United Women 2 PSV Eindhoven 1

Friday 05 January 2024 19:30

Manchester United Women defeated PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in a mid-season friendly, held in Malta, courtesy of a stoppage-time winner.

Joelle Smits fired Friday’s opponents ahead, after being denied twice previously by Mary Earps, dragging her effort into the bottom corner. 

Jayde Riviere pulled us back on level terms 10 minutes later, after Leah Galton forced a great save from Lisa Naalsund’s pinpoint cross, with the Canadian firing home the rebound. 

United dominated proceedings in the second 45, and just when it looked as though our chances would go amiss, Nikita Parris headed home late on to secure the win for Marc Skinner’s side.
Jayde Riviere's leveller was her first goal for the club.
Back in action following the winter break, Marc Skinner’s side looked to make this mid-season friendly count as we continue preparations for the restart of our 2023/24 campaign. A bright start from the Reds saw us aim to heavily press our opponents, but the Dutch side evaded those pursuits in the opening stages. 

Despite our promising start, it would be PSV who enjoyed a flurry of chances in the first 45. Chimera Ripa slipped through team-mate Smits, but United Academy defender Mayzee Davies did will to minimise the threat and poke the ball away from danger. 

Smits was denied yet again minutes later, this time by Earps who adjusted well to tip over the forward’s looping effort, that threatened to dip under the crossbar. Our no.27 was on hand once more in the events that followed, as PSV threatened to finish a dangerous ball to the far post, but Earps was equal to the eventual scoring efforts.
While we initially dealt with the threat of Smits, she would go on to break the deadlock in the favour of her side, after knocking on the door for the opener. The striker was played in behind our defence, by a ball from a deep area, and fired beyond a diving Earps to make it 1-0. 

United immediately sought a route back into the game and, 10 minutes after falling behind, we found ourselves back on level terms. On from the bench, Lisa Naalsund made an immediate impact as she drove the Reds forward and fizzed a ball into the back post. Leah Galton met the pass, but was denied by Moon Pondes, who could only parry the ball back into the danger area where Riviere showed great composure to knock it into the back of the net. 

Gaining a real hold on the game, we continued our push towards goal in search of the go-ahead, but we subsequently went in at half-time on level terms. 
Geyse in action for United.
Wholesale changes at the break saw 10 new faces enter the game, alongside first-half substitute Naalsund, in what was a commanding start the second 45 for the Reds. Similarly to the first, we pressed high but this time were able to convert that into chances. 

Ella Toone was at the heart of United’s creativity following her introduction, having her own chance just after the interval that looped narrowly over the bar. Soon after, our no.7 found the onrushing Lucia Garcia with a great pass but the Spaniard couldn’t get her effort on target. 

A sublime piece of skill from Toone would lead to our next clear-cut effort of the evening, setting up Naalsund for a long-range effort. The Norwegian unleashed her strike from the edge of the area but was denied by Femke Bastiaen. An even better opportunity fell the way of Melvine Malard shortly after, who Toone had found in behind, one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The French forward was able to get a slight touch on it, but Bastiaen was equal to it once more. 
Lisa Naalsund made a profound impact as a substitute.

The Reds continued our surge forward as we looked for the game-winning goal, with Garcia inches away from knocking a teasing ball into the back of the net. Lucia was involved was further moments later, linking up with Naalsund to set up Parris, but the latter’s effort was gathered comfortably by Bastiaen. 

Our flurry of opportunities finally paid off in stoppage time, when Parris headed home Hannah Blundell’s pinpoint cross into the box. Our no.22 found space in the middle, before heading back across goal and beyond the goalkeeper. 

United will continue warm-weather training in Malta before returning on January 8, as we look ahead to our fourth-round Adobe Women’s FA Cup clash with Newcastle next Sunday (14 January).

Blundell and Parris embrace, after their connection secured the Reds a last-gasp victory.


United’s first-half XI: Earps; Riviere, Turner, Evans, Davies; Ladd, Deering (Naalsund 30), Guerrero (Francis 30); Geyse, Williams, Galton. 

United’s second-half XI: Tullis-Joyce; Chadwick, Le Tissier, Newell, Blundell; Naalsund, Zelem, Toone (Francis 90); Garcia, Malard, Parris. 

Unused substitute: Middleton-Patel. 

Goals: Riviere 33; Parris 90. 

PSV’s first-half XI: Pondes; Dessing, Hendriks, Buurman (Worm 30), Bross; Strik, Snellenberg, Ripa; Martina, Smits, Riley. 

PSV’s second-half XI: Bastiaen; Coolen, Hendriks (Buurman 50), Worm, Frijns; Giesen, Nijstad, Thomas (Janssen 72); Hulswit, Stoit, Derks. 

Goal: Smits 23. 

Booking: Snellenberg 45.


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