Just 838 days ago, Manchester United were debuting in their first professional game in England’s top flight. Today, they sit comfortably in the league’s top spot, four points ahead of Arsenal on an unbeaten run.
Casey Stoney’s team’s vital points prove the Red Devils may have a chance for the title.
Against Aston Villa, Man United adequately maintained their unbeaten eight-game start. The match ended 2-0 in the Reds’ favour, asserting their presence further in the WSL.
Leah Galton opened the scoreline in the 25th minute whilst Ella Toone bagged her fourth goal of the season with a nice lob outside the box.
Plus, they kept their perfect 100% away record in the 2020/21 WSL.
Although the women’s team was reformed just two years ago, they won their promotion from the Championship in the same year and now look sharp enough to fight for their first WSL title.
Stoney’s Tactics Making the Difference
All the players in the current squad are Stoney’s personal choices. Therefore, it’s quite discernible how well-oiled her team works on the pitch.
Toone has been the midfield’s powerhouse and breakthrough star. Having scored four goals and assisted one this term, she has proved herself amongst world-class players. One of her stellar performances was against Arsenal, where her strike secured all three points and established the Reds at the top of the WSL.
Galton looks rebirthed with two goals and two assists this campaign, giving United freshness in both attack and defence.
The likes of Jackie Groenen, Kirsty Hanson and Jane Ross give the edge over any opponent, unlocking the defences like a Swiss Army Knife.
More a Family Than a Team
Stoney has waxed lyrical over her team’s football display on many occasions. But what makes her feel more like a mother than a manager is how she shields her players off the pitch.
She radiates essential confidence – whether that’s translated to a clean-cut answer to Megan Rapinoe’s comments on the lack of Manchester United women’s football team in the recent years, or applauding every single one of her players for giving everything they have.
Squad Depth and the Arrival of Superstars
Stoney has achieved something quite remarkable in just three years in charge of Man United.
After last year’s modest fourth place finish in the WSL, the former Lioness knew she had to do something to spark her squad’s quality.
To accomplish that, she poached the likes of Lucy Stanisforth, Alessia Russo and Ona Batlle, before capturing the signatures of two-time World Cup winners Tobin Heath and Christen Press.
The two undisputed top-class players have three goals and two assists between them for United, but their leading presence in the dressing room is the most vital perk of their signings.
The deadly combination of young talent and experience has transformed Manchester United into a real threat for the established ‘Top 3’ in the WSL.
The Reds currently average 2.5 goals per game and stand second (tying with Chelsea on 19 goals) to Arsenal who have an astonishing 30 goal tally after just seven fixture.
A Glimpse of Glory
Wins and positive results against top clubs is what brings you reputation, but winning every opponent on your way is what wins you titles.
Every game looks like a final for United, who will have to make a great effort to keep the top spot until May.
The winners’ mentality, the youth’s unawareness of danger and the star power has got Man United at the very top. But to stay there you will need way more than that.
Moreover, the women’s side looks like they have massive support from local fans. That’s because their team has done what the men’s side failed to do in almost a decade now: prove themselves worthy of the Red Devils’ grand history.