Manchester United 4-0 West Ham: Red Devils fire in second half
Lucia Garcia bagged a double as Manchester United beat West Ham 4-0 at Old Trafford to go top of the table.
United were frustrated during the first period and it took Katie Zelem's penalty seven minutes into the second half for Marc Skinner's side to break the deadlock.
Garcia doubled the lead shortly after the hour mark and a late surge ensured a one-sided scoreline, with Hayley Ladd adding a third before Garcia grabbed her second in stoppage time.
The win was enough for United to move a point clear of Women's Super League champions Chelsea, albeit having played two games more, with Emma Hayes' side facing fellow title contenders Manchester City on Sunday.
But Red Devils star Elle Toone, who registered an assist for Garcia's first goal, is not getting carried away as the four-horse battle for WSL glory rages on.
She said: "For us at club level it's about taking each game as it comes and going out each week to prepare as best as we can.
"It's about enjoying it, enjoying football as much as we can. The focus is on learning."
United boss Skinner added: "We are usually very calculated, calm and focused, but we had to have choice words [at half-time].
"We weren't good enough in the first half. It was a little bit slow, especially our build-up. We didn't progress quickly on the flanks because West Ham were blocking the centre.
"We got the Manchester United energy in the second half but it sends a message to us as a team not to waste 45 minutes.
"If we look after what we can do, there's a chance you can end up where you want to be at the end of the season. That's something we can learn from."
Although West Ham remain comfortable in seventh, Hammers boss Paul Konchesky was disappointed to see his side slip to a third successive league defeat.
He said: "We knew United were going to be strong throughout the game.
"But when you take them to 0-0 at half-time, we knew they would probably get a rocket and come out quick.
"We held it for 55 minutes and after conceding the first goal it was always going to be tough to bounce back.
"We caved in a little bit and conceded more goals than we wanted to.
"Three out of four goals were probably our fault. We need to stop making mistakes and be more ruthless, especially in defence and when we go forward.
"We need to start picking up points and hopefully get back to winning ways next week at home to Liverpool.
"We need to stick together. It's a tough time but once we get up and running we'll be OK."