Manchester United Women have started their season with 3 points after a 2-0 opening day win over Reading in the FA WSL. Manager Marc Skinner gets his first win since taking over from Casey Stoney, and the Red Devils get a pleasant 3 points to start their season after a tumultuous summer of exits and uncertainty.
Goals from Kirsty Hanson and Ona Batlle proved decisive as United clinched victory on opening day, with Ella Toone playing provider on both goals. The home side created a number of scoring opportunities throughout, and dominated for most of the match with nearly 60% possession. The opener came on the break, and Toone’s passing vision helped thread a beautiful through ball for Hanson to run onto. One on one with the keeper was no challenge as she buried it.
Batlle’s goal in particular was highlight worthy, and effectively sealed the fate of the tie in the second half.
Skinner, who left the Orlando Pride of the NWSL to join United, walked into a team that had lost a highly influential manager and several key players. Notably Christen Press and Tobin Heath would not re-up with the club, with the latter joining WSL rivals Arsenal this week, and club starlet Lauren James left to join defending league champions Chelsea. It might not be a season that builds upon the brief title hopes of the previous campaign, but it does appear that the squad was sharp and ready to bounce back.
United go again a week from Sunday, taking on Leicester City women on the road on September 12. The match will be available to view in the United States on either the NBC app or the free FA Player.