Manchester United 4-0 Reading: Women’s Super League – as it happened | Women’s Super League

Key events

Suzy Wrack was watching, here’s her report. Thanks for joining us today.

FULL TIME: Manchester United 4-0 Reading

And that’s it! A dominant first-half display secures an easy opening-weekend win for United. Reading did much better in the second period but it was all over by then. Marc Skinner will be pleased by some of his summer signings, especially two-goal Maya Le Tissier and Spanish forward Lucia Garcia.

90 + 2 min: Thomas almost gets on the end of a ball played into the Reading box but Moloney snaps it up. Then Thomas thinks she’s through on goal as United press again but the striker, much to her chagrin, is flagged offside.

90 min: A final Reading switch as Madison Perry comes on for Lauren Wade. When the ball goes back in play, Parris skips along the byline but the ball runs through to the goalkeeper. We’ll have four minutes of added time.

89 min: United just seeing out time now. Parris is desperate for a goal but she may be running out of time.

87 min: Arsenal won 4-0 last night so perhaps United do have incentive to better that result and go top at least for a day. The alphabet is against them if it stays like this. They win a corner but Reading defend it.

85 min: Parris, at least, is keen to use the final few minutes to make a big impression and she almost creates space for a shot in the Reading box after a near turn.

84 min: This one is petering out with the result obvious to all involved. The substitutions have obviously disrupted United’s rhythm too.

82 min: Of course, Reading fans will be wondering why their team weren’t snapping at heels from the start. The contrast to the first half is blatantly clear.

80 min: Parris almost makes it a dream start in United colours but she’s stretching a bit with her far-post header and can’t divert the right-wing cross on target.

79 min: It must have been a typically galvanising half-time team talk from Kelly Chambers as Reading have done everything asked of them in terms of tracking players and closing down.

77 min: Another Lioness enters the fray as summer signing Nikita Parris comes on for her United debut.

76 min: Thomas picks up possession down the left and wins her side a corner. I think that’s United’s 12 of the game. Zelem goes near post but Turner gets too much on it and deflects the ball behind.

74 min: Reading starting to piece together the odd attack but, to be honest, they’ve hardly laid a glove on United and Mary Earps has been a spectator.

71 min: A rousing reception for Russo and Toone as they’re replaced. Vilde Boe Risa and Martha Thomas come on. It’s actually a triple switch as Jade Moore takes over from Ladd.

70 min: Reading win a corner as Turner turns the ball behind. Woodham takes with her left foot but it’s headed clear and United launch a fast break. They have numbers racing forward but the visitors block it off.

68 min: Fair play to Reading. They’re blocking United’s attacks, often getting a leg in. Ella Toone seemed to have all the time in the world to thread passes in the first half but it’s been different since the break.

67 min: Game just getting a bit scrappy now with both sides making substitutions and Reading happy enough to give away free-kicks rather than allow United to pass the ball around at will.

65 min: Galton gets clattered to give United a free-kick on the right. Woodham is booked for that robust challenge. Zelem curls it in but this one is underhit and nodded clear. A rare poor delivery from the United captain.

64 min: United bring off the impressive Garcia for Adrian Leon, the Canadian who owns an Olympic gold.

62 min: So far so good for Reading in this second half. They’ve been quicker into the tackle and, defensively at least, look more cohesive.

61 min: Garcia, who continues to link the play nicely, tries to work something near the edge of the Reading box but the blue and white shirts win back possession. Although it’s never for long.

60 min: Reading make a switch and bring on Tia Primmer for Troelsgaard.

59 min: One stat, noted by United manager Marc Skinner in his pre-match press conference, is that if every WSL game last season had ended after 60 minutes, United would have won the league. What he wants to see this term is evidence that his team can last the pace. They’re fine here in terms of the result but a couple more goals in the final third of the match would be a good sign.

56 min: Lovely turn by Russo creates space for a cross and Garcia, whose debut display deserves a goal, can’t get the shot off. United press again and Toone’s shot is blocked.

54 min: Reading attack down the left and Wellings looks to get on the end of a cross but United’s defence are watchful and snuff out the danger.

52 min: Batlle goes on another buccaneering run down the right and, from the cross, her compatriot Garcia gets in a shot which is blocked.

50 min: The Toone-Russo partnership again nearly throws up a goal. Russo finds space in the left of the box, pulls the trigger but a Reading foot blocks it behind. The corner is headed behind by Garcia, who was under pressure at the near post.

49 min: United have mixed steel with silk too, Ladd in particularly crunching into several tackles.

48 min: So close to a United fifth. Toone slips in Galton, whose shot is blocked by the goalkeeper. The ball balloons up into the path of Russo who can’t turn it in.

46 min: Spanish duo Batlle and Garcia again combine beautifully down the right. That’s something to watch this season. This time a cross from Batlle is cleared.

46 min: United are back out about three minutes before Reading finally emerge. Toone is over the ball and the hosts get the second 45 in play. No changes by either side at the break.

Half-time Twitter. United happy and Reading looking sad.

Don’t forget, we also have minute-by-minute coverage from Molineux. Currently 2-0 to Man City thanks to a first-minute goal from Jack Grealish and an obligatory strike from Erling Haaland. Barry Glendenning will tell you more here…

HALF-TIME: Manchester United 4-0 Reading

That’s a totally dominant half from the hosts and Reading will be glad to get back inside. Two goals from Le Tissier and further efforts from Zelem (penalty) and Russo have put United in position to really rack up a big number and make a statement in their opening match of the season.

45 + 2 min: Another United corner threatens but Ladd can’t divert the initial header past the overworked Moloney.

45 min: Russo gets her head to the corner but has four Reading defenders around her and can’t get either pace or direction on it. We’ll have three minutes of added time. In the first of those, it’s almost a United fifth as Russo plays in Garcia but the Spaniard’s shot is parried behind.

44 min: United rolling it around at the back as Reading brace themselves for another swift change of pace. United try it but this time a forward ball is headed away. Not for long though. Batlle bursts into open grass down the right and her cross is deflected for another corner.

43 min: Zelem steps aside and Russo blasts one. It’s a good hit but straight at the goalkeeper and Reading escape further punishment.

41 min: It’s floated deep but a Reading head gets there first. Batlle’s chip back into the area is blocked with a hand so a free-kick to United around 25 yards out. Zelem is over it.

40 min: Russo wins a corner. Le Tissier on a hat-trick here. Zelem strides over to take it.

39 min: United seem to have a pattern of slow possession before they suddenly press the accelerator and go! It’s overwhelming Reading.

37 min: Hard to know what Reading do here. United are too quick, too clever and too strong. Every time the ball goes into the Reading area, you almost expect a goal.

GOAL! Manchester United 4-0 Reading (Russo 35)

Russo makes it four. Not a backheel but a thumping header! Great combination work down the right from United’s two Spaniards, Batlle and Garcia before the former sends in a wicked cross which Russo meets with a powerful and well-guided header. 4-0. What a first half from United!

Alessia Russo scores another headed goal.
Alessia Russo scores another headed goal. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Action Images/Reuters

33 min: United taking the chance to knock it around at the back for a while. Then, with a click of the fingers, they up the pace and Toone has two efforts on goal: the first is blocked, the second poked over the bar.

31 min: A rare Reading attack and they win a corner. Can they turn the tide with a goal of their own? It’s a great delivery from Rowe to the near post and causes brief panic before United clear. Rowe sends it back in but this one is too long and drifts behind.

30 min: Reading deal with this corner this time although it takes a couple more passages of play and United crosses before Moloney finally gets her hands on the ball.

29 min: Sunny day, three early goals, good crowd: all good for United. And now they have another corner.

27 min: She’s not scored yet but Toone, who got England’s opener in the Euro final against Germany, has been a lively presence so far. She drives into the box but slightly overruns the ball and Reading mop up.

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