Manchester United forward embodies ‘Red Devil energy’ says manager Marc Skinner

Manchester United women hosted West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday in their second game of the season at their men’s ground.

Despite heading into the break level, United came out firing in the second half and scored four goals to go top of the Women’s Super League.

The three points proved crucial for the Reds as their city neighbours beat Chelsea on Sunday, meaning United would remain top at the end of Women’s Football Weekend.

Following their victory over the Hammers, United manager Marc Skinner was full of praise for his side after a four-midable second half performance. 

“The reality was at half-time we had a few words with each other, and recognised that we needed to be better, and that we did not give the ‘Red Devil’ energy that we needed to do, so in the second half, you saw that and the players took ownership which is all we want.”

In the second half, Skinner made a number of substitutes that changed the game, the most influential being when Lucia Garcia replaced Nikita Parris 10 minutes into the second half. 

It took the forward 10 minutes to stake her claim and find the back of the net after she controlled the ball and slotted home following a great pass from Ella Toone.

Skinner continued: “We had a meeting this week (with Garcia) and I reviewed her game against Lewes. I didn’t think she performed anywhere near her ability but her energy to want to get back on the ball.

“We had a good, honest conversation, which was great. The reason we signed Lucia is because I think she can do that for 90 minutes, she is just taking a little bit of time to adapt to the league.

“When I talk about the  ‘Red Devil energy’ it’s her, she is it, the way she moves, the way she presses, the touch and go is beautiful, it’s the way she invades the space behind the shoulder, that is exactly how I see it.

“She was excellent and she needs to keep that up now. I’ve got 45 minutes of footage to show her now, to say ‘this is the Lucia Garcia Manchester United need.'”

United were winning 1-0 following a converted Katie Zalem penalty when Garcia was brought onto the field of play. 

After her 35 minute appearance, the referee blew the whistle and the Spanish forward had scored a brace to take her tally up to five WSL goals this season in 15 appearances.

Skinner will be hoping Garcia can carry that form forward into the remaining games of the season, with United still competing for the league title and FA Cup.

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