Man Utd 6-0 Liverpool: United up to second after comfortable victory

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Manchester United closed in on the Women’s Super League top spot after they stormed past rivals Liverpool.

The hosts led 3-0 by the break after goals from Lucia Garcia, Alessia Russo and Hayley Ladd.

United cruised to victory as Martha Thomas, Rachel Williams and an Emma Koivisto own goal increased their tally to six.

Marc Skinner’s side are now second, three points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.

“It’s very important we try and maximize our potential,” Skinner said. “We’ll keep fighting, fighting, fighting: 12 games to go and then the cup as well.

“Can we [win the League]? Of course we can. Do we want to? Absolutely, certainly we want to.”

United started their first game of 2023 in fine fashion as Garcia coupled with fellow Spain international Ona Batlle to put her side in front in the sixth minute – Garcia’s goal-bound effort taking a wicked deflection off Gemma Bonner as it got the better of Liverpool goalkeeper Rachel Laws.

Marc Skinner’s side started well and placed the visitors under continual pressure with Hannah Blundell narrowly missing out on doubling United’s advantage minutes later as she shot wide when left free inside the box.

They got their second of the afternoon after a Liverpool error; Ella Toone taking advantage as Ladd dispossessed Ceri Holland to thread through to Russo, who tucked her excellent first-time finish into the bottom corner.

Ladd then made it three as she redirected a pinpoint lofted Batlle ball past Laws.

Liverpool were improved in the second half and won a number of set-pieces in dangerous positions.

But their improvements did not dent United’s swagger and they made it four after Koivisto turned a Millie Turner effort into her own net before substitute Martha Thomas added a fifth from close range.

Rachel Williams added another nail in the coffin for Liverpool in the 84th minute, nodding home Ladd’s cross.

Liverpool boss Matt Beard called his side’s thrashing “embarrassing” and apologised to the fans.

“We should be embarrassed by it because I am,” he said.

“It’s not as if we’re a poor team because we’ve competed so well this year. I can’t understand this 90 minutes.

“I apologise for the performance to the fans. I don’t care whether it’s Manchester United, whether it’s Chelsea, whether it’s Manchester City, we should not be losing matches 6-0 at this level.”

United in fine form as title charge continues

United manager Skinner made it clear his side could not afford to drop points before the match, telling BBC One: “I want us to perform today, I want to see a true Manchester United performance.”

And perform his side did. Seemingly re-energized after 28 days without a competitive match, they played with high intensity from minute one and were undaunted by a Liverpool side who beat Chelsea earlier this season.

They were particularly dominant on the right wing with Batlle, who created three of the goals, and Garcia regularly proving too much for the visitors to handle.

Toone, who assisted two, continually had the better of the Liverpool defence.

The Reds made the most of the advantage handed to them in the title race by Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea earlier in the afternoon and now sit three points off the top spot with a game in hand.

First-half woes blight Liverpool again

The first half proved to be Liverpool’s undoing once again with them facing an insurmountable battle by the time Beard delivered his half-time team-talk.

Fourteen of the 22 goals they have conceded this season have come before the break, while United remain yet to concede in the opening 45 minutes.

Liverpool’s start was shaky with wayward passes and a lack of awareness in their defensive third handing United goalscoring opportunities.

The first half set the tone for an uphill battle for the Merseyside club and they did little in the way of troubling United, failing to muster a single shot on target.

They come up against league leaders Chelsea in the WSL next weekend before the Reds face them once again in the FA Cup third round.

Line-ups

Man Utd Women

Training 4-2-3-1

  • 27Earps
  • 2Battle
  • 15The Tissier
  • 21Turner
  • 6BlundellSubstituted forThorisdottirdid 70′minutes
  • 10ZelemBooked at 49mins
  • 12ladd
  • 17GarciaSubstituted forThomasdid 70′minutes
  • 7TooneSubstituted forBoe Risadid 77′minutes
  • 22ParisSubstituted forLeondid 77′minutes
  • 23RussoSubstituted forwilliamsdid 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Thorisdottir
  • 4Moore
  • 5Mannion
  • 8Boe Risa
  • 9Thomas
  • 19Leon
  • 20Tounkara
  • 28williams
  • 32Baggaly

Liverpool Women

Training 5-4-1

  • 1Laws
  • 2Koivisto
  • 23BonnerBooked at 53minsSubstituted forDressdid 77′minutes
  • 5fahey
  • 28Campbell
  • 12hindsSubstituted forLundgaarddid 65′minutes
  • 19van de SandenBooked at 45minsSubstituted forKearnsdid 45′minutes
  • 18hollandSubstituted forHumphreydid 85′minutes
  • 6Matthews
  • 11Lawley
  • 20danielsSubstituted forFurnessdid 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Dress
  • 7Kearns
  • 10Furness
  • 15Lundgaard
  • 17Humphrey
  • 22Kirby

Referee:
Kirsty Dowl

Waiting:
7,662

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