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Manchester United Women’s manager Marc Skinner wants the club to invest more to close the gap with the best WSL teams

Manchester United Women manager Marc Skinner urges the club to continue investing to close the gap with Arsenal and Chelsea … but insists he is not worried after the 2-0 loss to the WSL leaders

  • Manchester United lost 2-0 at home to WSL leaders Arsenal on Sunday.
  • Vivianne Miedema and Katie McCabe scored for the visitors in the second half
  • Skinner admitted that United need to invest more to close the gap with the best clubs.
  • The United manager said his team is not on the same level as Chelsea and Arsenal


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It has not been a good weekend for the Manchester United coaches. While there is no threat of Marc Skinner losing his job as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, yesterday’s 2-0 loss to Arsenal showed that there is still a significant gap between them and the top.

There was a strange atmosphere in Leigh Sports Village before this game. United fans were unhappy that the club had announced Solskjaer’s departure just before the big women’s game against the league leaders and opted to chant the Norwegian’s name in the 20th minute (Solskjaer wore the number 20 during his days of game).

Skinner’s job, like Solskjaer’s, is to turn United from a “near team” into a European and title contender. There is still a long way to go on that front. And Skinner’s comments after the game that United need more investment and depth to compete with Arsenal and Chelsea were revealing.

Marc Skinner said Manchester United had to invest more to compete with the best clubs in the WSL.

Marc Skinner said Manchester United had to invest more to compete with the best clubs in the WSL.

That’s where we are. If we aspire to be in those positions then we need to make sure we have the depth in our team to support the talented players that we have, ” he said.

‘I think there is a gap [between United and Arsenal] in moments. That comes from investment and continuous investment and time.

‘I’ve been in the league for a long time. I remember when Chelsea didn’t have Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder at the helm. I remember when Arsenal had no [Vivianne] Miedema, Nikita Parris and six forwards and Tobin Heath returning.

I remember those times. The concern is very logical. We need to invest in the players and continue to invest in order to be where we want to be.

Skinner admitted that United still had work to do to close the gap between them and Arsenal.

Skinner admitted that United still had work to do to close the gap between them and Arsenal.

Skinner admitted that United still had work to do to close the gap between them and Arsenal.

The club has done nothing about it. We want to continue investing, we want to continue promoting women’s football and our team.

‘I’m not worried, I just understand where we are. Of course, the expectations are very high, I will not lower them, but we have to be realistic in terms of having some depth.

‘I was never going to come in and wave a magic wand, we lost a lot of forwards in the summer. The talent is there, we just need more depth. ‘

Vivianne Miedema scored for the first time against Manchester United to put Arsenal ahead

Vivianne Miedema scored for the first time against Manchester United to put Arsenal ahead

Vivianne Miedema scored for the first time against Manchester United to put Arsenal ahead

Miedema has now scored against all 14 WSL teams after scoring against United on Sunday

Miedema has now scored against all 14 WSL teams after scoring against United on Sunday

Miedema has now scored against all 14 WSL teams after scoring against United on Sunday

While United were second best, this was not like Chelsea’s 6-1 win at the hands of Chelsea earlier in the season and a combination of Mary Earps and the crossbar frustrated the Gunners for 45 minutes.

But the class finally said and Vivianne Miedema finally got her goal against the only WSL team that had managed to stop her score.

The Dutch forward has found the net against the 14 clubs she has faced in the competition.

Katie McCabe added a second from the penalty spot and Arsenal secured all three points.

Katie McCabe added a second from the penalty spot and Arsenal secured all three points.

Katie McCabe added a second from the penalty spot and Arsenal secured all three points.

MATCH FACTS AND CLASSIFICATIONS

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Earps 6.5, Batlle 6, Thorisdottir 6, Mannion 5, Blundell 6, Zelem 6 (Boe Risa 87), Staniforth 6, Hanson 6 (Jones 77, 6), Galton 6, Toone 6, Russo 6

Unused subs: Baggaley, Ladd, Fuso, Smith, Turner, Jones

Reserved: Blundell

Manager: Marc Skinner 6

Arsenal (4-3-3): Zinsberger 6, Maritz 6.5 (Patten 90 + 6), Wubben-Moy 6.5, Beattie 6.5, Catley 6.5, Maanum 6.5, Walti 6, Little 6 (Nobbs 45, 7), Mead 7, McCabe 8.5 (Parris 77, 7) , Miedema 8 (Foord 85)

Unused subs: Williams, Stenson, Goldie, Houssein

Reserved: McCabe

Goals: Miedema 48

Manager: Jonas Eidevall 7

Referee: Emily Heaslip 7

Arsenal had lost five of their last six away games in Manchester before this victory.

A happy day in the cold northwest for coach Jonas Eidevall, whose side remains at the top of the table heading into the international break.

“I’m not worried about Viv not scoring against any opponent,” Eidevall said.

‘When he hasn’t scored against an opponent, it’s only a matter of time before he does.

The Gunners were in the lead early on and almost took an early lead. Katie McCabe returned the ball to him on the edge of the area and passed Aoife Mannion before launching a shot off the crossbar.

Mead got another shot midway through the first half when she was picked at the back post by Kim Little, but her cut attempt went straight into the hands of United goalkeeper Earps.

The United goalkeeper was back in action shortly after when he landed a stinging shot from Noelle Maritz over the crossbar.

United were tied at half-time, but it took Arsenal just three minutes into the second half to find a breakthrough.

McCabe’s pass from the left found Miedema and she held off Katie Zelem to punch a shot into the lower left corner.

McCabe then doubled Arsenal’s lead from the penalty spot in the 55th minute. The winger was brought down by a Mannion lunge, but rose to become the top left corner.

Miedema was about to add a third of a free kick, but the crossbar once again kept the visitors at bay.

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