Liverpool opened the weekend at the top of the table, and took care of business in another strong performance against Sunderland. The win ran their unbeaten streak to 12 games, and with the other results from the weekend, Liverpool managed to extend their lead in the FA Women’s Championship. Let’s take a deeper dive, shall we?
Holland has quietly had a stellar season thus far. Against Sunderland, the Welsh midfielder was extremely unlucky not to find herself on the score sheet multiple times. She played a sensational outside-of-the-boot through ball to Leanne Kiernan, who saw her shot well saved. Holland also had a go at goal herself, hitting an absolute rocket from just outside the box that rocked the crossbar. Ceri showed up all over the field, in and out of possession, as she usually does, and was rewarded with the team’s Player of the Match award.
The diminutive dynamo is looking like she is fully back from the broken leg she sustained last spring. Despite her short stature, Furness is known for her aerial prowess, and showed it with her first assist of the game, heading the ball back across goal to Yana Daniels. Her second assist showed off her vision and touch as she hit a brilliant first time ball with her left foot that dropped perfectly for Leanne Kiernan to touch home. Furness now has four assists for the season, averaging almost an assist every 90 minutes (0.94/90).
The Attacking Triumvirate
All three of Liverpool’s attacking band scored on the day, with both Yana Daniels and Melissa Lawley opening their accounts in the league this season. Daniels has been a fantastic addition since returning from injury, offering plenty of attacking verve on the dribble. Her height has also been an issue on set plays, and she used it against Sunderland to rise up to head home over two defenders from close range.
Melissa Lawley has been on of Liverpool’s most consistent players all season, providing a constant threat on the dribble as well as with her passing. She’s already provided four assists on the year, and scored her first goal of the season with a sensational curler to the far post.
While the other two players were notching their first goals of the season, Leanne Kiernan was busy knocking in her seventh. All of those goals have come in her last five games, averaging a goal every 60 minutes during that stretch. Seems good. Kiernan has shown a poachers instinct for being in the right place at the right time, but a lot of that comes form her willingness to make the runs to get there. Her goal today was just such an occasion, as she immediately made a run through the middle as soon as the ball went wide to Rachel Furness. Her anticipation put her in front of her defender, and she did well to knock in the ball as it was bouncing.
With Liverpool winning on Saturday, London City and Durham knew they needed wins to keep the distance close at the top of the table. Both teams ended up losing, seeing themselves fall further behind the Reds. Liverpool now have a four point cushion at the top of the table over London City, with Crystal Palace and Durham both five points behind.
What Happens Next
The Women will now disperse for yet another international break. Liverpool will return to action on December 19 with a trip to...Sunderland. This time the Reds will travel back to face the Lady Black Cats (why do we have to stick “ladies on the front end of nicknames like this) in the last match of the Continental Tyres Cup group stage. A win from Liverpool will see them win the group and advance to the knock out rounds.