taillon via Flickr No changes were made to this image. License details found here.