Ella Toone celebrates a goal with Lucia Garcia & Hannah Blundell.

United Women 4 Everton 1

Sunday 31 March 2024 14:00

Manchester United came from behind against Everton at Leigh Sports Village to return to winning ways in the WSL with a 4-1 victory over the Toffees.

With the fans bathed in Easter sunshine at kick-off, Katja Snoeijs gave the visiting Blues the early lead, but Millie Turner's equaliser soon after the break and an Ella Toone brace – including her milestone 50th goal for the club – put United into a commanding position early in the second half. Leah Galton then completed the scoring at the end on her return from injury.

Lisa Naalsund gave an excellent all-action performance in midfield, while the win also marked Aoife Mannion's first start in 11 months.

A late appearance off the bench for Hinata Miyazawa was another welcome sight on the sunny afternoon at LSV, as the Japan international made her return from the injury that has kept her sidelined since December.


United started on the front foot and there were early sights of goal when Nikita Parris flashed an effort from 20 yards just wide of the post after Naalsund won the ball back in Everton's half. The Norwegian midfielder was again involved moments later, combining with Geyse on the right flank and pulling back to Katie Zelem, whose effort from the edge of the box was just too high.

Everton's 10th minute opener came against that early run of play and out of nowhere, with Snoeijs capitalising on a defensive mix-up and intercepting Maya Le Tissier's pass back to Mary Earps. Her momentum took her around our no.27 with the ball for a finish into an empty net.

The visitors were benefitting from having Justine Vanhaevermaet back in midfield after injuries had forced the experienced Belgian to fill in at the back for much of this season. Kathrine Kuhl, on loan from Arsenal, also made life difficult with her energy and determination to press high.

But United began to probe more again as the half continued, with Geyse and Toone in particular looking for any gaps in the Everton defence at the same time as Naalsund was providing a solid foothold in the centre of midfield. The Toffees, however, continued to close the door, even when Geyse picked left-back Elise Stenevik's pocket and drove into the box just before the interval. Her close-range shot, blasted at the goal, was parried with strong hands by Courtney Brosnan.


The Reds immediately applied pressure after the interval, creating a flurry of chances in the opening stages of the half that culminated in us taking the lead before at the hour mark. First, Geyse was denied by a crucial deflection after Naalsund hooked the back into the middle of the box from a partial Everton clearance, then Lucia Garcia narrowly missed the target with a difficult diving header, before Naalund forced Brosnan into a spectacular save with a drive from distance.

Ultimately, it was a set-piece that broke Everton's resistance as Zelem delivered an in-swinging corner to the far post and Turner climbed above Vanhaevermaet just inside the six-yard box. The Reds were clearly buoyed by that goal and it took just moments to then go into the lead for the first time.

Hannah Blundell's searching cross from the left had Brosnan backpedalling as it lofted over everyone and struck the bar and was kept alive by Geyse. Toone didn't make a clean contact with her first attempt but got a second bite and make no mistake, finishing from by the penalty spot.

Toone hits half-century of United goals


Ella netted twice against Everton to reach an important goalscoring milestone for the Reds.

Firmly in the ascendancy, United were determined to add some daylight to the scoreline and Toone's second of the afternoon did just that. Naalsund reacted quickest to intercept an Everton pass in the right-hand corner of the box, bursting into the area and then smartly cutting it back for our no.7 to finish first-time with her left foot.

Toone eyed a spectacular hat-trick in the closing stages but got her calculations wrong as the ball dropped invitingly out of the sky 18 yards out, sending it high into the stand behind the goal.

Earps had largely been a spectator in the second half given how United were controlling things. But her exceptional concentrations skills were demonstrated when she made a brilliant reflex save low to her right to deny Everton substitute Martina Piemonte, who spun to shoot in a crowded box.

That was a warning sign that could have set up a nervous finish, but Galton squashed any hope of a late comeback from those in blue. Her finish in the final seconds of the 90 was a composed one low across Brosnan with her left foot after being played in by fellow sub Rachel Williams. As she had done so often throughout the game, Naalsund played a key role in in by winning the ball in Everton's half.


United: Earps; Mannion, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Naalsund, Zelem; Geyse (Galton 73), Toone, Garcia (Miyazawa 89); Parris (Williams 73).

Subs not used: Tullis-Joyce, Evans, Rabjohn, Irene. G, Ladd, Malard.

Goals: Turner 57, Toone 60, 65, Galton 90.

Everton: Brosnan; Galli, Hope, Finnigan, Stenevik (S. Holmgaard 78); Payne (Bissell 78), Wheeler, Vanhaevermaet (K. Holmgaard 72), Bennison (Piemonte 72), Kuhl (Veje 71); Snoeijs.

Subs not used: Ramsey, Hobson, Dale, Duggan.

Goals: Snoeijs 10.

Booked: Snoeijs 23.