On Sunday, Manchester United Women reached the top of the WSL after they defeated Reading by a score of 1-0. However, the season is far from over – for how long can United remain in the number one position?
In the game against Reading, the Royals looked to be forcing United into a stalemate. Just when hopes of a victory seemed lost, Rachel Williams popped up in the 87th minute to give the Red Devils a richly deserved three points.
With this crucial win, Manchester United leapfrogged Chelsea to take the top spot. While the two teams have the same points tally (28), United have slightly superior goal difference.
Also chasing are Arsenal, who are three points behind United. The Gunners do, however, have a game in hand over their title rivals. Additionally, Manchester City are also in pursuit, but they are currently five points behind the Red Devils.
Manchester United Women’s next game will be against Everton, on Sunday, February 5. While United will be expected to win, Everton are no slouches – they’re fifth in the WSL table and boast wins over Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham this season.
One of United’s biggest key to success is their ability to hold onto the ball. They tend to dominate possession – while this leaves Marc Skinner’s team generally susceptible to counter attacks, they’re also more than capable of breaking teams down and forcing openings before this can happen.
For example, in United’s 6-0 win over Liverpool, they took a 72% share of total possession within the game. Even against Arsenal, one of the WSL’s top sides, United still had 60% of the possession.