Manchester United scored five against Aston Villa in a one-sided affair at Old Trafford in the Women’s Super League.
Katie Zelem lashed into the roof of the net to open the scoring for the hosts.
Leah Galton’s classy finish followed that on 28 minutes before Ella Toone’s sweeping cross found Alessia Russo waiting to poke home at the back post.
A stunning strike from Ona Batlle and a late Rachel Williams tap-in capped off a dominant performance from United.
Marc Skinner’s side sit top of the table before Chelsea and Arsenal play later on Saturday, while this was Aston Villa’s first defeat in three games.
United face Everton in the League Cup on Wednesday before taking on rivals Manchester City in the derby at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, 11 December.
United thriving on big stage
This marks United’s third victory in three matches at Old Trafford since their arrival in the WSL in 2019 – the first against West Ham in front of an empty stadium because of Covid restrictions and the second last season against Everton.
Skinner has often talked about getting used to playing on the big stage and 30,196 fans enjoyed a dominant performance from the home side on a crisp afternoon at Old Trafford, with even a brass band playing in the Stretford End to lift the atmosphere.
Zelem, who does not often receive the plaudits for her composed performances in midfield, popped up at the back post to hammer home after Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton parried away Russo’s shot.
It is the second time the United captain has scored at Old Trafford, having led them out on all three occasions at the stadium.
Galton’s finish was a classy one from Toone’s through-ball and she also set up Russo, unmarked at the back post, for a simple finish.
Batlle’s sensational strike from a tricky angle, which ricocheted off the inside of the post and into the net, looked set to seal the points but she set up substitute Williams for a tap-in in the 93rd minute to reinforce that attacking line-up.
It would have been easy for United to get carried away following their exceptional performance two weeks ago when they stunned Arsenal at Emirates Stadium with a late winner and firmly showed the league why they are title contenders.
But this was a less dramatic and more composed United performance, on the front foot, clinical and with a clean sheet too.
They once again showed their wealth of attacking options, sharing the goals across the team and keeping Villa’s star striker Rachel Daly, the WSL’s top scorer along with Manchester City’s Khadija Shaw on eight goals, quiet.
Villa never managed a foothold in the game and it was a particularly disappointing second-half performance from Carla Ward’s side, with any attempt to mount a comeback quickly stamped out by a controlled United defence.
Galton could have extended United’s lead at 3-0 when she lashed at a cross but sent it flying into the stands. And United had the ball in the net again in the second half but it was overturned for a foul in the build-up.
Man Utd Women
- 15Le Tissier
- 22ParrisSubstituted forThomasat 63′minutes
- 7TooneSubstituted forWilliamsat 85′minutes
- 11GaltonSubstituted forBøe Risaat 85′minutes
- 23RussoSubstituted forGarcíaat 77′minutes
- 8Bøe Risa
Aston Villa Women
- 15PattenBooked at 83mins
- 19BlindkildeSubstituted forMcLoughlinat 84′minutes
- 18GregorySubstituted forGielnikat 58′minutes
- Louise Saunders
Match ends, Manchester United Women 5, Aston Villa Women 0.
Second Half ends, Manchester United Women 5, Aston Villa Women 0.
Goal! Manchester United Women 5, Aston Villa Women 0. Rachel Williams (Manchester United Women) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ona Batlle.
Attempt saved. Katie Zelem (Manchester United Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ona Batlle.
Offside, Manchester United Women. Maya Le Tissier tries a through ball, but Lucía García is caught offside.
Ona Batlle (Manchester United Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alisha Lehmann (Aston Villa Women).
Attempt blocked. Alisha Lehmann (Aston Villa Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Rachel Daly.
Attempt missed. Emily Gielnik (Aston Villa Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Sarah Mayling with a cross.
Substitution, Manchester United Women. Vilde Bøe Risa replaces Leah Galton.
Substitution, Manchester United Women. Rachel Williams replaces Ella Toone.
Substitution, Aston Villa Women. Olivia McLoughlin replaces Laura Blindkilde.
Attempt blocked. Katie Zelem (Manchester United Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Anna Patten (Aston Villa Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Leah Galton (Manchester United Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Anna Patten (Aston Villa Women).
Substitution, Manchester United Women. Lucía García replaces Alessia Russo.
Goal! Manchester United Women 4, Aston Villa Women 0. Ona Batlle (Manchester United Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Martha Thomas.
Ona Batlle (Manchester United Women) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Alisha Lehmann (Aston Villa Women).