The win keeps Manchester United third in the table, while Villa remain in 10th - four points above Bristol City who occupy the relegation spot
Sunday 7 March 2021 16:58, UK
Manchester United made light work of Aston Villa to secure a comfortable 3-0 victory in the Women's Super League.
Despite missing a number of key players due to injury, including Christen Press and Tobin Heath, Casey Stoney's side appeared revitalised after the international break and won their first match in three.
After a cagey start at Leigh Sports Village, Scotland international Kirsty Hanson gave the hosts the lead in the 27th minute with a heavily deflected effort that hit the crossbar and dropped behind Villa goalkeeper Lisa Weiss.
Jess Sigsworth headed home a perfectly-angled free-kick from Lucy Staniforth in the 43rd minute to double the lead.
United kept possession for much of the second half, before wrapping up the points in the 73rd minute when a cross from Hayley Ladd was nodded home by captain Katie Zelem.
The win keeps United third in the table, while Villa remain in 10th - four points above Bristol City who occupy the relegation spot.
Arsenal's hopes of qualifying for the Women's Champions League next season were kept alive with a 4-0 away win against Birmingham.
Playing at St George's Park due to a string of weather and pitch-related postponements, Caitlin Foord broke the deadlock in the 37th minute with a right-footed shot from close range.
The Australian forward scored her second goal just two minutes later, with her shot from the middle of the box finding the bottom left corner.
Foord's double brings her goals tally up to nine so far this season, making her Arsenal's second-highest scorer in the 2020-21 campaign.
Vivianne Miedema got herself on the scoresheet in the 76th minute with a right-footed strike from outside the box, assisted by Katie McCabe.
The Dutch striker's first WSL goal against Birmingham was her 56th in the competition, meaning she is once again the league's all-time top scorer, dethroning Manchester City's Ellen White.
Lisa Evans scored in the third minute of added time on the rebound from close range, with Miedema getting her second assist of the game.
Manchester City edged past Everton 1-0 at the Academy Stadium to keep the pressure on Chelsea in the race for the Women's Super League title.
City looked to dominate the ball in a repeat of last season's FA Cup final, but Everton defended well, limiting City's clear-cut opportunities.
Their best chance to break the deadlock came in the 25th minute when Caroline Weir's free-kick deflected off the wall into the path of Sam Mewis, who flashed her shot inches wide of the post.
Lucy Bronze and Chloe Kelly continually combined well down the right-hand side but Everton goalkeeper Sandy McIver was equal to Bronze's clever cross into the box in the 31st minute and both teams headed down the tunnel all square at the break.
Everton started the second half brighter but City continued to show glimpses of danger.
Ellen White was played in behind for the first time in the 61st minute, but skewed her shot wide of the left-hand post.
The Toffees were growing into the game and Ellie Roebuck did well to punch clear Claire Emslie's corner in the 78th minute under pressure in her box, but just two minutes later City got their goal.
Lauren Hemp's cut back was clinically driven home into the left-hand corner by Keira Walsh from just outside the box.
Everton threw everybody forward in the dying minutes but failed to find the equaliser their determination deserved, with City digging deep to clinch their ninth league win in a row.