Manchester United women rose to the occasion in their first ever game at Old Trafford, enjoying a 2-0 win over West Ham thanks to goals from Lauren James and Christen Press early in the second half.
The Hammers remain bottom of the WSL table as a result of the defeat, but it was an impressive defensive effort in the opening 45 minutes. The quality of the hosts shone through after that.
Casey Stoney’s United have at least temporarily strengthened their grip on the third and final Champions League place with this win, which will keep the pressure on Arsenal who are hunting them.
Mary Earps (GK) – 6/10: Far from a busy afternoon for the United goalkeeper but made a particularly crucial one-on-one save at the hour mark.
Maria Thorisdottir (RB) – 7/10: Defensively solid and headed the ball back into a dangerous area to get the assist for the much needed breakthrough.
Amy Turner (CB) – 6/10: Managed West Ham’s limited attacking output well.
Millie Turner (CB) – 6/10: Comfortable at the back and will have tougher tests on other days.
Ona Batlle (LB) – 6/10: Enjoyed a relatively comfortable afternoon without many questions asked.
Jackie Groenen (CM) – 8/10: Covered plenty of ground all over midfield and was instrumental in creating United’s second goal with a driving run and measure pass.
Katie Zelem (CM) – 6/10: West Ham sought to suffocate the United captain and deny her the time on the ball to pick passes.
Lucy Staniforth (RM) – 6/10: Replaced shortly after a heavy tackle looked to wind her.
Ella Toone (AM) – 7/10: Her usual bright self and a lot of United’s moves came through her.
Lauren James (LM) – 8/10: So adept with the ball at her feet and close to impossible to knock off the ball. Also a threat at set pieces and that was how she got her goal.
Christen Press (ST) – 8/10: Got into good positions but appeared to lack confidence in front of goal in the first half. Much more clinical after the interval and scored a well taken second United goal.
Hayley Ladd (CM) – 6/10
Kirsty Hanson (LM) – 6/10
Martha Harris (LB) – 6/10
Jane Ross (ST) – N/A
Jess Sigsworth (RM) – N/A
Courtney Brosnan (GK) – 6/10: Powerless to prevent either goal and otherwise decent.
Grace Fisk (CB) – 7/10: Characterised West Ham’s strong defensive efforts in the first half with a number of key interventions that kept the score at 0-0 for as long as it was.
Gilly Flaherty (CB) – 6/10: Defended reasonably well in the circumstances but it was always going to be tough for West Ham to keep the hosts out.
Laura Vetterlein (CB) – 4/10: Very physical in the tackle throughout and was eventually sent off after picking up two yellow cards.
Cecilie Redisch (RM) – 5/10: A tough afternoon trying to keep James in check.
Kate Longhurst (CM) – 7/10: Put in a hard shift in central midfield and was a significant reason why the Hammers managed to stay on level terms in the first half.
Dagny Brynjarsdottir (CM) – 6/10: Had West Ham’s best chance when she went through on goal.
Katerina Svitkova (LM) – 5/10: Lacked the quality to offer much going forward.
Kenza Dali (AM) – 5/10: Struggled to make an attacking impact other than a deflected shot near the end of the first half.
Emily van Egmond (AM) – 5/10: Another in a Hammers shirt who found it hard to do much in an attacking sense. Held a good defensive shape in the first half.
Martha Thomas (ST) – 6/10: Looked West Ham’s most likely threat but often lacked support.
Maz Pacheco (LB) – 6/10
Hawa Cissoko (CB) – N/A
Nor Mustafa (AM) – N/A
Maisy Barker (CM) – N/A