Sports

Manchester United boss Marc Skinner says ‘women’s football has won’ after historic Old Trafford game

Manchester United’s victory over Everton at Old Trafford has shown how important the club can be in the growth of women’s football, according to coach Marc Skinner.

More than 20,000 people showed up at lunchtime on Mother’s Day to watch United come back from behind to win 3-1 in the first Women’s Super League game played in front of fans at the famous stadium.

United made their Old Trafford debut against West Ham last year but Covid restrictions meant it was played behind closed doors.

Skinner became emotional when he spoke of his own mother’s presence at the game, and he was proud of his players for the way they recovered from Claire Emslie’s opening goal.

He said: “We haven’t reached the speed of the game fast enough, but we are human. To say we felt the emotions in the first part would be fair. Almost the best thing Everton did was score because it kind of gave us a boost.

“I don’t want any silly cliches but I think women’s football won today. I think it shows the scale and the impact this club can have on the growth of the game. That for me is a wonderful thing.

Fittingly, it was two United fans who were on the scoresheet, with Alessia Russo scoring with headers at the end of both halves, while captain Katie Zelem netted a penalty shortly after half-time for give United the lead.

“I tried to talk to Zel afterwards but for her to score a penalty in the Stretford End and then for Alessia to score as well when she’s probably dreaming a million things, what a wonderful way to seal a dream,” says Skinner.

“But what we have to make sure is that we capture this moment, but we have to use it as a projection point to continue growing so that it’s not a one-off. Our club will play a key role in the development and progression of women’s football. »

The crowd was easily United’s largest for a home game, with typical attendance at their usual home of Leigh Sports Village nearing 3,000.

Skinner knows growing the fanbase won’t happen overnight, saying, “I hope they come to support us in Leigh as well and I think that’s important.

“But to have them here, to play in front of them – it wasn’t a complete performance, of course – but I hope they come away proud of their team today. Because I certainly am, and I am proud of them for coming.

“Playing in big stadiums will expose us to better experiences. Do you do it all the time? Maybe not at the moment, but we continue to work to attract 20,000 people. Why can’t we fill Old Trafford to the future and that there are so many fans waiting for us?”

It was a bittersweet experience for ninth-placed Everton and caretaker boss Chris Roberts.

He said: “We are very disappointed. We wanted to come here and get a result. We knew it was going to be tough.

“Getting the start that we had was obviously a dream. Losing a penalty at the start of the second half hurts us and we continue the game from there.

Manchester United boss Marc Skinner says ‘women’s football has won’ after historic Old Trafford game

Source link Manchester United boss Marc Skinner says ‘women’s football has won’ after historic Old Trafford game

Back to top button