In Matt Beard’s 50th game in charge of West Ham United, the Hammers made sure he had something to celebrate. The home side earned an emphatic 4-2 win over Beard’s former side Liverpool.
Both teams had been struggling for form in recent weeks, and this match was seen as a must-win for both sides.
The start of the game was relatively quiet, with half-chances as both teams pressed high trying to stamp their authority on the game. The breakthrough finally arrived with West Ham’s first shot of the game.
Adriana Leon collected Julia Simic’s perfectly weighted through-ball and drilling her low strike into the bottom corner from just outside the area.
The game then opened up for Beard’s side and they grabbed their second just one minute later. Alisha Lehmann burst past the covering defender on the wing and easily set up Martha Thomas who slotted home from the six-yard line.Embed from Getty Images
Leon almost grabbed her brace shortly after Thomas doubled West Ham’s lead. The Canadian latched onto Kenza Dali’s audacious lofted ball and tried to lob Liverpool ‘keeper Anke Preuβ.
The Reds’ best chance of the first half came from Niamh Charles with an angled drive at Anna Moorhouse’s near-post.
A hot start to the second half
West Ham got their third five minutes into the second-half with Thomas’ second goal of the game. Cleverly letting the ball pass her legs to create half a yard, she rifled her shot low into the back of the net.
The Hammers continued their ruthless streak with Leon finally getting her double. Thomas sent a driven cross in towards the near post and Leon poached from close-range to bag her side’s fourth of the day.
Too little too late for the Reds
Liverpool found themselves on the scoresheet inside the final 20 minutes when Rachel Furness capitlised on a spilled free-kick to grab one back.
The Reds then got a second in the 90th minute. Again, Furness was the scorer after sinking a bullet header from a set-piece. However, Liverpool’s sudden surge in energy was far too late to make a difference.
Manager Matt Beard had no shortage of positives as an emphatic home win and a high-quality finishing saw his side win their first game in the WSL since January.
The Hammers will look to build on this win as they face a resurgent Manchester United next month.