Man United thrash West Ham 4-0 to go top of WSL

Manchester United enjoyed a dream second half against West Ham to return to the top of the WSL.
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Manchester United sprung back to the top of the WSL table with a comfortable 4-0 win over West Ham in front of a crowd of 27,919 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

All of the goals came in the second half, through Katie Zelem, Hayley Ladd and a brace from Lucía García.

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Starting the match well on top, the hosts could have taken the lead at Old Trafford just eight minutes in when Ona Batlle whipped in a cross that Alessia Russo could only volley wide. United attacking but being left frustrated was the story of the first half with West Ham set up to defend deep.

While the visitors were successful in their attempts to nullify United in the first half, West Ham were undone early in the second when Hawa Cissoko mistimed a challenge on Russo in the box, getting all of the attacker and none of the ball.

Having seen a trio of soft penalty claims waved away in the first half, there was no hesitation from referee Emily Heaslip in pointing to the spot. Zelem firmly dispatched the spot kick to put the hosts in front.

As West Ham began to push a little higher in search of an equaliser, they found themselves short-handed at the back and over-exposed for United's second of the evening. Ella Toone sent the ball over for unmarked substitute García to hammer home.

From then on, it was very much one-way traffic again with Hayley Ladd grabbing a third for the hosts six minutes from time after some deft build-up between García and Batlle.

The hosts then broke forward following a rare West Ham attack, as a flowing move ended with García volleying Mackenzie Arnold's parry back into the waiting net for Man United's fourth.

The win takes United top of the table once more, after temporarily being knocked down to third before the match kicked off following Arsenal's win earlier in the day. However, United lead by just a point and have played two more games than second-placed Chelsea, who will be in action against fourth-placed Manchester City on Sunday.

Meanwhile, West Ham's heaviest defeat in the league since November 2021 stretches their winless WSL run to six games dating back to last December.

Elsewhere, Arsenal claimed the honours in the north London derby when they eased to a 5-1 win away to Spurs thanks to goals from Stina Blackstenius, Kim Little, Frida Maanum and brace from Caitlin Foord.