Manchester United thrash Tottenham to win Women’s FA Cup for first time

Manchester United lifted the Women’s FA Cup for the first time in their history following a comfortable 4-0 victory over Tottenham at Wembley.

Ella Toone, who started when United were narrowly beaten by Chelsea in the final a year ago, broke the deadlock with a fine finish in first-half stoppage time.

Rachel Williams, appearing in her fourth FA Cup final, nodded home nine minutes after the restart before an error by Spurs keeper Becky Spencer gifted Lucia Garcia her first goal three minutes later.

Captain Bethany England came closest for Tottenham in their maiden FA Cup final with a crossbar-clipping header before Garcia bagged her brace and put the comeback firmly out of reach.

It is the first time since Birmingham’s victory in 2012 – where Williams netted a crucial stoppage-time equaliser for the winners – that the cup hasn’t been won by one of Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City.

The first half got off to a flying start, Tottenham letting an early chance get away as Matilda Vinberg struck over the bar, before United countered with two opportunities of their own including a Williams effort from a corner nodded just over.

Williams and Vinberg soon had further chances to open the scoring – both missing headers – and by the midway point of the period there was little between the sides, Marc Skinner’s outfit looking marginally more lively but coming up short after Millie Turner and Garcia both failed to find the back of the net with close-range headers in quick succession.

Toone directed the ball over the bar with an outstretched boot, while Martha Thomas steered Spurs away from danger with an excellent block to clear Turner’s header off the line, and Toone curled United’s eighth shot of the afternoon wide of Spencer’s right-hand post.

Lisa Naalsund tried next for United, completely scuffing an effort from the edge of the area as the pace of the game waned significantly.

Just as a goalless first half began to feel like an inevitability, Toone patiently wove her way forward before unleashing a sumptuous strike from distance into the top corner.

United doubled their advantage nine minutes after the restart when Williams rose highest to meet captain Kate Zelem’s free-kick and directed her towering header into the back of the net.

It all began to unravel three minutes later when Spencer completely mishandled a clearance, instead directing her pass straight at Garcia, who obliged the gift with a simple finish.

Spurs were still looking for their first shot on target when England came inches away from pulling one back with Tottenham’s best chance of the afternoon, clipping the crossbar with her header.

Any hope of Tottenham staging a miraculous comeback was thoroughly quashed when they could not deal with substitute Melvine Malard’s cross and Garcia pounced, rifling home to seal the deserved victory.


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