MARK SKINNER wants Manchester United to stop worrying about the battle for third after bringing Birmingham down to earth with a bump.
Leah Galton nabbed a brace in the Red Devils’ blistering 5-0 thumping of their rivals with three of their goals scored in just SIX minutes.
Leah Galton was on target twice as Manchester United moved to third in the tableCredit: Reuters
Alessia Russo netted United’s fifth goal in a dominant performance at Leigh Sports VillageCredit: Reuters
Galton, whose side play Arsenal in the Conti cup next, said: “I’ve been lacking a few goals and being a bit clinical, so it’s nice to start the year off with a goal and two assists.
On United’s fourth straight win, boss Marc Skinner said: “It (the game) wasn’t a banana skin, but it was something that could have easily thrown us if we didn’t attack it in the right way.
“All we have spoken about all week is our mentality.
“If we want to win, we need to stop worrying about the final (Champions League) places, stop worrying about being top of the table, stop worrying about getting to the finals and start concentrating on each game.
“It’s our first game back and it’s another five goals and another clean sheet which is excellent.”
United piled on the pressure early getting their first corner in the second minute.
Moments later Birmingham were forced to clear the ball off the line following Emily Ramsey saving an earlier Vilde Boe Risa shot.
But the 0-0 scoreline lasted until the 12th minute with skipper Katie Zelem putting the hosts ahead after Galton’s cut back from the byline.
United went on to double their lead with Galton poking the ball home four minutes later.
The hosts, who dominated possession, made it three goals close to the 20th minute with Galton burying her second following a swift cross from Ella Toone.
The second half saw United bring on Ivana Fuso and Maria Thorisdottir for Ona Battle and player of the match Galton.
Darren Carter’s side came close to pulling a goal back with Lucy Quinn’s effort hitting the woodwork in the 60th minute.
Darren Carter will be hoping his side will bounce back when they play ReadingCredit: Reuters
But Alessia Russo’s late diving header sealed United’s second successive 5-0 victory with Birmingham facing Reading next.
Carter said: ”I’ve played plenty (of times) in my career where you get a fantastic result one week and then the game has got a funny way of knocking on your backside the next.
“We came out flat and sluggish in the first 20 minutes. To concede three goals in six minutes is criminal.”