Man Utd 0-6 Chelsea: Player ratings as Blues cruise to WSL title with thumping Old Trafford win

  • Chelsea score six goals on the final day of WSL season
  • Man Utd poor in the wake of winning the FA Cup
  • Blues lift fifth straight title in Emma Hayes' last game
Chelsea thrashed Man Utd at Old Trafford
Chelsea thrashed Man Utd at Old Trafford / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Chelsea romped to a fifth straight WSL title in style in Emma Hayes’ last game before leaving English football to imminently take over as the new USWNT coach.

The Blues put six goals past a Manchester United side who many would have expected to compete a lot better off the back of last weekend’s FA Cup success, having also beaten Hayes’ team little over a month ago en-route to that success.

But there was pretty much only one team in this game from the very start as Mayra Ramirez bullied her way to two goals and two assists in the first half alone.

Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and Sjoeke Nusken also had their names on the scoresheet before the interval, with Melanie Leupolz adding a fifth shortly after the restart on a jubilant day for anyone connected to Chelsea. Fran Kirby even scored a sixth off the bench, running to the corner of away fans as she prepares to depart the club she has become a legend at.

Manchester United didn’t want to end the season on such a downer, especially after finally getting their hands on a major trophy, and finished the campaign in fifth place - their lowest since promotion to the WSL and closer to the bottom half than the top three.

How the game unfolded

Old Trafford could have been confused with a disco pre-match as the club tried to pump the atmosphere in the Theatre of Dreams. But Chelsea had little time to waste knowing what was at stake and silenced that buzz inside two minutes. Guro Reiten got free down the left and stood the ball up in the middle, where Ramirez had the jump on Millie Turner to head in.

The Blues kept their foot on the pedal and doubled that advantage within a few minutes more, this time Ramirez, with her back to goal, rolling Turner and sliding a ball through to Rytting Kaneryd in the right channel. One-on-one, she dinked over the on-rushing Mary Earps. With Chelsea running riot, only Reiten’s inability to connect with Rytting Kaneryd’s ball across the six-yard box stopped it from being immediately three.

Caught cold by Chelsea’s rapid start, United had managed to stop the bleeding around 20 minutes in and very nearly pulled one back when Maya Le Tissier’s near-post header from a corner clipped the top of the bar and bounced over. The visitors were still asking most of the questions, but the killer passes that had been getting through before started to be cut out. 

Chelsea fans, who travelled to Manchester in impressive numbers and made noise all game, were incensed when Ramirez knocked the ball beyond Turner in the box and then went down under pressure. But referee Rebecca Welch was unmoved by the shouts for a penalty. The bleeding started again moments later in the closing stages of the half, the Colombian’s raw speed and strength too much for the usually imperious United centre-back, driving past her on the right and putting the ball on a plate for Nusken to tap into the open goal in the middle.

The fifth came quickly after the restart and was the result of both United’s failure to clear and Chelsea’s persistence. Leupolz was the eventual beneficiary after Earps made an initial save, Rytting Kaneryd poked an effort on to the post and the ball was recycled into the German midfielder’s path a few yards from goal.

With both managers making a raft of substitutions, the rhythm of the game somewhat disappeared. Chelsea were on course to be crowned champions again and United were resigned to their fate. But there was still time for an emotional sixth goal as Kirby, on her last appearance for the Blues, was played in to wrap the ball calmly around Earps with the inside of her right foot.

United’s afternoon was summed when Lucia Garcia lifted their best chance of the game over the bar from a promising position in the final minutes of the 90.

Man Utd player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Lisa Naalsund, jess carter
Man Utd struggled to get close to Chelsea / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

GK: Mary Earps - 4/10 - Her future is still uncertain, which made it possible this was her last game for the club. Won't have been happy to be beaten so many times even it wasn't her fault.

RB: Jayde Riviere - 4/10 - A slight reshuffle at half-time saw her switch to the left. Had kept Reiten mostly quiet after the winger's early assist but proceeded to struggle against Rytting Kaneryd.

CB: Maya Le Tissier - 5/10 - Did more to disrupt Chelsea than her team-mates but even she wasn't immune to the sudden drop from United since last week.

CB: Millie Turner - 3/10 - Ramirez had her number twice in the early stages to devastating effect, with Chelsea's third goal then a product of the Colombian beating her for strength and pace around the outside. Will be disappointed with the fifth too. Extremely rare to see her second best like this.

LB: Hannah Blundell - 3/10 - Struggled to even get a foot in as wave and wave of attacks came. Didn't return for the second half.

CM: Katie Zelem (c) - 4/10 - Set-piece delivery remained an asset and she was accurate in her passing, but no match for Chelsea in a defensive capacity.

CM: Lisa Naalsund - 3/10 - Ramirez beat her like she wasn't there for Chelsea's fourth. Couldn't get a foothold in the game at all.

RM: Lucia Garcia - 6/10 - The cup final hero ran tirelessly and gave absolutely everything in and out of possession.

AM: Ella Toone - 4/10 - Played such a big role at Wembley and was honoured pre-match with the club's player and goal of the year awards. But her impact wasn't really felt here.

LM: Melvine Malard - 5/10 - Started in place of the injured Leah Galton. There were fleeting glimpses of her quality but didn't have enough of the ball to make it count.

ST: Rachel Williams - 5/10 - Only had scraps to feed off.


SUB: Aoife Mannion (46' for Blundell) - 5/10

SUB: Geyse (66' for Malard) - 6/10

SUB: Hinata Miyazawa (66' for Naalsund) - 6/10

SUB: Gemma Evans (77' for Riviere) - 5/10

SUB: Nikita Parris (77' for Williams) - 5/10

Subs not used: Phallon Tullis-Joyce (GK), Evie Rabjohn, Irene Guerrero, Hayley Ladd.


Marc Skinner - 3/10 - Kept faith, where possible, with the side that beat Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final. His team was no match this time when they had previously been all over the Blues.

Chelsea player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Mayra Ramirez was on another planet
Mayra Ramirez was on another planet / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

GK: Zecira Musovic - 6/10 - Would have expected far more to do. Not tested.

RB: Jess Carter - 7/10 - Ultimately held her own against a potential threat in Malard.

CB: Millie Bright (c) - 7/10 - Continued to get back to it after a season marred by a long-term injury.

CB: Nathalie Bjorn - 7/10 - Pretty unflappable as it goes. Could have been tidier in possession.

LB: Niamh Charles - 8/10 - Managed to keep a lid on the lively Garcia with expert defending.

CM: Erin Cuthbert - 8/10 - Ever combative in the centre of the pitch, repeatedly winning the ball and stopping United from gaining any traction.

CM: Melanie Leupolz - 7/10 - Her goal was somewhat fortuitous but it was a commanding performance from her during just shy of an hour on the pitch.

RM: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd - 9/10 - Stayed composed when going through on goal to make it 2-0 and had no end of freedom down the flank to wreak havoc.

AM: Catarina Macario - 7/10 - Ghosted all over the pitch looking for the space to cause most damage. Really difficult for United players to pick up as a result. Off injured in the first half though.

LM: Guro Reiten - 9/10 - Her inch-perfect cross set Chelsea on their way, while she assisted the fifth straight after half-time. Remarkable efficiency as she didn't touch the ball all that much overall.

ST: Mayra Ramirez - 10/10 - A stunning all-round display when it mattered most. Broke the deadlock with a header like a true 'number nine', then set up the second, scored the third with an exceptional solo run, before assisting the fourth. Off inside an hour with the job done.


SUB: Sjoeke Nusken (41' for Macario) - 8/10

SUB: Aggie Beever-Jones (57' for Ramirez) - 6/10

SUB: Sophie Ingle (58' for Leupolz) - 7/10

SUB: Ashley Lawrence (72' for Reiten) - 6/10

SUB: Fran Kirby (72' for Kirby) - 7/10

Subs not used: Hannah Hampton (GK), Kadeisha Buchanan, Maika Hamano, Lauren James.


Emma Hayes - 9/10 - Her pre-match team talk probably wrote itself in the circumstances. It was clear how much this meant to her as each passing goal went in and she was loving the back and forth with the delighted Chelsea fans in the second half.

Player of the match - Mayra Ramirez (Chelsea)