Matt Beard’s side looked timid and unsure of themselves to start the game against Spurs, and were lucky not to concede multiple goals in the first half. As a team, there were just too many turnovers and unforced errors. The second half was much better, with the likes of Ceri Holland coming on and giving the team a boost, but the Reds still couldn’t find a way through for their first goal from open play this season.
Below, we take a look at some winners and losers on the night, and attempt to disentangle narrative from fact.
The left forward barely saw the ball in the first half, but that all changed in the second stanza. Liverpool did a much better job of progressing the ball, finding Lawley time and time again down the left wing. She was excellent on the ball when she got it, regularly beating the first (and second) defender to get off great deliveries into the box.
Liverpool turned things around in the second half, and a lot of the positive play came from the subs. Ceri Holland, Razza Roberts, and Megan Cambell all created good chances for the Reds. Holland helped really solidify the midfield, and showed off some great footwork on the ball to fashion a shooting chance shortly after coming on. She also played a sensational ball across the face of goal that no one attacked. Roberts was strong in the tackle as always, and also sent in quite a few good crosses from the right side, coming a whisker from finding the head of Katie Stengel on one. Megan Cambell caused havoc as always with her long throws, and also sent in some great service from the left side as well.
For the third game in a row in league play, Liverpool looked completely adrift to start the match. Runners were not being tracked or handed off, passes were being sent well off mark, even with no pressure, and Liverpool could not get any semblance of an attack going. In all three games, Liverpool have conceded and early goal, putting the team in a hole.
Missy Bo Kearns:
We are big fans of MBK7 around these parts, and fully believe she is going to be a star. Today was a learning experience for her, however. She saw plenty of the ball, but frequently hung onto it for too long and got pressured into turnovers. She also struggled with her passing on the day, often trying to force the ball through multiple windows rather than playing a simple pass to retain possession and progress the ball up the field while the team was really struggling. We love her aggressiveness, but she still has some learning to do as to when to go for the killer pass.
Dissecting the Narrative
This first season back in the WSL is all about survival, and we know goals and points will be at a premium for the Reds. While they were unable to get a goal, and thus a point, off of Spurs, we did see the first real signs of life from Liverpool. After not even getting a shot off in the first half, the Reds became the aggressors in the second half, getting three of their seven shots on target for an xG of 1.23. Hopefully this will be a confidence boost for the team to show they really can hang with teams expected to finish towards the top of the WSL.
What Happens Next
Liverpool continue their tough stretch of games this month when they host second place Arsenal next Sunday. The Gunners have been perfect through three games this season, including a 4-0 win over Spurs. Matt Beard’s side will need to put together a complete performance to get a result.