The first goal for United Women at the Theatre of Dreams was scored by Lauren James. A deep corner was played in for Maria Thorisdottir to get her head on it before James poached it in with her head from close range.
Story of the game
United started the match like many expected, dominant in possession and a few chances early doors. James was the first to have a shot and although it was from long-distance, it gave Courtney Brosnan something to think about.
Martha Thomas picked up a loose ball for the Hammers and was able to play Dagny Brynjarsdottir in on goal. Unfortunately for the Icelandic international, her shot was struck straight at Mary Earps who made a comfortable save.
James won the ball deep into West Ham's half for Press to run onto. Press took the ball into the box and tried to square it back to James who would have had a tap-in.
Thomas took the ball straight up the other end and had a shot from distance which worried Earps slightly, but her effort was dragged wide.
Kenza Dali had a shot on the brink of halftime which was deflected and troubled Earps. West Ham ended the half the brighter side but both teams headed down the tunnel all square.
It did not take long for United to get going in the second half, James put the hosts a goal to the good in the 50th minute. Thorisdottir won the header from a deep corner which James got her head on from close range to give United the lead.
Press made it two-nil when Groenen found her with a beautiful short pass inside the box. Press struck the ball first-time and perfectly placed it past the West Ham 'keeper to double United's lead.
Press found a real hunger for another as United looked dangerous every time they went forward. They counter-attacked with Ella Toone who laid it back for Press to strike from distance which required a finger-tip save to deny her a second in the game.
To make matters worse for West Ham, Laura Vetterlein was sent off with just over ten minutes to play after receiving a second yellow card.
United enjoyed their debut in such a historic venue, which unfortunately remained empty due to the pandemic. But for the United players, they will have happy memories of their first appearance at Old Trafford. On the other hand, West Ham will not want to remember the result, but definitely the occasion.
Europe still on for United, relegation looms for the Hammers
Casey Stoney's side will be glad to put their damaging defeat to Arsenal behind them and pick up three valuable points. They are now six points clear of an Arsenal team seeking European qualification too. But for Arsenal, they have two games in hand on United.
For West Ham, it's not going so well. Relegation is well and truly looming and despite a fine first-half performance, failing to master the basics let them down. They need results desperately if they are to stand a chance of staying in this league.