Report: United Women 4 West Ham 0

Saturday 25 March 2023 19:54

Manchester United Women are back to winning ways in the Women’s Super League with a 4-0 win over West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.

Despite dominating the first half, Marc Skinner’s side would have to wait until the second 45 to open up the scoring. Following a foul on Alessia Russo in the box, Katie Zelem stepped up to fire home a penalty. 

An excellent move would see second-half substitute Lucia Garcia add our second of the game after being played through thanks to a sublime Ella Toone pass over the top. 

Hayley Ladd’s late strike added a third before Garcia completed her brace in stoppage time as over 27,000 supporters cheered us on throughout the game. 
Lucia Garcia had the desired impact off the bench when she doubled our lead.

As we usually do at Old Trafford, United started on the front foot, attacking the Stretford End. Our best chance of the opening minutes fell to Alessia Russo following a sublime pass over the top from Maya Le Tissier into the path of Ona Batlle; our no.2 played the ball across goal but Russo couldn’t quite get the finishing touch on a brilliant move. 

Our no.9 was subject to a golden chance minutes later when United won possession from a West Ham goal-kick. Nikita Parris's deft touch on the ball lifted into Russo’s path, but last-ditch defending from Grace Fisk denied her a clear shot on goal. 

It took around 20 minutes for them to do so, but West Ham grew into the game well and made life difficult for the Reds, but couldn’t convert their intricate play into a clear-cut chance on Mary Earps’s goal. At the other end of the pitch, Leah Galton came close to netting the opener in her 100th appearance for the club, but her header was straight at Mackenzie Arnold. 

Despite a half in which Skinner’s side have carved out a handful of goalscoring opportunities, and played with our usual confidence in front of the Theatre of Dreams, the first half ended goalless. 


The Reds started the second half with real intent as we went in search of the game’s opening goal. Russo was on the end of another great opportunity five minutes after the break, heading towards goal from Zelem’s corner but the ball went just over. 

Our no.23 was involved again minutes later, this time earning a penalty for Skinner’s side after being brought down by Hawa Cissoko, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Zelem stepped up to take it and eventually powered home – sending Arnold the wrong way – in front of a roaring Old Trafford. 

We continued to pile the pressure on the visiting side, not allowing them a route out of their own half. Russo – who was at the heart of this evening’s action – skipped past an opponent down the right-hand side before sending a teasing ball into the box, but Galton unfortunately couldn’t put the finishing touch on the cross. 

Zelem guided home from the spot to start the second-half scoring spree.
Fans wouldn’t have to wait much longer to celebrate a second, though. High press on the West Ham backline saw Galton win the ball back from Risa Shimizu, with Ella Toone picking it up and playing a brilliant ball to play in Garcia. The second-half substitute took a great touch to open up her shooting angle before guiding the ball into the bottom corner. 

Skinner’s side seemed to go through the gears in the second 45, assuming control and carving out chances for fun going forward. In the 85th minute, Ladd polished off one of our well-worked moves following Batlle’s ball into the box. Our no.12 cushioned the ball beyond Arnold to add our third of the afternoon. 

With an inspired performance from the bench, Garica capped off United’s outing with her second of the game. Martha Thomas’s late strike was parried away by the West Ham shot-stopper, but right into the path of our no.17 who made no mistake from close range – much to the delight of a buoyant Old Trafford. 
Hayley Ladd finished off a great United move for our third.

United XI: Earps; Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner (Mannion 80), Blundell; Ladd, Zelem; Parris (Garcia 54), Toone, Galton (Thomas 66); Russo (Williams 80). 

Unused substitutes: Baggaley, Riviere, Cascarino, Boe Risa, Leon. 

Goals: Zelem 52, Garcia 65, 90+1, Ladd 85.

West Ham XI: Arnold; Shimizu, Fisk, Cissoko (Cooke 79), Smith (Denton 80); Brynjarsdottir, Parker, Snerle (Atkinson 69), Asseyi; Hayashi (Longhurst 79); Thestrup (Evans 63). 

Unused substitutes: Hillyerd, Filis, Denton. 

Attendance: 27,919.