On a blinding day on Merseyside, the visitors opened the scoring in the 10’. Alessia Russo picked up the ball in her half, raced up the pitch and picked out Martha Thomas. Thomas cut in and found Ella Toone open on top of the 18. The young winger then cut to her right foot and curled a shot past Sandy MacIver in net for the early lead.
Kenza Dali, who has been one of Everton’s more consistent players to start the season, cut a pass through United’s defense in the 15’ for winger Claire Emslie, but the Scotland international fired her attempt over the bar.
In the 28’, Lucy Graham and Toni Duggan linked up for a brilliant combination that ended with a Leonie Maier cross that narrowly missed Valérie Gauvin in front of net.
Both Graham and Emslie were involved in several quality chances on the stroke of halftime. In the 40’, Graham found Gauvin inside the box, but goalkeeper Mary Earps collected the attempt.
Emslie later tore down the left wing and found Gauvin, but the result was familiar as Earps corralled the ball. Emslie then nearly found the back of the net with two minutes left before halftime. The crafty winger unleashed a rocket of a shot from 20 yards out that rang off the crossbar.
Dali broke free on the left flank to win a cross to open the second, but Earps was quick off her line to collect.
The breakthrough for the Blues came in the 76’ after the team had been mounting pressure. A moment of miscommunication between defender Maria Thorisdottir and Earps provided Simone Magill the perfect opportunity to pounce. The Northern Ireland international poked the ball away from Earps and into the back of the net.
The tally was Magill’s first of the season. Everton’s fearless number 10 returned to the team last weekend against Brighton — she played one minute as a sub — after missing the first five league fixtures of the season due to family bereavement.
Against United, Magill entered in the 68’.
In the 89’, Magill linked up with Duggan inside the box, but Duggan’s attempt fell right to Earps.
Despite controlling the tempo, United had one final chance in the 90’, but MacIver dove to a full stretch to preserve the score and the point, which was Jean-Luc Vasseur’s first in the league as manager. Everton remains in 10th place with seven points.
Everton (4-3-3): Sandy MacIver; Rikke Sevecke, Gabby George, Danielle Turner, Leonie Maier; Izzy Christiansen (C), Kenza Dali, Lucy Graham; Toni Duggan, Valerie Gauvin, Claire Emslie
Substitutes: Simone Magill for Gauvin 68, Grace Clinton for Graham 68, Hanna Bennison for Emslie 81
Unused Substitutes: Courtney Brosnan, Megan Finnigan, Poppy Pattinson
Goals: Magill 76
Bookings: Sevecke 59
United (4-2-3-1): Mary Earps; Ona Batlle, Aoife Mannion, Maria Thorisdottir, Hannah Blundell; Vilde Bøe Risa, Katie Zelem, Ella Toone, Alessia Russo, Leah Galton; Martha Thomas
Substitutes: Lucy Staniforth for Bøe Risa 65, Kirsty Hanson for Thomas 66
Goals: Toone 10
Bookings: Zelem 60