Manchester United 4-0 Tottenham: Spurs stunned in Adobe Women’s FA Cup final as United lift first major trophy

Manchester United ran riot in the second half of the 2023/24 Adobe Women’s FA Cup, ultimately prevailing as 4-0 winners over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

Ella Toone had put the Red Devils on course for victory just before the whistle blew for the half-time interval, but it was a dominant second-half showing that allowed Marc Skinner’s side to lay hands on their first piece of major silverware.

They were so cruelly denied on this very turf by an indomitable Chelsea side a year ago, but their experience proved invaluable against Robert Vilahamn’s Tottenham as they went on to produce a composed display under the arch.

As it happened

An energetic start to the 2023/24 Adobe Women’s FA Cup final saw plenty of chances for either side – with Matilda Vinberg and Jayde Riviere the key players for their respective teams in the opening exchanges.

With the exception of an early save to deny Leah Galton, Becky Spencer truthfully didn’t have much to do throughout much of the first half. Despite a plethora of corners falling in Manchester United’s favour, Marc Skinner’s side couldn’t direct their efforts on target – with Rachel Williams alone nodding two beyond for a goal kick.

On the stroke of half-time, Ella Toone would atone for earlier misses of her one. Having sliced an effort over the bar just before the half-hour mark and then sending a wild attempt wide of the post, the England international stunned the Tottenham contingent to hand the Red Devils the all-important advantage at the break.

It was a well-worked move from Marc Skinner’s side, ignited by Hannah Blundell as she lunged in to dispossess Jessica Naz. From there, the ball worked its way through the United midfield – ultimately ending up with Toone, who drove forward and cut across the box before curling an effort into the top corner, leaving Spencer helpless.

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With the blazing heat perhaps playing a factor, both managers opted to make a plethora of changes in the opening stages of the second half – but Robert Vilahamn’s replacements weren’t afforded an opportunity to make an impact before Manchester United doubled their lead.

A free-kick swung in from a deep area was met expertly by Rachel Williams; the 36-year-old timing her run to perfection to arrive at the back post and nod an effort into the back of the net via the far post.

Beth England squandered an opportunity to halve the deficit just two minutes later, and it would soon prove to be a costly error from the Tottenham forward. Less than five minutes after Williams’ header, a poor clearance from Spencer left Lucía García with an open net to slot into; the Spaniard made no mistake, seemingly reducing the goalkeeper to tears.

Spurs fans were sensationally denied a consolation goal with 25 minutes of regulation time remaining. An Amanda Nildén cross was met with aplomb by England in the centre of the box – her header ricocheted off the crossbar to stifle any hopes of a miraculous comeback.

It quickly became a case of damage limitation for Tottenham – and one that admittedly wasn’t working all too well. Melvine Malard was denied by an impressive Spencer save in the 73rd minute, just seconds before tidy footwork inside the box from Lisa Naalsund allowed García space to slot home the Red Devils fourth of the afternoon.

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Understandably, Manchester United began to attempt the incredulous as the clock wound down on a comprehensive victory but Naalsund’s speculative strike from range flew some way over the crossbar.

Prior to today, Manchester United had not lifted silverware since their second-tier title under Casey Stoney’s guidance in their maiden season. Five years on, Marc Skinner’s Red Devils silenced critics with an emphatic victory that sees them etch their name onto the illusive trophy for the very first time.

It is, however, a disappointing end to Tottenham’s fairytale campaign in the Adobe Women’s FA Cup. Having shown signs of promise throughout the season, especially in cup competitions, Robert Vilahamn’s side will now await to see how this 4-0 defeat at Wembley impacts crowd figures when they host West Ham at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next weekend.

Post-match reactions

The lineups

MUN: Earps; Blundell, Le Tissier, Turner, Riviere; Naalsund, Zelem; Galton, Toone, Garcia; Williams

TOT: Spencer; Nildén, James-Turner, Bühler, Neville; Summanen, Spence; Vinberg, Thomas, Naz; England

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