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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Manchester United 5-0 West Ham: Rampant Reds hit five past Hammers

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Manchester United are back to their winning ways in FA Women’s Super League after a 3-0 win over West Ham at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday. The Reds sliced through the Hammers’ defense early on and finished the job before the halftime interval as the attack found its feet early.

Marc Skinner made just one change from the side that drew 2-2 with Brighton a week earlier, slotting Nikita Parris in at right wing with hopes of her continuing her goalscoring form. She scored a hat-trick in the Conti Cup on Thursday, and did not disappoint against the Hammers.

United wasted no time on the day, a nice change of pace after some meandering starts to matches early in the season, and Geyse continued her good form by getting off the mark in the WSL in just the third minute. The chance initially fell to Hinata Miyazawa, but the shot was deflected up in the air perfectly for her Brazilian teammate to pounce and head past the onrushing keeper.

The first half was drawn out a bit due to a couple of unfortunate injuries for West Ham, but the stoppages in play did little to slow down United when they had the ball. Ella Toone in particular was lively and creative, aided on the wings by Leah Galton and Jayde Riviere’s respective creativity. Toone even created a goal for Galton, but the offside flag went up on a marginal call to deny no. 11 a goal.

United didn’t have to wait too much longer to add to their tally however, and the second came from an unlikely source. Millie Turner found herself charging forward after a couple of interchanges in buildup, and she fired a perfect shot into the top right corner of the net from about 15 yards out.

This isn’t to say Turner isn’t good for a goal every now and then, but typically she’s a set piece threat rather than a mirror image of prime Ronaldo Nazario. Start her up top in the Cup, Marc!

The third goal came just a few moments later, a brilliant piece of play from Toone to slice through the West Ham back line and set up Parris to continue her good form with a cool finish. 3-0 for United just before halftime, and the three points all but guaranteed.

The second half was a bit more routine for the Reds, seeing out the match and keeping the visitors off the scoreboard. Mary Earps had to make a couple of good saves to secure the clean sheet, but thankfully it wasn’t too much trouble for the England no. 1.

West Ham’s best chances came just after the hour mark, with Lisa Evans and Riko Ueki challenging Earps’ goal, but neither caused too much of a fuss.

Eventually United were able to finish the job in style, with Marc Skinner using all five substitutions and adding fresh legs to the attack. Lisa Naalsund and Lucia Garcia were among those, and they combined beautifully for the fourth goal. Naalsund had runners forward in transition, and she played the perfect ball over the top for the Spaniard to take past a defender and fire on target.

The Reds weren’t done just yet, however, with another goal off the bench just two minutes later sealing the deal.

Melvine Malard’s goal made it five on the day and four on the season for the French no. 9. It was also the 12th goal in two matches for United, who are red hot going into a Manchester Derby matchup with the noisy neighbors at Old Trafford next week.

Let’s hope it continues for United, who need to make up for the three draws early in the season.

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