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Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United: Russo scored a goal in the first half with a free kick from Percival

Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United: a fortuitous late free kick by Ria Percival nullifies Alessia Russo’s goal in the first half to snatch a dramatic point from the hosts

  • Alessia Russo put Manchester United ahead in the extension of the first half
  • United appeared to hold on before a dramatic late Spurs draw
  • A long free kick from Ria Percival eluded everyone and hit the back of the net


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The two goals in this 1-1 draw between Tottenham and Manchester United came at the end of each half.

Alessia Russo’s first was a quality moment, Ria Percival’s second was lucky.

But the Spurs cared little, that they remain third and two points above their opponents. Manchester City’s poor start to the season has put the last place in the Champions League on the line and United and Spurs are aiming for the European qualification.

Tottenham's Ria Percival is attacked after her late free kick snatched a point from Man United

Tottenham’s Ria Percival is attacked after her late free kick snatched a point from Man United

Percival's free kick from long range eluded everyone and slid into the far corner.

Percival's free kick from long range eluded everyone and slid into the far corner.

Percival’s free kick from long range eluded everyone and slid into the far corner.

United had won their last six games against Spurs, a streak that began in November 2018, when both teams were in the Championship. This should have been their seventh and Marc Skinner’s team may regret missing two points from their grasp.

“Sometimes it happens when they just put the ball in the box from the midline, that’s what you have to deal with,” United manager Skinner said. That is soccer. It is disappointing not to take the three points but those are moments, a ball is put in the correct area, you do not defend it. Maria [Earps] it has no chance. It’s a good ball for them and we have to be better defending it.

“ I really didn’t feel like we were that threatened except for a couple of shots from long range with the wind, they used the elements well. I didn’t really think they got behind us, they didn’t hurt us except at the last minute. We have to be better, when it is controlled, punish the opponent and that is what we are going to continue working on. ‘

Tottenham deserves credit for their effort and willingness to fight to the end. “It’s great progress, it shows what we’re trying to do here at the club,” Rehanne Skinner said of her first point against United.

Alessia Russo (right) scored to put United ahead against Spurs late in the first half

Alessia Russo (right) scored to put United ahead against Spurs late in the first half

Alessia Russo (right) scored to put United ahead against Spurs late in the first half

United manager Mark Skinner admitted he was frustrated about missing two points

United manager Mark Skinner admitted he was frustrated about missing two points

United manager Mark Skinner admitted he was frustrated about missing two points

MATCH FACTS

Tottenham (3-4-3): Korpela, Neville, Bartrip, Zadorsky, Percival, Clemaron, So-Hyun Cho (Ubogagu 45), Graham (Green 75), Naz (Ayane 75), Simon (Addison 80), Williams

Unused Subs: Heeps, Harrop, Morgan, Ale,

Goals: Percival

Admonished: Percival, Simon

Coach: Rehanne Skinner

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Earps, Battle, Mannion, Thorisdottir, Blundell, Ladd, Zelem, Hanson (Thomas 71), Galton, Toone (Staniforth 71), Russo

Unused Subs: Baggaley, Harris, Boe Risa, Fuso, Smith, Jones,

Goals: Russo 45 + 2

Admonished: Blundell

Coach: Mark Skinner

Referee: Emily Heaslip

“It’s forward and up and we’re going to keep trying to do our thing and work hard to get points every week. There are no points I can take for granted, so we must consistently perform those performances.

“Every point matters, it doesn’t matter who we play against, and we wanted to make a good account of ourselves and continue to show our identity.”

Faced with a Tottenham defense that had conceded just three goals in their first five games, United needed a quality moment to break the tie and was provided by Russo at the end of a bland first-half that had given up just two shots on goal.

A quick shot from the right saw Ella Toone and Kirsty Hanson exchange two passes before the ball was sent to Russo.

The forward edged past Shelina Zadorsky and then edged out Ashleigh Neville before shooting Tinji Korpela into the near post. There was nothing Korpela, who was replacing the injured Becky Spencer, could do about the forward’s brilliant shot.

‘She [Russo] he’s getting fitter and better at what I ask him to do, ”added the United manager. ‘She has just received this wonderful blow, it is almost like the claw of a scorpion. He whips him so fast that the goalkeeper doesn’t have time to move. He deserved it today because he’s been doing some of it in training. ‘

Spurs found it difficult to take down a well-trained United team and top scorer Rachel Williams had little joy against United center-backs Aoife Mannion and Maria Thorisdottir.

Tottenham's Kit Graham tries to win the ball off United's Ella Toone in Sunday's game

Tottenham's Kit Graham tries to win the ball off United's Ella Toone in Sunday's game

Tottenham’s Kit Graham tries to win the ball off United’s Ella Toone in Sunday’s game

United's Kirsty Hanson protects Ashleigh Neville's possession in Sunday's game

United's Kirsty Hanson protects Ashleigh Neville's possession in Sunday's game

United’s Kirsty Hanson protects Ashleigh Neville’s possession in Sunday’s game

Rehanne Skinner has made the Spurs a well-organized and tough team to take down, but they sometimes struggle to finish their chances at the other end. That Alex Morgan remains their joint top scorer in league games at home since the beginning of last season, despite the American playing only 195 minutes of soccer during her brief stint, is telling.

Mary Earps threw Kit Graham’s fierce shot over the bar in the 65th minute and that seemed to be the closest the Spurs would get to leveling the game. But the hosts refused to give up and in the 94th minute they got their reward.

Percival’s looped free kick missed everyone and the ball’s rebound fooled the Earps and went over the United goalkeeper and into the top corner.

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