Man United Women set new attendance record with Manchester derby crowd
Another huge moment for the women's game in Manchester.
Man United Women set a new club record for attendance at the Manchester derby this weekend and while the result might not have been on their side, the fans certainly were.
Man City made it another blue moon over Manchester on Sunday night with a 3-1 win over the home team but it was a story for all of 0161 to be chuffed with as United set a new best attendance for a league game as more than 43,000 fans filed in to enjoy derby day on a rainy night at Old Trafford.
Having broken the record in ticket sales for a Manchester women’s derby in the day leading up to the highly anticipated game, with 45,185 seats sold, the weather wasn’t enough to put off the vast majority of fans as 43,615 turned up to watch the first-ever WSL derby played at Theatre of Dreams.
The visitors did more than their fair share on the night as well, with a healthy audience of Blues filling the away section and while City may still hold the record for the highest women’s derby attendance with 44,259, it was still quite the feat for United to smash their previous best WSL tally (30,196) so emphatically.
Not only was the support from both teams brilliant all game long but they didn’t fail to deliver a proper show either, with plenty of action at both ends of the pitch.
With United taking an early lead thanks to a handball decision against Alex Greenwood which saw captain Katie Zelem step up and bury her spot-kick to set the tone, the Red Devils looked to be in charge for the opening half-an-hour.
However, it didn’t take too long for Gareth Taylor’s team to equalise and get a foothold in the game, with City’s joint-top scorer so far this season Jill Roord tucking a great finish into the bottom left corner in the 34th minute — her first-ever derby goal.
It turned out to be a quick one-two punch as well, as only moments later a rattled home side was on the receiving end of a pure piece of brilliance from Lionesses star Lauren Hemp, who curled a beauty in top bins to put Blues ahead going into half-time.
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Although it looked like Marc Skinner’s side might fight their way back into the game during the second half — especially after City’s Laia Aleixandri saw red with more than 20 minutes to go —a soft back pass from Maya Le Tissier in the form of a soft back pass saw star striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw capitalise.
There was little Mary Earps could do in the situation and it marked a frustrating finish for the Reds, especially after the controversy surrounding Geyse’s goal, which would have seen United take a 2-0 lead but ultimately was chalked off after the ball appeared to roll out of play just beforehand.
It truly was a Manchester derby to remember with record breaks and everything else you could hope for from one of the biggest fixtures in the Women’s Super League and one of the most passionate rivalries on the planet.
You can watch the highlights of the record-breaking Manchester women’s derby down below:
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Featured Image — Barclay’s WSL (via Twitter)/Manchester United Women (via IG)