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Friday, January 27, 2023

Man Utd Women’s record at Old Trafford

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Manchester United host their third game at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Aston Villa the visitors to the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ and a club record attendance expected.The first-team was reformed in 2018, 13 years after the club had decided to focus solely on youth operations. But after surging through the Women’s Championship in their debut year, any hopes of an Old Trafford showpiece were put on hold by the Covid-forced cancellation of the 2019/20 season.United eventually did make it to Old Trafford in 2020/21 and again in 2021/22.No fans could attend Man Utd’s first Old Trafford game / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImagesThe first time the United’s women team played at Old Trafford was a bizarre and subdued affair given that Covid-19 restrictions meant it had to be staged behind closed doors with no fans in the vast empty stands.On the pitch, at least, it was a great success. Casey Stoney’s United had too much for a West Ham side that was bottom of the WSL at that point.After a goal-less first half, Lauren James eventually made the breakthrough soon after the interval. USWNT star Christen Press got the second quickly after, one of the main highlights of her brief time in Manchester.Man Utd: Earps; Thorisdottir, A. Turner, M. Turner, Batlle (Harris 74′); Zelem (Ladd 65′), Groenen; Toone, Staniforth (Hanson 66′), James (Ross 84′); Press (Sigsworth 84′)Scorers: James 49′, Press 55′ (Man Utd)Man Utd 3-1 Everton, 27 March 2022Alessia Russo had a day to remember in March 2022 / Clive Brunskill/GettyImagesA new-look United returned to Old Trafford exactly one year after the West Ham game. With Covid-19 restrictions lifted, more than 20,000 supporters were in attendance to see their team beat Everton.It was actually the Toffees who scored first in this one, with Claire Emslie silencing the stadium just a few minutes after kick-off.But Alessia Russo, who had been sidelined the previous season through injury, sparked the comeback and scored twice either side of a Katie Zelem penalty to secure a momentous win.Man Utd: Earps; Batlle, Ladd, Thorisdottir, Blundell; Zelem, Groenen (Moore 82′); Thomas (Hanson 72′), Toone (Boe Risa 89′), Galton; Russo (Bruun 89′)Scorers: Emslie 4′ (Everton), Russo 35′ 84′, Zelem 54′ pen (Man Utd)For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!

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