Aston Villa 1-2 Man Utd: Williams bags stoppage-time winner
Rachel Williams netted a late winner as Manchester United came from behind to beat 10-player Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park in the Women's Super League curatin-raiser.
After a relatively quiet first 70 minutes, the game burst into the life in the final 20 minutes after Kirsty Hanson was sent off.
Villa took the lead through Rachel Daly but were instantly pegged back by Lucia Garcia’s goal – and the decisive moment came in stoppage time when Williams headed home from inside the area to spark wild celebrations.
Villa had the first chance of the game when Lucy Staniforth let fly from long distance but her effort was parried behind by Mary Earps.
Geyse Ferreira latched onto a long ball from Millie Turner and angled a shot towards the bottom corner which was magnificently touched wide by keeper Daphne van Domselaar.
United were on top for much of the first period and had another opportunity when a free-kick was whipped in by Katie Zelem but Turner’s header from six yards went straight down the throat of Van Domselaar.
Villa went in search of the opener in the second period and when Staniforth’s corner was cleared to Daly, her looping effort had the beating of Earps but bounced off the crossbar as the score remained goalless.
Villa’s chances were mainly coming from set-piece situations and another one came and went after Staniforth’s inswinging free-kick was headed straight at Earps by Rachel Corsie.
The game entered the final 20 minutes and started to become a little stretched. Moments after Maya Le Tissier’s crucial challenge on Daly while she was one-on-one, United sprinted down the other end and Garcia’s curling effort from just inside the area went marginally wide.
The home side were forced to play the final 15 minutes with a player less after Hanson was given a straight red card for a high challenge on Hayley Ladd.
The disadvantage did not immediately affect the the hosts and they went into an unlikely lead just two minutes later when Adriana Leon fed a ball into Daly, who lashed home from inside the area.
United were level a couple of minutes later after a corner fell at the feet of Garcia and she poked home from close range to make it 1-1.
United snatched victory deep into stoppage time when Nikita Parris’ deflected cross was nodded in by Williams and past the flat-footed Van Domselaar.