MU Women: Weekly Review

Manchester United Women are back in action on Sunday when they take on London Bees Ladies at The Hive Stadium. They will go into the game full of confidence after another victory against Sheffield United during the week. In what was a fairly dominant performance by Utd, one thing that will be pleasing from Casey Stoney’s point of view, is another clean sheet.

One thing is certain: MU Women are making a bit of noise. There is genuine quality in this team and I fully expect to see another victory on Sunday afternoon.

This week, as usual, I spoke to Red Devil Talks’ Manchester Utd Women expert, Damon Morris, editor of @ManUtdWomenFC to discuss the win against Sheffield Utd. In addition, we discuss Kirsty Hanson’s left foot, the influence of Alex Greenwood, as well as looking ahead to the weekends game.

 

These weekly reviews are easy when they are winning every week aren’t they? MU Women regained top spot in the league with a fairly comfortable victory against Sheffield United last night. What did you make of the performance?

Indeed. It’s always easier to talk about a win! I think it was a comfortable win and the scoreline was about right in my view. The visitors did have chances to get a couple of goals themselves, but Kirsty Hanson and Aimee Palmer also hit the crossbar for United with a couple of spectacular efforts, so overall, 3-0 was about right.

Was it as simple as the score-line suggests or were Utd just too good for their opponents last night?

Many were expecting another big win again given the 12-0 hammering of Aston Villa. Given we were at home, as I expected to be honest, the game was a much more entertaining, end-to-end battle.  Sheffield United scored plenty of goals last season, so I was expecting a bit more of an attacking threat which they certainly were. Siobhan Chamberlain made a few decent stops during the game and some better finishing from the away side could have seen them grab a couple of goals. Having said that, there were large portions of the game where United dominated and could have had more themselves. I don’t think anyone could argue with the scoreline on the balance of play.

Id also like to give a mention to the home fans, an attendance of 2,003 is good for any fixture in the women’s game but given the torrential weather and evening mid-week traffic, I thought it was a great show of support for the women!

 

Who was the star-performer for Utd last night, for you?

A few players stood out for me, including my ‘one to watch’, Lauren James who again performed well. She won the penalty with one of her usual driving runs from midfield and continued in the same way throughout the 90 minutes. Amy Turner at the back had a very good game too, but for me the stand out player was Kirsty Hanson. What a left foot she has! She got the 2nd with a lovely curling effort outside the area, a similar position which she earlier rattled the bar from. She has a great engine and didn’t stop all game, which showed with the 3rd goal. her grit and determination gave Lizzie Arnot a tap-in to wrap up the win late on.

Alex Greenwood was back in the starting 11 last night, how important is she to this side?

Very. She’s a great leader on the pitch and always giving out orders to her team-mates. She’s one of our most experienced players and an England International which shows, in my opinion.  She leads by example and covers every blade of grass during the game, she also has one of the best left foots in the game and I expect her to pop up with her fair share of assists and set piece goals this season.

Up next, are London Bees Ladies at The Hive Stadium. Can you tell us anything about them?

The Bee’s have started the league season with a 2-1 loss at Tottenham and a 2-1 win at home over Millwall last time out. They’ve conceded 13 goals in their opening 5 fixtures this season in all competitions, including 6 at home to Chelsea in the Cup. I can see United netting a few again this weekend if they’re on their ‘A’ game.

Who do United need to be wary of in that game?

Emma Beckett, the Bee’s captain. The Ireland International midfielder has been a big player for the side since signing in 2016. She has a big influence on her side and what they do. If she has a good game, they have a good game. She scored the opening goal in their 2-1 win last time out and is also the sides set piece taker. One who United will need to keep quiet.

Lizzie Arnot came on to score last night. Do you expect her to retain her place and start on Sunday?

She did have a very good game when coming on and maybe she does deserve a start, but the manager doesn’t seem to be one who tinkers with the starting Xl unnecessarily. However, the two games come in quick succession so maybe Casey Stoney will make a few changes and bring some fresh legs in. If that’s the case, I’d certainly expect Arnot to be one of those.

Finally, what is your score prediction?

Unsurprisingly, I am going for another win for United. I fear we may concede our first league goal but i’m still going for a comfortable 4-1 win.

 

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(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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