Ella Toone and Lucia Garcia

Manchester United Women 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Sunday 17 September 2023 16:20

Manchester United have signed off our pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

Marc Skinner made three changes from the side who beat Liverpool last time out, with Lucia Garcia coming in for Leah Galton, Lisa Naalsund making way for Hannah Blundell, and new recruit Gabby George in place of Gemma Evans. 

In a game with chances few and far between, Garcia proved the difference maker with a first-half strike. 

It marked our final pre-season run out against an opponent, with our 2023/24 league opener against Aston Villa firmly in sight. 
Lucia Garcia scored the only goal of the game.
This encounter was a physical one from the off, with challenges flying in across the pitch as both sides looked for a foothold. Grace Clinton - who is spending the season on loan from United with Spurs - was subject to an early yellow card following a late challenge on Nikita Parris. 

Our first chance at St George’s would come 20 minutes in when Hayley Ladd picked out Millie Turner in the box, but her headed effort failed to hit the target. Spurs then came close with their own attempt, as Olga Ahtinen’s long-range effort crashed the woodwork of Mary Earps’ goal. 

The breakthrough would come 26 minutes in, as Garcia fired the Reds ahead. With Spurs failing to clear their lines in the 18-yard box, we reacted quickly to regain possession and allow the Spaniard to finish beyond Becky Spencer in the opposition goal.

As the game began to open up, Skinner’s side surged forward in search of a second of the afternoon. Geyse and Ella Toone linked up particularly well to create a goal-scoring chance for our no.7, but her effort was off target as we headed into the break a goal to the good. 
United began the second 45 brightly, as we picked up where we left off prior to the interval. Toone continued her fine form with some excellent skill down the right to set Garcia on her way, eventually winning a corner. Ladd was found on the edge of the box, but it resulted in nothing despite troubling Spencer between the sticks. 

Evelina Summanen’s free-kick threatened to bring our opponents back into the game, but it could only sting the palms of Earps. 

We continued to push for a second in the approach to 90, with a plethora of substitutes including 17-year-old Emma Watson. Pressing high, United forced Spurs to turnover possession in which Watson showed great composure to pick out Parris, who was subsequently stopped in her tracks by a defender.  

In the end, one goal was enough to see Skinner’s team end our pre-season campaign with a victory, as attentions now turn to our Women’s Super League opener against Aston Villa in two weeks’ time. 
Hannah Blundell in action.


United: Earps; George, Turner, Le Tissier, Blundell (Evans 70); Ladd (Irene 70), Zelem (Naalsund 70), Toone (Watson 70); Parris, Geyse (Miyazawa 70), Garcia. 

Unused substitutes: Middleton-Patel, Tullis-Joyce.

Goal: Garcia 26. 

Tottenham: Spencer (Votikova 60); Bartrip, Bizet (Ayane 60), Summanen, Neville (Ale 60); James, Ahtinen (Percival 60), Clinton, Spence (Graham 68); Buhler, Thomas (Naz 68).

Unused substitutes: Zardorsky, Pearle, Heeps.