Five times Ella Toone owned the stage

Tuesday 02 July 2024 14:11

Ella Toone and the big occasion go together like cake and ice cream, Yorke and Cole, drum and bass.

We need only think back a few weeks for the ultimate confirmation of that reality: Toone's miraculous opening goal in the 2024 Women's FA Cup final.

Marc Skinner's Reds needed inspiration. Our women's team were searching for a route to a first major piece of silverware and, inevitably, just before half-time, it was Toone that produced the goods.

This diminutive player is a headstrong giant, whose embrace of expectation and poise under pressure are already legendary at just 24 years of age. Here are five times Tooney wowed the football world with her excellence...
Own the stage Video

Own the stage

It's time to demand the spotlight, by wearing our new 2024/25 adidas home kit, on sale now...

(Women's European Championship final, 31 July 2022)

As a militant club-over-country Red, I'm loath to kick this off with something from the international scene, but Ella's opening goal in the Euro 2022 final was one of those moments that simply could not be ignored, whatever your allegiances.

Infamously, England had not won a major piece of silverware since the men's team's iconic triumph in 1966, so the heat was on. An incredible 17.6 million people tuned in within the United Kingdom alone.

In the 62nd minute, after being sent clear by Kiera Walsh's searching pass, Toone put England on the road to an epochal success, and not with a tap-in or something out of the textbook either. One on one with Germany goalkeeper Merle Frohms, Toone opted for something trickier: an audacious chip. Over Frohms it went, hanging in the air as Wembley held its breath, before dropping underneath the crossbar and sending the best part of 87,000 people absolutely potty.

It wouldn't be the last time that Toone produced when her country most required something: she also converted in the 2023 Finalissima triumph against Brazil, and blasted the first in a victorious World Cup semi-final against Australia later that year.
Highlights: United Women v Newcastle Video

Highlights: United Women v Newcastle

Highlights | Watch all the key moments from a dominant FA Cup display against the Magpies at Leigh Sports Village...

(FA Cup fourth round, 14 January 2024)

United Women's road to that first-ever FA Cup trophy began in January, with a straightforward romp against third-tier Newcastle United. But Toone, wearing a Zorro-style mask  the kind Kylian Mbappe is currently sporting at Euro 2024  due to a facial injury, couldn't let the occasion pass without delivering something special.

She blasted a stunning left-footed strike home in the first half to give us the lead, and also delivered an assist, silencing some criticisms around a relative downturn in form. After the goal, she raced off, adopted a superhero pose and enjoyed the adulation from her loving fans at Leigh Sports Village.
Highlights: United Women v Chelsea Video

Highlights: United Women v Chelsea

Watch the standout moments from our Women's FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea...

(FA Cup semi-final, 14 April 2024)

The Reds had never beaten Chelsea in the women's game before this dramatic semi-final at Leigh Sports Village earlier this year. Toone, predictably, was pivotal to the long-overdue win, producing some great skill and a gorgeous cross for Rachel Williams to head home our second goal of the first half.

United produced a spirited defensive performance in the second period, both avenging our defeat to Chelsea in the preceding season's FA Cup final and also extinguishing hopes of a unlikely treble for Emma Hayes's team.
Highlights: Leicester City v United Women Video

Highlights: Leicester City v United Women

View the best bits from United Women's win at the King Power Stadium on Sunday...

(Women's Super League, 28 April 2024)

Remarkably, Ella had four entries in the top five of our United Women Goal of the Season rundown. This magnificent long-range screamer against the Foxes finished fourth in our end-of-year poll, but was perhaps the best of the lot.

Played a short pass by Katie Zelem, Toone's astute, against-the-flow first touch casually took her away from the closing Leicester defenders, and what followed next was simply sublime: a right-foot rocket into the top corner. The only goal of the day, it came in the 83rd minute  a classic example of Toone taking the game's outcome onto her own shoulders.
All The Angles: Toone's FA Cup final stunner Video

All The Angles: Toone's FA Cup final stunner

All The Angles | We could watch Ella Toone's rocket from the Women's FA Cup final over and over and over again...

(FA Cup final, 12 May 2024)

Where else could we possibly have finished? Toone's epic goal in the 2024 FA Cup final will forever be indelibly linked to a magical day in our women's team's history, when we lifted a major trophy for the very first time.

The game was nervy and even when United broke upfield in the final minutes before half-time. Fed the ball by fellow midfielder Lisa Naalsund, Toone surged into the opposition half, dropped a clever shoulder to evade a desperate sliding lunge from Tottenham's Eveliina Summanen and then floated a magical, arcing shot into the top corner.

Three more goals followed for the Reds, but it was Toone who had unlocked the contest at Wembley  a venue which is something of a second home to the England and United hero.