Manchester City extended their winning run with a 2-1 Women’s Super League victory over Liverpool on Sunday.
The Reds looked set to force a draw after a Katie Stengel goal cancelled out Khadija Shaw’s opener. However, Hayley Raso popped up with the winner in the 75th minute to snatch all three points.
Roebuck; Casparij, Aleixandri, Greenwood (c), Coombs, Kelly (Raso ’68), Castellanos, Hemp, Morgan, Shaw (Fowler ’81), Hasegawa
Laws; Koivisto (Wardlaw ’90), Fahey (c), Matthews, Kearns (Humphrey ’77), Lawley (Daniels ’76), Hinds (Roberts ’83), Furness (Van De Sanden ’76), Stengel, Flaherty, Campbell
How it went
The opening stages of the game were far from the fast flowing football that Man City typically employ. The hosts’ efforts to build an attack were constantly thwarted by Liverpool’s defence slowing down play and breaking up passes.
The earliest chances of the game all went the way of the home side, however the tie remained goalless. It was the 21st minute that finally saw the deadlock broken. The goal came from perhaps the most predictable source.
WSL top scorer Bunny Shaw tapped the ball beyond Rachel Laws reach to bring her total goal tally for the season to six in five games.Embed from Getty Images
While Liverpool’s defence may have held strong against their opposition’s pressure, the same couldn’t be said for Man City.
A shaky defensive display combined with a poor goalkeeping decision saw the game brought back level. American international Stengel found the back of the net with Liverpool’s first league goal from open play this season.
The goal seemed to bring a renewed energy to the visitors. A Liverpool attack was poorly dealt with by City’s backline leading to Liverpool’s third corner of the game.Embed from Getty Images
The second half brought more of the same for the hosts. Consistent pressure from their opponents combined with poor decisions saw the Sky Blues under pressure for large sections of the second half.
Struggling to launch an attack, City were frequently left scrambling back into their own box as Liverpool upped the tempo.
The second half continued with the hosts struggling to get a foothold in the game. It would be a substitute who would finally turn the game in the hosts favour.
Raso’s introduction provided Taylor’s side with the outlet they had been so desperately lacking. The Australian international found the back of Laws’ net just six minutes after coming off the bench.
The tie finished with a slender 2-1 victory to the hosts. Liverpool’s performance will no doubt leave many of their fans feeling the team should have come away with at least one valuable point.
The attendance for the game was 4,002, continuing City’s run of improved attendances. The Sky Blues will next head to Reading while Liverpool will welcome Aston Villa to Prenton park.Embed from Getty Images
Stand out player
With two goals and an assist in her last 2 games, Raso is quickly becoming a pivotal piece of Gareth Taylor’s squad. The Australian international replaced England’s Chloe Kelly as City’s performance began to falter.
The No.13’s physicality and pace is aa key asset for a Manchester City side who can at times struggle to link their midfield and front line.
Post match thoughts
Liverpool’s Matt Beard no doubt echoed many of their fans’ feelings.
Expressing his disappointment at the loss, the Reds’ head coach felt that his team had deserved at least a draw from the game. He also described how his team have had a difficult return to the WSL. Four of their five games have been against teams who finished in the top five last season.
Taylor also seemed disappointed with certain aspects of his team’s play. Citing a lack of decision making in both boxes, the Manchester City manager rued his teams missed chances. The City boss was also quick to praise Liverpool and the tenacity shown by their players.