The FA Women's Super League
Man Utd WomenManchester United Women0Arsenal WomenArsenal Women1

Manchester United Women 0-1 Arsenal Women: Danielle van de Donk scores late winner

By Tom GarryBBC Sport at Leigh Sports Village

Arsenal needed a late strike from Danielle van de Donk to win at Manchester United, as the newly promoted hosts impressed against the defending Women's Super League champions.

England goalkeeper Mary Earps had produced several fine saves to give Casey Stoney's team hope of earning their first point as a top-flight club.

But a deflection helped the ball find Van de Donk who fired home in the closing stages, just after her Netherlands team-mate Vivianne Miedema had struck the post.

Last season's second-tier winners could have won the game themselves, with Arsenal's Austria international shot-stopper Manuela Zinsberger denying Scotland's Jane Ross when one-on-one in the second half, but the Gunners were dominant late on and eventually found a way past Earps.

United, promoted from the Championship last term at the first time of asking following the reformation of the club's senior women's side in 2018, were playing in their first home game as a WSL club and were backed by a passionate crowd of 2,530 at Leigh Sports Village.

Danielle Van de Donk scores for Arsenal
Danielle van de Donk scored Arsenal's winner after replacing Jordan Nobbs

Up against an Arsenal side who impressed in a 4-0 Champions League first-leg win away at Italian side Fiorentina on Thursday, former England centre-back Stoney's team were well organised and proved difficult for the Gunners to break down. And they also carved out good chances of their own.

England Under-21 international Ella Toone headed just wide from the hosts' best first-half chance, before England forward Beth Mead's right-wing corner skimmed the crossbar at the other end as the Gunners edged the latter parts of the opening period.

Joe Montemurro's Arsenal, who began their WSL title defence with a 2-1 home win over West Ham United on 8 September, gave England star Jordan Nobbs her first start since a serious knee injury last November, and she showed good touches even though the visitors weren't at their fluid best.

United's Lionesses keeper Earps, who signed from German club Wolfsburg in the summer, produced fine double saves on two separate occasions, thwarting Miedema just before half-time before keeping out two close-range efforts from Scotland's Kim Little after the break.

She then reacted well to deny Miedema and Little again late on, before substitute Van de Donk ensured the Gunners maintained their 100% start to the campaign.

United are without a point from their opening two games, following 7 September's 1-0 loss at local rivals Manchester City, but they have only faced last season's top two sides so far.

'Man Utd deserved something from game' - reaction

Man Utd boss Casey Stoney told BBC Sport:

"I'm gutted for the players because I don't think they deserved that. They deserved more from the game and they deserved more out of the game last week too, but it's almost a repeat, of not taking our chances.

"We've had a good chance in the first half and another good chance in the second half, and it's about fine margins. Arsenal knew they were in a game tonight.

"But [my players] gave everything today - I can't ask any more from them. I'm so proud of every single one of them. Unfortunately they haven't come away with anything and that's why I'm disappointed, because they deserved something from the game."

Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro told BBC Sport:

"A lot of teams are going to find it very, very difficult here. They're a very good side.

"Part of the art of winning games is putting the ball in the back of the net. We had opportunities to do it and didn't do it, but we did it once and that was enough.

"It was a long week but we need to make sure everyone is fresh and ready to go for the weeks to come because it's only going to get tougher and tougher. Every game [in this league] is tight."


Man Utd Women

  • 27Earps
  • 4Turner
  • 5McManus
  • 21Turner
  • 20Smith
  • 12Ladd
  • 10ZelemBooked at 58mins
  • 9SigsworthSubstituted forHansonat 78'minutes
  • 7Toone
  • 11Galton
  • 19RossSubstituted forJamesat 58'minutesBooked at 90mins


  • 2Harris
  • 8Green
  • 15Mikalsen
  • 16James
  • 17Arnot
  • 18Hanson
  • 24Edwards

Arsenal Women

  • 1ZinsbergerBooked at 90mins
  • 20Maier
  • 6Williamson
  • 5Beattie
  • 15McCabe
  • 10Little
  • 14RoordBooked at 80minsSubstituted forQuinnat 90+3'minutes
  • 17Evans
  • 8NobbsSubstituted forvan de Donkat 70'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 23Mead
  • 11Miedema


  • 3Mitchell
  • 7van de Donk
  • 16Quinn
  • 18Peyraud-Magnin
  • 22Schnaderbeck
  • 26Grant
  • 27Filis
Abigail Byrne

Match Stats

Home TeamMan Utd WomenAway TeamArsenal Women
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United Women 0, Arsenal Women 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United Women 0, Arsenal Women 1.

  3. Booking

    Lauren James (Manchester United Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Lisa Evans (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Lauren James (Manchester United Women).

  6. Booking

    Daniëlle van de Donk (Arsenal Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Daniëlle van de Donk (Arsenal Women).

  8. Post update

    Leah Galton (Manchester United Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal Women. Louise Quinn replaces Jill Roord.

  10. Booking

    Manuela Zinsberger (Arsenal Women) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kirsty Hanson (Manchester United Women) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Abbie McManus.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester United Women 0, Arsenal Women 1. Daniëlle van de Donk (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kim Little (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniëlle van de Donk.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leah Williamson (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jennifer Beattie (Arsenal Women) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Kim Little with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Abbie McManus.

  17. Post update

    Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Daniëlle van de Donk.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leonie Maier (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United Women. Conceded by Katie McCabe.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Kim Little with a cross following a corner.

As It Stood

1Everton Women22003036
2Man City Women22003036
3Arsenal Women22003126
4Chelsea Women21102114
5West Ham Women21012203
6Tottenham Women21011103
7Reading Women210112-13
8Brighton Women20201102
9Bristol City Women201102-21
10B'ham City Women200202-20
11Liverpool Women200202-20
12Man Utd Women200202-20
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