Manchester United v Reading: Women’s Super League – live | Women’s Super League


Key events

8 min: United pushing forward again as they dominate possession.

6 min: Reading have their first attack of the game and it almost produces something. There are half appeals for a penalty (handball) but the ball eventually ends up in the hands of Earps as a deflection drops kindly for the United and England goalkeeper.

GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 Reading (Le Tissier 4)

Well that didn’t take long! What a start for the summer recruit. Le Tissier only scored one goal for Brighton last season but she’s matched that tally here already. The corner is floated into the area, Le Tissier spins and gets a boot to it and the ball loops over the rather confused Moloney, who presumably though it was drifting over the bar. A slightly odd goal but United will take it!

Joy Manchester United after le Tissier strikes early.
Joy Manchester United after le Tissier strikes early. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Action Images/Reuters

3 min: Quick feet from another new United signing, Lucia Garcia, in the area. The ball falls to Toone but again Reading block. The pattern seems set though and United win their first corner.

2 mins: Russo puts in an early cross but Reading block it and win a goalkick. No rush from the visitors as goalkeeper Grace Moloney plays a short one.

1 min: Two classic outfits on display. United in their red shirts and Reading in blue and white hoops. An early touch for new United signing Maya Le Tissier.

1 min: All impeccably done. United go into a huddle before Reading get us in play after both sides take a knee.

Now it’s the National Anthem with its new lyrics.

As usual, the Stone Roses’ ‘This Is The One’ blares out ahead of kick-off.

Looks like a sunny day at Leigh. United skipper Katie Zelem runs over to have her picture taken in front of a sign acknowledging her 100th appearance.

Then it’s back to the edge of the centre circle for a minute’s silence for The Queen.

Erm, still no live pictures. Wait. Here we go!! I can see the two teams!

Still waiting for coverage to start. My window cleaner, Tony, just knocked at the door and we’ve had a quick chat about women’s football. He watched the Arsenal v Brighton game last night and has just given me the full rundown on United’s team. He’s predicting a Russo brace in this one.

If you’re flicking through the Sky channels to find the game, let me stop you as this one can only be seen on the FA Player. Or MUTV.

It’s a quick and easy sign-up for the FA Player although we’ve still got the “stream starting soon” message on display and what seems to be a Jean-Michel Jarre b-side being played on a loop.

A milestone for the Man Utd skipper.

Some pre-match reading. More from Jonathan Liew.

The new WSL season kicked off last night. A strong start from Arsenal and Jonathan Liew was there to see it.

On Twitter…

🚨 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🚨

Your Royals squad for the first day of the new campaign – including competitive debuts for @LaurenW17 and Charlie Wellings, with @emsmitch3 returning from her maternity leave and leading the side out for the first time 👊

COME ON URRZZZZZZ!#MUNREA pic.twitter.com/8EIPOydjdS

— Reading FC Women (@ReadingFCWomen) September 17, 2022

The teams

Man Utd: Earps, Batlle, Blundell, Toone, Zelem, Galton, Ladd, Le Tissier, Garcia, Turner, Russo.

Subs: Baggaley, Thorisdottir, Tounkara, Boe Risa, Moore, Staniforth, Leon, Parris, Thomas.

Reading: Moloney, Mukandi, Evans, Rose, Wellings, Eikeland, Wade, Cooper, Rowe, Woodham, Troelsgaard.

Subs: Burns, Poulter, Dowie, Caldwell, Primmer, Meadows Tuson, Perry.

Preamble

After finishes of fourth, fourth, fourth in their three seasons since promotion, Manchester United are still the cab waiting at the rank. Is this the campaign when they finally bank the top-three finish that will secure passage to the Champions League?

The signs look good. Manager Marc Skinner now has a full season under his belt and some eye-catching summer recruits have added further optimism. They include Nikita Parris, boosting United’s contingent of triumphant Lionesses to four.

Forwards Alessia Russo and Ella Toone made a huge impact in England’s golden summer, as did goalkeeper Mary Earps, and United will hope that feelgood factor gives them an early slingshot into the new season.

United should have kicked off with a trip to Spurs but the cancellation of last week’s fixtures due to the death of The Queen means they have home advantage at what will be a packed Leigh Sports Village.

Visitors Reading finished eighth last season – 17 points behind United – after a miserable finish to the campaign. Losing skipper Natasha Harding was a major blow but manager Kelly Chambers has refreshed the squad by bringing in six new faces, including Northern Ireland goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns. Reading will hope the shake-up arrests a concerning slide as their league position over the last five seasons has shown a gradual decline: 4-5-5-7-8.





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