Manchester United boss Marc Skinner says Ella Toone’s “class is permanent” after she ended her goal drought in a 2-2 draw with Brighton.
Elisabeth Terland gave the hosts the lead on the half-hour before the England international scored her first United goal since November 2022 with a stunning long-range strike in the 78th minute.
Late goals from Guro Bergsvand and substitute Rachel Williams ensured both teams came away with a point at Broadfield Stadium.
Skinner was full of praise for the Lionesses midfielder but felt his team were wasteful in front of goal.
“She is a key player for us regardless but I think Tooney needs to appear in those positions more and she just needs to strike effectively,” he said.
“She scores that goal because she caresses the ball in, she doesn’t try to overhit it and that detail takes it beyond Baggers (Sophie Baggaley) in goal.
“There is no problem (with Toone). Everybody makes out she hasn’t scored for this long but class is permanent. She will keep showing that and will keep creating chances for us.”
Skinner added: “This game should have been about 5-2 or 6-2. The quality of chances we created have to be put away and I’m going to make sure I own that and I will make sure the players are better at that.”
Brighton head coach Melissa Phillips was thrilled with her side’s performance, which ended a run of three straight defeats in the WSL.
However, she did admit having victory snatched away at the death was tough to take.
“We played very well in the first half and managed to weather a bit of momentum after we scored the goal,” she said.
“We changed shape in the second half and it helped manage the amount that they got in behind us in wide areas and got a bit better pressure on the ball.
“It’s disappointing to concede at the end but at the same time, it’s a point against a very, very good team.
“I think at 1-1 we would have been happy with a point, but of course it feels a little bit worse when you are sitting at 2-1 and you equalise late but we made changes, everyone played their role and it’s a really important point and performance.
“There is a lot to take away from this performance but we know these are the margins between three and one point in this league and it’s ultimately defined by a set piece at either end, our goal and their goal.
“We will look to build a lot from this performance going into next week.”