Striker Leah Galton scored two quick-fire first-half goals as Manchester United hammered second-from-bottom Birmingham City 5-0 to rise to third in the Women’s Super League table, level on 21 points with second-placed Chelsea.

After beating league leaders Arsenal in stunning fashion last week to record their first win of the season, Birmingham were brought crashing down to earth by a rampant first-half display from United.

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They went behind in the 12th minute thanks to a clever chipped finish by midfielder Katie Zelem before Galton struck in the 16th and 18th minutes to leave the visitors reeling. An own goal left them 4-0 adrift at the break.

Forward Alessia Russo netted a fifth in the second half to lift United into third spot in the table, four points behind leaders Arsenal, whose home clash with Reading due to be played on Sunday has been called off due to the visitors having a number of COVID-19 cases and other injuries.

In the day’s other game, Georgia Stanway scored a goal in each half as Manchester City won 3-0 away to Aston Villa, a result which leaves them fifth in the table on 19 points.