Brighton 0-4 Man Utd: How we rated each player as Galton brace puts United three clear

Manchester United moved three points clear at the top of the Women’s Super League (WSL) with a comfortable 4-0 win at strugglers Brighton.

Man Utd celebrate Leah Galton’s first half opener.Man Utd celebrate Leah Galton’s first half opener.
Man Utd celebrate Leah Galton’s first half opener.

A goal in each half from forward Leah Galton (13, 66) plus late strikes from subtitutes Rachel Williams (86) and Lucia Garcia (87) saw Manchester United swagger to another big win in the WSL’s early kick off at the Broadfield Stadium.

Head coach Marc Skinner handed Vilde Boe Risa her first WSL first since March 2022 as Nikita Parris dropped to the bench in the only change from last weekend’s 4-0 win over West Ham.

A quiet opening period had few chances until a fantastic corner from Katie Zelem landed on the head of Galton who beat Lydia Williams to the ball and nodded United into an early lead.

Neat play between Hayley Ladd and Ella Toone shortly afterwards saw the latter put in a teasing cross which reached the head of Alessia Russo, while Emma Kullberg went close for the home side from a near post corner on the half hour mark.

Another wonderful set piece from Zelem would almost see United go two up before the half hour mark when a wicked deliverly found the head of Boe Risa but the Norwegian midfielder couldn’t get enough of a connection to divert home. Excellent work from Russo would then play in the midfielder again but Boe Risa will be disappointed to have got her angles wrong as she shot wide.

Lee Geum-min will have been disappointed not to level the scores straight after the restart when failed to get a solid connection Poppy Pattinson’s inch-perfect cross - however, replay would show that it was an excellent defensive header Millie Turner that would divert the ball away from the South Korean.

United put a comeback beyond Brighton with 25 minutes to play though - and again it was Galton who was the scorer after latching onto Hannah Blundell’s clever through ball to round Williams and place home from a tight angle.

Toone would have the ball in the net again for United on 75 minutes, tapping home after Seagull’s ‘keeper Williams had tipped away Galton’s close range drive but it was ruled out for offside with little complaints. The Brighton stopper would then pull off a great save from Russo as United continued to ask questions.

The Seagulls would almost drag themselves back in the game with 10 minutes to play when Julia Zigiotti Olme volleyed just wide from edge of the area with Mary Earps scrambling before Williams would put the game beyond doubt with minutes to play when she nodded home another Zelem corner.

And just 88 seconds later Garcia would add further gloss to the result when she rounded Williams for her third goal in two games.

In the end, it was a comfortable and dominant afternoon for United that hands them a huge confidence boost ahead of next week’s FA Cup semi-final - also against Brighton - who they will face at Leigh Sport Village on April 16.

Player ratings

Mary Earps: Had little to do on a quiet afternoon. 6/10.

Ona Batlle: Always probing and asking questions of Pattinson on Brighton’s left in one of the afternoon’s most intriguing battles. 7/10.

Millie Turner: Neat, tidy and made a fantastic defensive header to stop a certain Lee goal in the second half. 6/10.

Maya Le Tissier: A strong defensive performance again and pinged some stunning diagonal balls to the wings. 6/10.

Hannah Blundell: Dealt well with the threat of Katie Robinson and nullified her threat. Great assist for the second goal. 7/10.

Vilde Boe Risa: Should have perhaps done better with two first half chances on her first start of the season. 6/10.

Ella Toone: Was at the forefront of all of United’s good attacking play and was always on the frontfoot. Deserved a goal and was a shame to see her late tap in chalked off. 8/10.

Hayley Ladd: Typical performance from the Welsh midfielder. Neat and tidy. 6/10.

Katie Zelem (c): Fantastic corner for the opener and put in several dangerous set piece deliveries throughout. A captain’s performance in a game of little quality. 7/10.

Leah Galton: Scored a solid header and was calm and composed to finish for the second. 8/10.

Alessia Russo: Always involved and played a great ball in for Boe Risa in the first period. Kept trying to make things happen though will be disappointed not to get on the scoresheet. 6/10.


Rachel Williams (on for Boe Risa 60): Held the ball well for United and helped them get further up the pitch. Grabbed a great late goal. 7/10.

Lucia Garcia (on for Russo 78): Brought on late after Russo took a knock to score her third goals in two games from the bench. Can’t ask much more. 7/10.

Player of the match

Ella Toone

Continued to probe throughout and seemed to have a real determination today as United picked up three vital points in the title race. Deserved a goal.

Related topics: