WSL: Chelsea title hopes severely dashed after Liverpool thriller

Gemma Bonner celebrates with teammates after scoring her team's second goal during the Barclays Women´s Super League match between Liverpool and Chelsea
Gemma Bonner celebrates with teammates after scoring her team's second goal during the Barclays Women´s Super League match between Liverpool and Chelsea (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

A dejected Emma Hayes was handed a potentially title-ending defeat on Wednesday evening as Liverpool stunned Chelsea in a seven-goal thriller. The reigning Women’s Super League champions had their hopes of a fifth consecutive reign severely dashed as the Reds edged out the blockbuster 4-3 win.

The two sides last met in November, with Chelsea delivering a crushing 5-1 defeat to Matt Beard’s side at Kingsmeadow. Since then, Liverpool have moved to fifth in the table having suffered just three league defeats. Their performance against Hayes’ Blues lifted the roof off Prenton Park and handed a major advantage to title challengers Manchester City.

Starting XIs

Liverpool

Micah; Koivisto, Fisk, Nagano, Haug, Hinds, Enderby, Hobinger, Clark, Holland, Bonner

Chelsea

Hampton; Bright, Nusken, Carter, Macario, Lawrence, Kirby, Kaneryd, Charles, Cuthbert, Beever-Jone

How it went

Aggie Beever-Jones got the goal-scoring action underway with less than ten minutes on the clock. Heading the ball beyond Teagan Micah, the No.33 gave her side the crucial early lead. Although both sides had good chances throughout the opening half, neither team could add to the scoreline with the Blues holding a narrow lead at the break.

The second half brought intense drama as Sophia Roman Haug levelled the scoreline just six minutes in. Gemma Bonner added a second for the hosts in the 66th minute and gave Liverpool the lead for the first time in the match.

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Beever-Jones equalised the scoreline in the 80th minute, firing the ball beyond Micah from a well-worked play inside the area. However, just seconds later, Leanne Kiernan restored the hosts’ lead with Ceri Holland providing the assist.

More drama unfolded as an own goal from Micah minutes after Kiernan’s goal levelled the scoreline once again, with just seven minutes of regulation time left to play. With nine minutes added on, Bonner bagged her brace in the second minute of injury time to hand Liverpool all three points, dealing a huge blow to Chelsea’s title hopes.

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The title race

Chelsea will be looking to Arsenal to salvage their title dreams as they hand Man City an undeniable advantage. Gareth Taylor’s side are up against the Gunners next, followed by Aston Villa. A win and a draw would be enough to see City side lift the title, regardless of Chelsea’s results.

With the Blues having a game in-hand, they could now finish on a maximum of 55 points, while Man City could wrap up their campaign with 58. Hayes will be hoping there is room for mistake somewhere in City’s final run.

Up next

Liverpool will host Manchester United before travelling to face Leicester City on the final day of the season. Chelsea will welcome Bristol City ahead of their midweek clash with Tottenham Hotspur. The Blues will face Man United in a blockbuster final day of the season at Old Trafford.

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