Manchester United put in an impressive performance away from home to beat Reading 3-1 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Leah Galton nodded in the opener within five minutes before Deanne Rose scored an early equaliser.
But another from Galton pulled United ahead, and a second-half strike from Alessia Russo sealed victory for the Reds.
The win ensured United ended Saturday in third place on the Barclays FA WSL table.
Russo hit the crossbar in the first minute but it was Galton who got on the scoresheet first, heading in Hannah Blundell’s cross.
Rachel Rowe pounced on a loose ball and played in Rose, who took advantage of a defensive error and levelled proceedings with a 16th-minute rocket into the bottom right corner.
Then Galton struck again, combining with a pinpoint pass from Russo to put her side back into the lead on 25 minutes.
A chaotic 20 seconds of the second half saw Ona Batlle nearly miss, her shot hitting the crossbar, but Russo was on hand to rifle home the rebound in the 43rd minute.
Rose nearly clawed one back but was blocked by United goalkeeper Mary Earps, who produced a fine double save to maintain United’s two-goal cushion.
And Martha Thomas prevented another, critically clearing a Justine Vanhaevermaet header off the line on 77 minutes.
With the Royals unable to break through in the closing stages, it was enough to seal a vital win for the Red Devils to keep pace with the league leaders.
Manchester United’s Martha Thomas said: “I think we dominated the first half and probably should have put the game to bed in the first half having those chances, and then disappointing to concede but then we bounced really well back to get the second goal and then obviously to get the third too you know ease off the tension.
“In the second half we were a bit nervy at times at the back and thought maybe we would concede but then we did really well to push on and we created more chances, but honestly I’m a bit disappointed we’ve only scored three today.”
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