Merseyside Derby: Toffees conquer Anfield again

Megan Finnigan and Everton teammates wave to fans.
Megan Finnigan and Everton teammates wave to fans after defeating Liverpool at Anfield on October 15, 2023. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

This year’s eagerly anticipated Merseyside Derby proved to be an exciting affair. With sides turning in excellent performances, it was visiting Everton that took the 1-0 victory.

First half highlights

The match started quickly, as the hosts put the ball in the back of the net within the first fifteen minutes. Missy Bo Kearns got on the end of a Taylor Hinds cross, and the Reds were off and running.

At least, until the offside flag came up. Video reviews of the play could have gone either way, and the referee held firm to the offside call. The game stayed at 0-0, much to the chagrin of the Anfield faithful. After only three weeks in the WSL season, we have already had quite the share of controversial calls.

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Liverpool almost tscored again, with Ceri Holland’s blast shaking the frame of Courtney Brosnan’s goal. Everton seemed to wake up after this, becoming a much more settled side. The match evened out, and the visitors finally struck paydirt.

In the 31st minute, Everton captain Megan Finnegan finished Katrine Veje’s service into the box with a wonderful header. The strike went past Rachel Laws for the Toffees’ first lead of the young season. The teams traded a few chances, none as glorious as the earlier ones. The halftime whistle saw Finnegan’s goal as the difference.

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Second half highlights

The second half showed a very patient Everton maintaining quality possession for long periods of play.

Toni Duggan and Katja Snoeijs had terrific chances, but Laws held strong and kept Liverpool in it.

The hosts had a few chances of their own to even the tie. Natasha Flint unleashed a late rocket that cruised just over the bar. The Reds pressed strongly for the last fifteen minutes, but the equalizer was not to be found.

Finnegan’s second goal of the season has her tied for second in the Golden Boot race. She is also firing at a perfect 100%, scoring on both of her shots on goal this season.

On to the next

The Merseyside Derby result was markedly different for the two sides. It was Everton’s first victory this season and Liverpool’s first defeat. The Reds now sit fifth in the table but are only one point off the three league leaders. Everton’s first points of the season move them to eighth in the table.

Worrying for Everton is the early injury suffered by midfielder Lucy Hope. She went down in the third minute of play and was replaced by Clare Wheeler. The Toffees have several players nursing injuries right now, so they are crossing their fingers that Hope’s injury is not severe.

Everton hosts Man United next Sunday, October 22, at Walton Hall. That same day, Liverpool will travel to Chigwell Stadium to take on West Ham.

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