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Manchester United Women celebrate one of their eight goals against Millwall Lionesses

Report: United Women 8 Millwall Lionesses 0

A Mollie Green hat-trick helped Manchester United Women surge to the top of the English Women’s Championship after a thumping 8-0 victory over winless Millwall Lionesses at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday lunchtime.

The game was as good as over at half-time thanks to strikes from Lauren James, two from Mollie Green and a wonderful free-kick from Katie Zelem. Green grabbed her hat-trick four minutes into the second half, before substitute Ella Toone got in on the act.

Top scorer Jess Sigsworth grabbed the seventh, before captain Alex Greenwood put the icing on the cake with an eighth from the penalty spot, as Casey Stoney’s side clinically leapfrogged leaders Tottenham Hotspur Ladies at the top of the table and extended their unbeaten start to the season in the process.
 
United came into this one full of confidence, having scored 32 league goals in just eight league games, and it didn’t take long for the Reds to hit their stride. Inside three minutes, Lizzie Arnot’s cross was met by Jess Sigsworth, but her effort was tipped over by the Millwall Lionesses’s goalkeeper – who was going to be in for a busy afternoon.
 
Captain Alex Greenwood then had a shot blocked, before, on 12 minutes, Arnot’s cute clipped ball in behind found fellow winger Kirsty Hanson, only for her first-time effort to clatter the woodwork.
Katie Zelem scores a free-kick against Millwall Lionesses.
Katie Zelem's superb free-kick makes it 3-0 to the Reds.
United didn’t have to wait too much longer for the decisive breakthrough, mind. Four minutes later, Hanson again found space behind the Millwall defence and pulled the ball back for the lurking James, who found the far corner from 12 yards.
 
Arnot, who was looking her spritely, confident self, was involved again on 30 minutes, when she headed Hanson’s cross wide, before the Reds doubled their lead two minutes later. Greenwood’s pinpoint cross from the left found Green, whose first-time volley flew past Chloe Sansom in the Millwall goal.
 
Stoney’s women smelt blood, and put the game to bed before the break via an inch-perfect Zelem free-kick.
 
By this stage, the Reds were rampant, and two minutes later, Green grabbed her second (and seventh of the season), cutting in from the left and curling an exquisite 25-yard effort into the far corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
If Millwall thought the Reds would take their foot off the gas in the second period, they were sorely mistaken. Just four minutes after the interval, Green grabbed her hat-trick, latching onto Greenwood’s cut-back and tucking the ball low into the corner.
 
Substitute Toone got in on the act on 58 minutes, and it was the move of the game. Great interplay with Kirsty Smith allowed the Reds' no.7 the opportunity to curl a peach of a shot into the far corner from the edge of the box.
 
Zelem wanted a second, but her 20-yard effort was well saved by Sansom, before Green went close to adding a fourth to her own personal tally, volleying just over.
Lauren James is congratulated by Mollie Green after netting the opening goal.
Lauren James is congratulated by Mollie Green after netting the opening goal.
It was time for Jess Sigsworth to get her seemingly obligatory goal, and she duly obliged, drilling in a low right-footed effort.
 
Arnot won a penalty on 78 minutes and Greenwood clinically converted, low into the corner, to make it eight – and there were still over 10 minutes to go.
 
Thankfully for Millwall, the damage ended there. But another dominant win for Stoney's women continues their barnstorming maiden campaign, as the chasing pack below look on ominously.
 
MATCH DETAILS
 
United Women: Chamberlain (Bentley 59); Smith, A. Turner (Palmer 72), M. Turner, Greenwood (c); Zelem, Green, James; Hanson (Toone 53), Arnot, Sigsworth.
Subs not used: Roberts, Hartley, Devlin, Galton.
Scorers: James 16, Green 32, 38, 49, Zelem 36, Toone 58, Sigsworth 71, Greenwood 79.
 
NEXT HOME MATCH
 
United Women’s next match is away against Lewes Women, at 14:00 GMT on Sunday 2 December. Our next home match at Leigh Sports Village sees us welcome Durham Women's FC on Wednesday 5 December at 19:00 GMT. For ticketing information, visit www.manutd.com/womenstickets.

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