WSL: Manchester United 3 Tottenham 0
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Katie Zelem’s brace ensured Manchester United were victorious against Tottenham Hotspur at a cold and foggy Leigh Sports’ Village.
The 23-year-old notched her first from the penalty spot just before the hour mark, after Hayley Ladd went to ground.
Jess Sigsworth doubled the advantage seven minutes later, before Zelem got her second late on to see the Red Devils return to winning ways.
United started on the front foot and Jackie Groenen should have hit the target after the Spurs defence fluffed a clearance from Leah Galton's cross.
On the half hour Spurs' first shot on goal nearly paid dividends, as Josie Green struck a long-range effort that Mary Earps managed to tip onto the crossbar.
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Both teams were much improved after the break and a golden opportunity fell to Spurs' Rianna Dean but Earps pulled out a first class save to keep her out.
It was a chance the visitors would rue as referee Edward Duckworth pointed to the spot after Ladd was felled in the penalty area for the Red Devils, and Zelem stepped up to calmly slot into the bottom corner to put the home side ahead.
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With the deadlock broken, United notched again soon after as Zelem's corner evaded everyone and landed at the feet of Sigsworth who made no mistake from six yards out.
Tottenham were still striving to get back in the game, as Emma Mitchell hit the crossbar with a left-footed piledriver.
Then Dean struck the woodwork after being played in by a pinpoint long ball by Anna Filbey, the striker rounded Earps but couldn't fire home from a tight angle.
Zelem put the icing on the cake with a late free kick as United took all three points, although the home side's Ella Toone saw red late on.
Spurs right back Ashleigh Neville said: "We went in at half-time with things that we could still improve on, but it was fine, it was 0-0 and the second half was there for the taking.
"But the second half proved that we didn't take our chances and they did and that was the end result of the game.
"We knew that we needed to keep it tight and we knew that if we could grab a goal that would be great but it didn't work out that way in the end.
"They are a really good team, a great team. But it is a hard one to take to come all this way and to work so hard but I don't think 3-0 reflects the game.
"We've got the FA Cup next week and then the week after is another big game, we've got Bristol City at home and they're the team that are below us and we need to keep pushing against those teams that are in and around us."
Tottenham: Morgan, Neville, Godfrey, Filbey (Leon 82), Mitchell, Addison (Graham 56), Green, Percival, Quinn (Ayane 60), Davison, Dean. Unused subbs: Drew, Schillaci, Peplow, Worm.
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