WSL: Liverpool bank big win over Leicester to go level with title chasers

Melissa Lawley of Liverpool celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal
Melissa Lawley of Liverpool celebrates with teammates after scoring the team's first goal against Leicester City (Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images)

Liverpool looked to outfox Leicester City in their Sunday afternoon fixture at Prenton Park. The Reds managed to edge out a 2-1 win, with Melissa Lawley and Marie Höbinger getting on the scoresheet.

The two sides got their respective Women’s Super League seasons off to a flying start, with the pair at the top of the table at one point. After the latest clash, Liverpool sit fourth on 10 points while Leicester are three points behind in seventh.

The Reds’ points tally puts them level with Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester City, who are all currently rivalling Chelsea in the title race.

Starting XIs

Liverpool

Laws; Fisk, Clark, Bonner, Matthews, Hinds, Nagano, Kearns, Hobinger, Lawley, Roman H.

Leicester City

Leitzig; Nevin, Tierney, Bott, Howard, Rantala, Petermann, Green, Thibaud, Goodwin, Cain

How it went

Liverpool’s home stadium is a contrasting blue inside Prenton Park, where you’d think Leicester would feel more at home. However, it was the Reds on the front foot for most of the first half, with the sun setting behind the Centre Stand.

Liverpool looked sharp and were first to every second ball, seeing Lawley switch flanks and cause Leicester trouble throughout. It was Lawley who forced Janina Leitzig into her first save of the match with some smart play.

Minutes later, in another wave of Liverpool attack, Sophie Román Haug headed wide after a good cross from Lawley. Leicester looked in disarray at the back, rushed on the ball and under pressure at every turn from a Liverpool team who looked up for it.

In a rare foray forward for Leicester, CJ Bott took the ball right up the pitch. The New Zealand Fern grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and Liverpool needed Clark to make a last-ditch block to stop Bott scoring her first of the season.

The two sides entered the break level and goalless.

Second half action

Fan favourite Rachel Laws celebrated her birthday on Sunday and had more to be excited about early in the second half. Grace Fisk turned the ball over deep in Leicester’s defensive third, and without any pressure on her, Lawley took the ball into the penalty area and struck high and hard past Leitzig for the opener.

Against the run of play, Leicester pushed forward. After some great play from Sam Tierney, a second attempt in the penalty box from Missy Goodwin took on Fisk. The Leicester forward got her shot off and even she looked surprised when it smashed into the net to make it 1-1. The travelling fans enjoyed Goodwin’s first goal of the season.

The match programme contained a pull-out poster of in-form midfielder Höbinger. After her latest display, fans will definitely have that adorning their walls. Höbinger scored the winner against Arsenal and she stepped up again to claim the three points over Leicester.

The match ended 2-1 to Liverpool, they bossed this match from start to finish with 18 shots, 13 corners, and shockingly only edging possession at 51 percent.

Who is up next?

At the final whistle for Matt Beards 150th match in charge, Liverpool were the ones celebrating. Leicester looked lacklustre without the mysteriously missing Whelan and O’Brien. They’ll certainly need to improve when they host Arsenal in their next match at the King Power Stadium on November 12th.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will be hoping to take this return to winning ways into their next WSL match. Th Reds will travel away to face high-flying Tottenham.

MORE from Her Football Hub: