Man Utd Women win at the Emirates

United Women's 2022 Review: Part 2

Thursday 29 December 2022 17:59

As we continue to look back on 2022 for Manchester United Women, we find several key moments in the latter six months.

For example, some of Marc Skinner's Reds were in action for their national teams at the women's Euros, including a certain quartet who were involved in England's history-making triumph. 

We also said goodbye to some players, and welcomed some new faces to the club for the start of a new season that would feature a fantastic November night in North London.

From July to December, here is part two of our 2022 in review...

United Women's 2022 Review: Part 1


The first half of our look-back at United Women's year includes revisiting a memorable Old Trafford afternoon.


This month was when the vast majority of our transfer business was done, while numerous Reds represented their countries at the women’s Euros and three of them came back victorious with England - four when we add our newcomer Nikita Parris.

Old Trafford was home to the opening game of the European Championships this year, as England battled Austria in a narrow tie that was settled by Beth Mead, who scored the only goal of the game. 

Mary Earps kept a clean sheet in all of the Lionesses’ group games and the goalkeeper's fellow Reds, Ella Toone and Alessia Russo, both played starring roles off the bench. Russo scored in England’s 8-0 rout of Norway, before bagging twice in their 5-0 defeat of Northern Ireland – one of her goals in that game was assisted by Toone. Our no.7 also had tournament-defining moments of her own, one of which came late on against Spain to level the score with six minutes on the clock and take the game to extra time. Georgia Stanway’s 96th-minute strike saw our trio go through to the semi-final with England, but our Spanish defender Ona Batlle bowed out at this stage. 

England made the semi-final look easy, with a 4-0 defeat of Sweden booking their spot at Wembley. Russo was on the scoresheet yet again for that game. Our Reds trio were all involved in the final, with Russo and Toone coming off the bench, and it was the latter who opened the scoring with an outrageous lobbed ball over the keeper and into the back of the net in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. Lina Magull scored late to keep Germany’s hopes alive, but Chloe Kelly’s extra-time strike saw the LIonesses clinch their first-ever major tournament trophy. 

While our Reds were balling on the world stage, Skinner and his team were finalising transfer plans that saw us sign the following five players in July: Grace Clinton, Lucia Garcia, Adriana Leon, Maya Le Tissier and Rachel Williams.

But these incomings meant we had to say goodbye to some familiar faces. Fran Bentley, Martha Harris, Kirsty Smith and Diane Caldwell all made permanent moves in the summer, while Signe Bruun returned to Lyon once her loan had ended. Tara Bourne, Ivana Fuso and Carrie Jones all secured loan moves for the 22/23 campaign. 

And to make this month an even sweeter one for Reds fans, our captain Zelem signed a new contract with us that will keep her at the club until 2024 at least. We also welcomed Millie Turner back to action, as she resumed training in July after ending her 21/22 season early due to being diagnosed with carotid artery. 


United welcomed two new players to the club early in August, with another of England's Euro 22 winners joining the ranks in the form of Nikita Parris. Aissatou Tounkara also joined Skinner's side, making the switch from Atletico Madrid.

With our international Reds rejoining the squad, we headed out to Toulouse for the French AMOS Cup as part of our pre-season preparation. Our first game there was against Paris Saint-Germain, and Katie Zelem’s strike was the difference between the two sides. Assisted by newcomer Garcia, our skipper took the finish in her stride with the outside of her boot to beat Lydia Williams in the PSG goal. 

United then faced Bayern in the final, in what was a big learning curve for the Reds. Beaten 3-0, with goals from Klara Buhl, Lina Magull, and Saki Kumagai, we missed out on the chance for some glory but took plenty of positives from our time in Toulouse. A final preparation game against Everton, in which a Garcia goal was enough to win 1-0, saw us in good stead as we headed into the start of the season. 


The Reds confirmed two more outgoings before beginning our WSL season, with Kirsty Hanson joining Aston Villa on loan and Jackie Groenen making the permanent switch to French club PSG. 

Skinner’s side could not have asked for a better start to the 2022/2023 league campaign. The Reds’ opening fixture at home to Reading resulting in a resounding 4-0 victory, and an unlikely goalscorer popped up in the form of newcomer Maya Le Tissier, who bagged a brace on her competitive debut for the club. 

West Ham would host our first away game of the new season, and another summer signing found the net - Lucia Garica. Reds full-back Hannah Blundell secured all three points with a second goal just five minutes later. 

A first United outing for Maya Le Tissier in Toulouse.

A nightmarish month of Halloween was a dream for the Reds as far as the league was concerned. One of our busiest periods of the year saw us play five games, with all three of our wins coming in the WSL, at the expense of Brighton, Leicester and Everton. 

But October would also mark the start of a difficult Continental Cup campaign as we hoped to better last year’s feat of reaching the semi-finals. The Reds drew the opening two group games against Villa and Durham, with our opponents taking the extra point on each occasion after winning the penalty shootouts. 
Highlights: Arsenal v United Women Video

Highlights: Arsenal v United Women

Before United and Arsenal meet again in the WSL, enjoy the best bits from November's thrilling reverse fixture...


The penultimate month of 2022 would bring United’s first defeat of the new league season, inflicted by Chelsea at the Leigh Sports Village. The first goal wouldn’t come until the hour mark courtesy of Sam Kerr, followed soon by Lauren James. Russo managed to pull one back, but a late strike from Erin Cuthbert secured the points for the league leaders. 

Despite the loss against the Blues, November would see one of the highlights of our year as we travelled to London to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Toone opened the scoring for the Reds just before half-time, but immediately after the break, Frida Maanum’s long-range effort was deflected beyond Earps. The Gunners took the lead with 15 to go, thanks to a wonderfully crafted fullback-to-fullback goal that was finished off by Laura Wienroither. 

With five minutes left, Skinner’s side created a moment of magic under the lights of the Emirates. Millie Turner’s thumping header onto the crossbar and in from Zelem’s free-kick gave us a way back into the game – but we weren’t willing to settle for just a point, we wanted all three. Remember in January, when Russo and Zelem combined for a last-minute winner against Arsenal? Well, we were getting deja vu on 19 November, when this duo pulled a late, late winner out of the bag in stoppage time to snatch all three points at the death. 

November also marked the month that Toone committed her future to the club. Our no. 7 signed a new contract that will see her stay at the club until 2026. 
Toone: United means everything to me Video

Toone: United means everything to me

Ella Toone shares her delight after signing a new contract until 2026...


The Reds saw out the final month of the year undefeated. 

We kicked things off with a special occasion at Old Trafford, that over 30,000 of you came to witness – and it was a five-star showing from the Reds. Zelem opened the scoring for us in the first half, the captain finishing the ball emphatically following a scramble in the box. On the half-hour mark, Galton finished off a sublime move from United that saw Toone's inch-perfect pass into the box find her, before our no. 11 finished beyond Hannah Hampton. 

Russo, who netted when our women's team previously played at the Theatre of Dreams, was on the scoresheet again to finish off yet another wonderful team move. Toone's fizzed ball across the box was right into the path of our oncoming no. 23, who made no mistake from close range. Batlle, who had a standout display in front of the Old Trafford faithful, appeared to seal the win with a late thunder-strike that smashed the crossbar and post before bouncing in. Second-half substitute Williams, bagged her first goal for the club when she capped a 5-0 win in stoppage time with a tap-in.

On yet another great occasion, thousands gathered at the Etihad to witness the Manchester Derby in our final league encounter of the year. Galton gave United the lead in the first half, but Laura Coombs ensured City would earn a point in front of their home fans. 

Unfortunately for us, though, our Continental Cup campaign came to an end and we will not be in the hat going forward. While we saw out the year with wins over Everton and Sheffield United, those earlier draws proved costly as we failed to make it out of the group. 

It has been a year to remember for our Reds, for a number of different reasons, and there is plenty to look forward to in 2023. Skinner and his players will pick up where we left off in the league when we face rivals Liverpool on 15 January for our first competitive game after the winter break. Here's to a Happy New Year for us all!