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Marc Skinner praises win that got him dancing as Manchester United turn up the heat on title rivals

MARC SKINNER admits he broke out new dance moves following Manchester United’s victory against Arsenal at the Emirates.

And you could hardly blame him after Alessia Russo and her colleagues’ 3-2 win ended the Gunners’ unbeaten streak.

Marc Skinner says Manchester United’s defeat of Arsenal was a huge shot in the arm for his side
Millie Turner levelled the score for United late on before Alessia Russo netted the winner

The Saturday night result saw United claim their first win in the league over their opponents at the Emirates.

Arsenal looked on course to notch up a 15th successive win after going 2-1 up courtesy of Laura Wienroither’s classy volley late in the game.

But the Red Devils refused to chuck in the towel showing the maturity and resilience Skinner had called for prior to his side’s previous league outing against Chelsea.

United boss Skinner said: “When I look at a Manchester United team, famous on the men’s side, it’s about that never-give-up attitude, and we’re going to keep going until the final whistle.

“We got a full Manchester United [performance].

“Our job is to bring the women under that same banner of we might go down, but we’re never beaten.

“That for me is a huge shot in the arm for our experience. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Earlier his week Skinner said he wanted brains on seats with WSL clubs aiming to take advantage of the pause in Premier League action to get more fans to WSL fixtures.

And United’s supporters and their Arsenal counterparts heeded the call creating a lively atmosphere following a cagey first spell that saw Ella Toone give the visitors the lead.

In front of a 40,064-strong crowd – including a raucous Red Devils away end of around 1,500 – Skinner’s aces put a dent in Arsenal’s title charge.

They came from 2-1 down with Millie Turner leaping high to head home, taking the score to 2-2 in the 85th minute after skipper Katie Zelem’s pinpoint free kick.

And that was before Russo nodded in a header of her own taking advantage of another fine Zelem delivery in injury time.

Despite the win – United’s second in six WSL duels with Arsenal – Skinner was keen to emphasise the result was just three points with the season far from over.


The Leigh Park Village chief added: “It’s huge, there’s no doubt about that. It’s huge in the sense of the experience.

“It’s three points, let’s be very clear – we lost three (points) against Chelsea.

“I’m not blowing it up that way. But we decided we did not want to leave this game without showing that bravery and personality.”

After Toone’s first-half opener Arsenal fought back with Frida Maanum equalising with a strike deflected off Maya Le Tissier.

The hosts looked to boost their firepower up front bringing on Vivianne Miedema in the 59th minute in place of Jordan Nobbs.

Laura Wienroither then fired the North London giants into the lead with 17 minutes of normal time remaining

But their rivals hit back with a quickfire double in the space of six minutes before the game was briefly interrupted by two children darting onto the pitch.

Post-match Leah Williamson could be seen giving a talk to her team-mates with the Gunners facing a home clash with Everton next, while United play Aston Villa.

The centre-back’s commanding presence was missed on the pitch as well that of her fellow defender Rafaelle and the midfield dynamism of skipper Kim Little.

The England and Brazil captains are working their way back to full fitness with Williamson pictured back in training during the week.

When asked about the Gunners’ 14-game winning streak coming to an end boss Jonas Eidevall said: “I don’t think like that, like I said with the title race before I think forward

Alessia Russo’s injury-time goal for the Red Devils was her third in five top tier games this season

“We have things to accomplish. I am not going to take the foot off the gas pedal for things we need to work on because we have had some good results.”

The outcome will no doubt have pleased Chelsea with the club firmly in the race for the title.

A Blues win against Tottenham later at Stamford Bridge, with Emma Hayes making her return to the dugout, will see her side go top of the table with a three-point lead.

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