livescore logo

In Focus: Galton and Russo can shoot United to FA Cup glory
Copy icon

Dan Fitch

Manchester United sharpshooters Leah Galton and Alessia Russo have the opportunity to fire the club to their first piece of silverware today. 

The Red Devils will compete in their maiden Women's FA Cup final when they take on serial winners Chelsea. 

United are also battling the West Londoners at the top of the Women's Super League with a possible Double on the line for both clubs. 

Ahead of Marc Skinner's side's clash with Chelsea at Wembley, we take a look at Galton and Russo's seasons so far and their contrasting plans for the summer. 

Lionesses snub

Galton was there at the start of the journey of United's women's team five years ago. 

Joining the newly formed club in 2018, the left winger has been a vital part of their rise from the Championship to the top of the WSL. 

This season has been her most prolific in front of goal, with the 28-year-old scoring 12 times in 21 appearances in all competitions. 

Her latest effort came in the 3-0 win over Tottenham last weekend when she produced a stunning finish with the outside of her left foot to give United the lead. 

It was a moment of class which demonstrated why successive England managers have tried unsuccessfully to persuade Galton to represent the national team. 

Capped at Under-23s level, the forward has spurned the chance to go to the World Cup this summer. In an interview last year, she revealed her reasons for turning down the Lionesses. 

Galton said: "It's not anything to do with the setup or the girls. It's more about me having my own time and having a break when everyone else goes around national duty, I need that time to myself. 

"It's something I have noted in my life that I need. Otherwise, I get too stuck into work mode. Then I start not enjoying it." 

Leah Galton and Alessia Russo have been in excellent scoring form for Manchester United
Leah Galton and Alessia Russo have been in excellent scoring form for Manchester United

Contract rebel

In contrast to her club team-mate, Russo is a vital part of the England squad. 

The 24-year-old scored four goals from her substitute appearances at Euro 2022 and will be aiming to be a starter at the World Cup. 

Her form for United is certainly persuasive. She has found the net 13 times in 21 appearances this season. 

The club are desperate to persuade Russo to sign a new deal before the World Cup as a queue of suitors line up to sign a prolific goalscorer whose contract expires in July. 

They include today's opponents Chelsea. French club Lyon are also interested — as are Arsenal, who had a world-record bid of £500,000 turned down in January. 

If things had played out a little differently, Russo could have been lining up against the Red Devils on Sunday. 

She started her career at Chelsea but left the club aged 16 to join Brighton before moving into the United States college system. 

Cup chance

Alessia Russo and Leah Galton will line up for Manchester United in the FA Cup final against Chelsea
Alessia Russo and Leah Galton will line up for Manchester United in the FA Cup final against Chelsea

As much as the quality of the contract on offer will be a vital aspect of convincing Russo to remain at United, lifting the FA Cup will also make a strong argument towards staying put. 

The club's rise to the top of the women's game has been rapid. They are now extremely close to a major achievement. 

Though United are top of the WSL, Chelsea are only a point behind them with a game in hand and are the favourites to win the title.

It is therefore the FA Cup which represents the most realistic opportunity for Skinner's team to win silverware. 

With Galton and Russo both firing, they have a strong chance of success.


Manchester United WomenWomen’s FA CupWomen’s Super League
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News