Skinner: We’re going to be very exciting
Manchester United Women manager Marc Skinner believes that the “devastating” performance his side put in against Reading on the WSL opening day at Leigh Sports Village is a positive indicator for how the Reds will play through 2022/23.
United blew the Royals away 4-0 at LSV in front of more than 7,000 fans, a record for our women’s team at home, with all of the goals coming in an action-packed first 45 minutes.
Debutant Maya Le Tissier scored from two Katie Zelem corners either side of our captain’s spot-kick, before Alessia Russo capped a perfect first half with a powerful header following a superb move down the right by Spanish duo Ona Batlle and Lucia Garcia.
Following the commanding win, Skinner applauded his side for the energy and intensity with which they played during the first period.
“We came out of the blocks like lightning,” he said. “We were absolutely devastating [in the] first half and there aren’t many teams who can live with us if we are going to play like that.
“Overall I’m really, really pleased with girls’ commitment, attitude and [they did] all the things we are asking them to [do] this year: Step up another gear, go beyond.
“[In the] first half for sure, we blew them out of the water.”
Following the dominance of United in the first half, the visitors kept the deficit to four goals in the second half with some resolute defending.
But despite not being able to extend the lead after the break, Skinner insists his team have the tools in their arsenal to unlock even the most stringent of backlines this season.
He said: “We found last year that when we played our football, teams deep blocked because you naturally have to and so I had to find in the summer ways in which we could add to our frontline to pose different questions should that happen.
“We want to be an attacking team. We want to go and take the game; we want to go and win the game.
“So if we are going to face that more often, we’re going to find solutions, and that’s what the players will, and absolutely look forward to doing that in the next game and the games ahead.”
Skinner heaped praise on debutant Le Tissier, whom he believes possesses great quality in and out of possession.
"[Maya]was magnificent,” he said. “But that’s the whole reason we recruited her.
“Her range of passing, her ability with the ball, but outside of it, not with the ball it’s just magnificent.
“All credit to her today, but I want her to continue that now.”
He added further compliments for Garcia, who in her first appearance for the Reds proved to be a constant threat down the United right, along with compatriot Batlle.
He said: “I don’t know if anyone can catch Lucia when she’s [in full flow]. Her invasion skills are magnificent.
“Hopefully we form a lot of good bonds [between players] going forward, but we’ve got a lot of players who can create the same bonds.
“We’re going to be very exciting [this season].”