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Sir Jim Ratcliffe makes statement after missing Man Utd women win FA Cup to watch men lose

The injury-hit men’s United team lost 1-0 to Premier League title challengers Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. Leandro Trossard’s first-half goal was the difference between the sides.

But it was a far more memorable afternoon for the women. They thrashed Tottenham 4-0 through goals from England international Ella Toone, Rachel Williams and Lucia Garcia (x2) under the Wembley arch.

It is the first cup competition the United women’s team, only established in 2018, have ever won. They reached the final of the FA Cup last year too but were defeated by Chelsea.

Ratcliffe nonetheless attended the men’s match despite the fact there was little riding on the fixture for United. Ratcliffe delivered a personal message to the female players pre-match and later issued a public statement after the full-time whistle.

He said via INEOS: “Congratulations to the @ManUtdWomen team on lifting the FA Cup today. A proud and historic moment for the team that is testament to their grit, determination and team spirit. A wonderful achievement. Many congratulations.”

Majority owner Avram Glazer was present at the women’s FA Cup final in Ratcliffe’s absence. The INEOS chief was spotted in conversation with Sir Dave Brailsford at Old Trafford several hours before kick-off.

And women’s manager Marc Skinner said: “It [the new era at United under INEOS] has just been really exciting with the energy it’s driving. It won’t be long before we’re being talked about in the elite.

“Before the game, I felt we were in a really good space. I felt out players were ready. They had a business job to do. I wanted to start fast. I wanted to disrupt their [Tottenham’s] rhythm.

“I’m happy with the job that I’m doing at Man United. If we believe we should be winning everything every second, we’re not in the right [frame of mind].

“We’re not happy with where we will finish in the league, but to be history-makers for this club means more than ‘relief’. I held back tears.”

United’s all-time top goalscorer Wayne Rooney, part of Sky Sports’ coverage for the men’s match against Arsenal, insists there must be widespread change at the club. They have now lost 14 times in the Premier League this season.

“I think they all are [fighting for their futures],” Rooney said. “Managers, players, coaches, recruitment. The whole club. This end of the season they have some difficult games coming up and then they have the FA Cup final.

“For me, as a player, you have to show you work and that you want to play for this football club. That has to start from today, you can’t just turn it on for the FA Cup final. It has to start from today.”

United will contest the men’s FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday 25 May.


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