The much talked about 2018/19 FA Women's Super League season kicked off on Saturday, the first of the new fully professional era in the top flight of women's football in England.
10 of the 11 WSL clubs were in action on Sunday, with two-time champions Arsenal and two-time champions Liverpool getting the season underway in an early kick-off.
In a one-sided game at the Gunners' Borehamwood home ground, Arsenal simply had too much and blew the visitors away in the first half. A brace from Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema and further goals from Lisa Evans and Kim Little gave Arsenal a 4-0 lead at the break, with Miedema then completing her hat-trick to push the score-line to 5-0 in stoppage time.
Reading comfortably beat Yeovil 4-0 after two goals in the first 11 minutes from experienced pair Gemma Davison and Fara Williams, before a Lauren Bruton penalty and Remi Allen header in quick succession doubled the Royals' advantage at the hour mark.
Birmingham enjoyed a 1-0 home win over Everton thanks to a single goal from Charlie Welling just 42 seconds into the contest, while Bristol City secured a narrow 1-0 away win at Brighton when Lucy Graham scored for the Robins midway through the second half.
The highest profile game of the opening day saw reigning champions Chelsea host nearest challengers Manchester City. Despite the plethora of attacking talent on display and a combined 31 attempts on goal, defence won out on the day and the game finished 0-0.
West Ham are the only team yet to start their 2018/19 WSL season, with Arsenal and Reading currently leading the way at the top after one game.
In the second tier FA Women's Championship there were opening day wins for Lewes, Durham, Leicester and Tottenham, but all eyes were on Manchester United's eagerly anticipated first league game since reforming just a few short months ago.
FT: Aston Villa 0 #MUWomen12— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) September 9, 2018
United secure their first 3 points of the season with an outstanding victory to kick off the campaign in style. Goals from @jessSigsworth5 (5), @laurenjamess22 (2), @KirstyHanson3 (2), @katiezel, @mollie_green97 and @ellatoone99! #MUWomen pic.twitter.com/AfFPoDI1MZ
United, who have beaten Liverpool and lost to Reading in recent weeks in the Continental Cup, comprehensively annihilated Aston Villa on the road, winning by an astonishing 12-0 scoreline.
There were five goals for Jess Sigsworth and further goals from Lauren James (2), Kirsty Hanson (2), Katie Zelem, Mollie Green and Ella Toone, with all 12 scored in only 68 minutes.