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Leicester City 2, Liverpool 1: Reds Drop First Game Of The Season

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Liverpool struggled to get any consistent rhythm in the game, and Leicester City took full advantage of the space provided by Liverpool’s defense

Leicester City Women v Liverpool Women - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Pregame

Liverpool travel to Leicester in sole position at the top of the table for the first time this season. Leicester enter the game 5th in the table, unbeaten with a win and two draws, and a game in hand. Amelia Thestrup starts up top with Rinsola Babajide on the bench. Babajide seemed to be carrying a knock in the midweek win over Manchester United.

First Half

Leicester City come out flying, showing thew are quite happy to throw in some physical tackles any time Liverpool start to find space on the field. Liverpool, for their part, seem to struggle with their touch on the artificial surface.

Amelie Thestrup takes a late boot to the ankle, but the referee allows play to continue with no foul given. Leicester City seem to take heart in the non-call, and execute some wonderful rugby tackles with no calls given.

Goal Leicester City. Liverpool struggle to fully clear a ball, and the resulting pass finds Paige Bailey-Gayle in the center of the box. The Leicester player makes a tight turn while bracketed by two players, and thwacks a shot into the top right corner of the net.

Chance for Liverpool! A strong run down the left wing ended with the ball bouncing around in the box. Taylor Hinds sent a shot goal bound, but it was well cleared off the line. Amelia Thestrup and Kirsty Linnett both have their shots blocked before the ball is cleared.

Liverpool start to find some joy on the break, but struggle to find the final ball to feet. Rachel Furness starts several breaks with driving runs from her midfield spot, with Jess Clarke serving as her outlet, cutting in from the right wing.

Leicester City continue to come into challenges hard and late, and the referee continues to let it slide. Jess Clarke gets her clock cleaned well after the ball was away, the the referee somehow does not show a yellow card for the foul.

The referee blows for the end of the half. Liverpool have really struggled to find much of a rythem in the first half.

Second Half

Rinsola Babajide enters the game for Amelie Thestrup to start the second half. Jess Clarke slides to the central role, with Babajide on the left and Melissa Lawley slides to the right.

Liverpool look much more on the front foot to start the half. They have an early penalty should waved off by the referee, and then immediately start an another attack that is stopped by a foul. The referee finally sees fit to give a yellow card.

The commentator has no idea how to pronounce Rinsola Babajide’s name. He also has struggled with Taylor Hinds name. Only the best for the women, eh England FA?

Rachel Laws bails Liverpool out with a huge goal line save! A header off of a corner is initially saved by Laws, and the ball bounces downwards. Laws smothers the ball and keeps it from trickling over the line. Leicester City players are adamant the ball crossed the line, but their is no goal line technology to confirm or deny.

Goal Leicester City. Liverpool at 6s and 7s at the back, and the ball falls to Lachante Paul. Paul makes a nice turn and puts the ball past Rachel Laws with an emphatic finish.

GOAL LIVERPOOL! A free kick is delivered from the right wing, and the Leicester City keeper comes out to claim it, but the ball squeezes through her hands. Jess Clarke is on hand to poke it home as Liverpool draw themselves within a goal with 30 minutes to play.

Jess Clarke and Kirsty Linnett come off for Meikayla Moore and Becky Jane. It will be interesting to see how the formation changes as Moore and Jane are defensive minded.

Rinsola Babajide delivers a wonderful deep cross from the left flank, and Rachel Furness powers a header over the bar. Leicester City player Aimee Everett is down injured, and the stretcher is brought on. Looked like an ankle injury.

Rinsola Babjide with some great high pressing leads to a turnover, and she threads a pass to Rachel Furness at the top of the box. The Northern Ireland international’s shot is well blocked by the defender.

Liverpool yet again leave too much space in the middle of their own box. The resulting shot is blocked out for a corner.

Strong play from Rachel Furness to win a ball deep in her own half, and then drive down the field. Melissa Lawley tries to hold her run, but ends up holding the defender in front of Furness, leaving no space for the pass. Furness takes a left footed shot from just outside the box, but it slides wide of the post.

More great high pressing from Babajide, and she drives into the box. She beats the first defender, but a second defender slides over to block her shot.

Taylor Hinds goes down grabbing her right ankle and has to be go off. Youngster Lucy Parry, the youngest player to ever play for Liverpool, comes on for her as the game enters extra time.

Melissa Lawley carries the ball from deep, and finds Rinsola Babajide at the top of the box. Babajide, fakes a couple of shots, and then sends the ball curling just wide of the far post from the top of the box.

Rachel Laws bails Liverpool out as a Leicester City player runs in behind the Liverpool defense. It looked like offsides, but no call was given, and Laws comes out to get a hand on the shot.

Liverpool push for an equalizer, putting ball after ball into the box, but can’t get a clear cut chance on goal. The full time whistle blows, and Liverpool drop their first game of the season 2-1. Liverpool drop into third place in the table, one point behind Durham and tied with Sheffield United on points.

Post Match Musings

Leicester City deserved the win today, creating quite a few clear cut chances. They imposed themselves physically from the off, and Liverpool did not have an answer. Liverpool also seemed to struggle with their spacing between their midfield and defense, leaving some large gaps in and around the box that Leicester exploited.

Liverpool, for their part, really seemed to struggle to find any sort of rhythm. Whether it was the artificial turf, the physical play, or a hangover from their huge win against Manchester United on Wednesday, the Reds just never seemed to retain and move the ball consistently.

Rinsola Babajide was a very positive introduction when she came on at the half, but only got 15 minutes with Jess Clarke before the latter was subbed off. Liverpool are a different team when those two are on the field together. After that, Babajide seemed to try to do it all herself instead of connecting with others.

Taylor Hinds injury is a concern. The left back has been one of the best players for Liverpool on this young season. Liverpool don’t play again until November 1st, so hopefully there is time for her to heal up.