Manchester United Women thrashed Aston Villa 5-0 in front of a record turnout of 30,196 fans at Old Trafford.
United dominated the early exchanges as Hayley Ladd won the ball back and tried to put through Ella Toone had a good run but there was no one to help out and the attack fizzled out.
Alessia Russo found herself in a good position on the edge of the box but she took too much time and couldn’t dig the ball out from under her feet.
United were pressing well but Villa defended well too.
United ultimately made the breakthrough in the 13th minute as a cross came in for Russo which Hannah Hampton saved but it fell kindly for Katie Zelem who bundled it over the line.
United took the tempo of the game down after that and it allowed Villa to grow into the game as they pushed for an equaliser.
But United looked comfortable out of possession as they bided their time.
Their patience paid off as a perfectly weighted pass from Toone unleashed Leah Galton through the middle who dinked it past Hampton.
Moments later and Russo had a chance to make it three as Zelem floated a cross in but her header was just wide.
Villa threatened with a couple of corners in the first half but a confident Mary Earps ensured nothing untoward happened.
A powerful shot in the 35th minute which was heading for the bottom corner was well saved by Earps.
Villa thought they had clawed one back but it was ruled offside. A good save from Earps was pushed into the path of an on rushing Villa player but it was chalked off.
At the other end, the Reds won a free kick and as the ball ping ponged around the box there were several attempts made on goal but Villa had everyone back defending and they couldn’t make it three before half time.
The Reds began the second half on the front foot with a shot from Galton going just wide within a minute of the restart.
It was the best friends teaming up to net the third. A brilliant run by Toone as she burst into the box found Russo at the back post.
In a league that is so often dependent on goal difference, United never relaxed and kept searching for more.
But Villa weren’t beaten yet and twice Zelem lost the ball just outside the box allowing Villa to get a sniff at goal but luckily both times Earps was there to save United’s clean sheet.
The Reds saw out the ten minutes of pressure from Villa and pounced again when the next opportunity arose.
This time it was Ona Batlle down the right who smashed it onto the inside the crossbar as the ball then went in.
Galton was brought down just outside the box but Zelem couldn’t quite get her shot through the wall.
In the final minute of injury time, Rachel Williams got her first goal for the club as she tapped it into an open goal.
Team: Earps, Batlle, Blundell, Toone (Williams), Zelem, Galton, Ladd, Le Tissier, Turner, Parris (Thomas), Russo (Garcia)