Man United Mean Business: Four Takeaways from WSL Opener

Katie Zelem of Manchester United Women and Melanie Leupolz of Chelsea

With the first match day of the brand new Women’s Super League season in the books, what can we take from the first round of action?

Man City Need Time to Gel

Manchester City have made some huge additions to their squad this summer with Rose Lavelle, Sam Mewis and Chloe Kelly all joining their first team picture.

City also are rumoured to have Champions League winners Alex Greenwood and Lucy Bronze joining them.

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Their first game against Aston Villa seemed to suggest that it will take City time to completely understand each other and the new style of play that Gareth Taylor will try and get them playing.

The Cityzens looked lethargic on the ball and seemed to struggle to create many things going forward.

Kelly shone again, much like in the Community Shield. The former Everton player could be the driving force behind City’s attack this season but she’ll need more creative support from the players behind her.

Arsenal Still a Serious Threat

Joe Montemurro’s Arsenal side put out a serious statement to the WSL this Sunday with their 6-1 win over Reading.

After finishing third in the league last season and ending their campaign with some poor results, many fans were viewing the North London outfit as the third side in the title race for 2020/21.

The Dutch contingent of the Gunners were determined to axe that pretence from the off with Jill Roord and Vivianne Miedema combining to score five of Arsenal’s six goals.

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Miedema could have scored four herself but she squandered a couple of very good chances. That led her to smash an effort in off the bar, showing that she’s still got her ruthless touch.

After losing to Chelsea three times last season in all competitions, Arsenal will be hoping to make this season’s title race even closer.

Man United and Everton Mean Business

If you had to pick two teams from the chasing pack who had built on their solid foundations the best, the two teams you would pick would be Everton and Man United.

Both sides proved that with impressive results in the opening weekend of the season.

Everton strolled to a comfortable 4-0 win over Bristol City. Captain Lucy Graham ran the show, scoring twice and providing a further two assists as her side waltzed to victory.

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Man United held the impregnable Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Leigh Sports Village. The Blues, who have been so relentless in recent times, couldn’t find the extra gear needed to beat Casey Stoney’s side.

Chelsea only dropped points three times on their way to the title last season. For United to get this result is huge boost.

Both United and Everton will be breathing down the neck of that third Champions League spot that comes into play from the end of this season.

Relegation Battle Will be Tight

Last campaign we had an incredibly tight and tense relegation scrap that ended in Liverpool getting sent to the Championship.

This season may be no different. Bristol lost heavily to Everton and Birmingham only managed a single shot on target in their loss against Brighton.

Aston Villa gave the best account of themselves this weekend. The newly promoted side went toe-to-toe with Man City on Saturday.

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These three sides are the ones that people expect to be down near the bottom in May.

The Villains only lost 2-0 through some awful defensive mistakes. They looked like they could cause sides problems after eradicating those issues.

Birmingham even had to resort to announcing two signings hours before kick-off on Sunday. Even then, the Blues could only name a four-player substitute bench. That’s despite new rules stating you can have up to nine on the bench this season.

Jamie-Lee Napier is a shrewd loan signing. They will still probably need to add more to their squad to stay competitive.

Bristol City are heading in the right direction but defensive frailty will cost them dearly.

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