Having been unfortunate to start their Women’s Super League campaign with narrow defeats to Manchester City and Arsenal, United have hit their stride with three straight wins. Their latest success came on Sunday, when they exacted revenge on their cross-town rivals in the League Cup courtesy of goals from captain Katie Zelem and Jess Sigsworth.
Zelem scored the opener in the 2-0 win with a curling free kick just seven minutes into a match in which City saw plenty of possession, but struggled to create chances. United proved more efficient with the ball, and five minutes before the hour, a Kirsty Hanson cross from the right was prodded home by Sigsworth. City’s hopes of getting back into the game were scuppered when they were sent down to 10 a few minutes later, as Keira Walsh was given a straight red for a poor tackle.
Speaking to MUTV in the aftermath of the win, manager Casey Stoney heaped praise on her players:
“I think we have to be pleased because I don’t think [goalkeeper] Mary Earps had to actually make a save today. To score two goals against such a good side, who hadn’t even conceded this season, I have to credit my squad today, because every single one of them did their jobs magnificently.
“In the build-up, I always say it’s the work they put in on the training pitch that comes out today [on matchday]. “They executed the game plan and I hope they enjoy this moment and we build from there.”
Sigsworth, meanwhile was delighted to paint the town red:
“It was amazing, we executed the gameplan really well and to turn the city red, it’s just amazing. Man City are a top side in this league and to beat them 2-0 gives us great momentum for the rest of the season.”
United have done little wrong in their recent weeks, with the win over City coming hot on the heels of back-to-back WSL wins over Liverpool (2-0) and Tottenham Hotspur (0-3) — the former being their first ever WSL victory. They’re now up to fourth place in the league table, six points adrift of league-leading Manchester City. Up next is another league game at home to Reading, who are currently level on points with United with a game in hand. Let’s hope Stoney’s side can keep up their recent form.