clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Liverpool FC Women 1, Manchester City 2: Reds Sunk By Second Half Sub

Liverpool played well over all, and got their first goal from open play. A goal by substitute Hayley Raso in the 75th minute proved to be a back breaker, however, as Liverpool failed to convert their own chance late in the match.

Manchester City v Liverpool FC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Manchester City - Liverpool

Manchester City: Khadija Shaw 21’, Hayley Raso 75’
Liverpool: Katie Stengel 33’


It has been a very tough stretch of games to start the season for newly promoted Liverpool. Matt Beard’s side faced three of the top four sides in their opening four games after the original opening match against Reading was postponed. The Liverpool FC Women rounded out their brutal stretch of games with a match against the ascendant Manchester City, led by WSL top scorer Bunny Shaw.

Matt Beard did get a boost in the team sheet, with the big offseason signing, Shanice van de Sanden, fit enough to be on the bench after dealing with an achilles injury to start the season. Missy Bo Kearns came in for Yana Daniels as the only change from the match against Arsenal in the original starting line up. Midfield engine and top performer Ceri Holland had to be withdrawn shortly before kickoff, and was replace by Rachel Furness in the starting XI.

First Half

Liverpool with some nervy moments early, dealing with three corner kicks in the opening 10 minutes. The Reds remained calm, however, and dealt with each situation.

Liverpool got their first opportunity of the match in the ninth minute after winning a throw in on the left wing. Megan Campbell launched the ball into the box, and it was half cleared to Taylor Hinds. She launched a shot from outside the box that was easily saved by Ellie Roebuck, but it was the first shot on target for Liverpool in the first half all season.

Liverpool had to scramble the ball away from their goalmouth in the 14th minute. Several players got involved to try to clear or block shots, and the ball eventually ends up just wide of the post for a Manchester City corner kick. Liverpool defend it well, and the ball went out for a goal kick, but Manchester City won the ball right back and got a cross into the box. Bunny Shaw got on the end of it, but her header was dealt with by Rachael Laws.

Manchester City carved open Liverpool through some great work by Lauren Hemp in the 20th minute to open the scoring. Hemp carried the ball through midfield, beating several players on the dribble before sliding a perfectly weighted reverse pass to Bunny Shaw. The forward did what she does best, taking one touch before slotting the ball past Racheal Laws from close range to give Manchester City a 1-0 lead.

Liverpool took a couple of additional speculative efforts from distance that failed to make it anywhere near the frame really. Still, the fact that Liverpool were getting shots off in the first half was a good sign after their anemic first half output the first four matches.

Liverpool started to dial up the high press as the first half wore on. Rachal Furness, Katie Stengel, and Missy Bo Kearns created havoc in the box in the 30th minute, with the young Scouser nipping the ball off of a defender as she received a pass from the goalkeeper in the box. Kearns got a quick shot off while under pressure, but it was right at Roebuck.

The Reds again won the ball in the attacking half just a couple of minute later, and this time they did not miss. The ball was again stolen from a defender, this time by Katie Stengel, who carried the ball into the box and ripped a low shot past the keeper for Liverpool’s first goal from open play this season!!!

Manchester City almost took the lead back moments later after a driving run down the right from Chloe Kelly, but Bunny Shaw was just unable to get the right touch on the ball with her sliding attempt to get to the cross and it went out for a goal kick.

Liverpool again created chances late in the first half. Katie Stengel did well to battle with multiple defenders in the Manchester City half. Missy Bo Kearns came in to win the ball after it was tackled off of Stengel, and she played a cross in from the left wing. The ball eluded everyone until Emma Koivisto got to it on the right side of the box. The Fin tried a shot, but it was blocked out for a corner. Liverpool got a head on the resulting ball in, but sent it high and wide. The Reds kept the pressure up and kept the ball in the Manchester City half for the next few minutes until the half time whistle blew.

Second Half

Manchester City opened up the second half with a quick strike down the left wing. Lauren Hamp carried the ball towards the box in the opening seconds of the half and unleashed a rocket from distance, but thankfully it was right at Rachael Laws, who dealt with it easily.

Niamh Fahey showed off her great ability to read the game time and time again in the first half, and did so again early in the second. She timed her step perfectly to block a shot from Laruen Hemp in the box to clear a dangerous situation.

Liverpool again pressed their way into a chance. The high press from Katie Stengel caused a turnover that made it to Melissa Lawley at the top of the box. She turned away from pressure and played a ball for Emma Koivisto to run onto in the right side of the box. The Finnish wing back played the ball across the face of goal, with Katie Stengel eventually getting the ball near the top of the box on the left side, but her shot was well saved.

Megan Campbell made a massive goal line clearance to keep the score level. Manchester City broke with numbers, and Niamh Fahey did well to block a shot from Yui Hasegawa in the box. The ball caromed up into the air and both Rachael Laws and Gilly Flaherty hesitated for a moment, leaving Chloe Kelly with a free header from close range as Laws started to step out. The ball looped over the keeper, but Megan Campbell raced back to clear it off the line.

Both Rachael Laws and Missy Bo Kearns went down an needed treatment minutes apart. Thankfully both players were able to continue.

Liverpool pushed forward in the attack and were undone on the counter in the 74th minute. Alex Greenwood sprayed a ball forward toward Bunny Shaw, who won the initial header and carried the ball to the top of the box. She played it right to substitute Hayley Raso, who saw her first shot saved brilliantly by Racheal Laws. Raso was quickest to regain her feet, though, and drilled her second shot into the roof of the net.

Matt Beard made a trio of substitutions of the match directly after the goal. Yana Daniels came on for Missy Bo Kearns, and Shanice van de Sanden made her season debut in place of Melissa Lawley. Carla Humphrey also came on for Rachel Furness.

Dutch speedster van de Sanden looked to get involved right away, sprinting after a ball down the left. That was a great site to see, her speed and creativity have been sorely lacking.

Gilly Flaherty almost gifted a goal to Manchester City, misplaying a ball right to Lauren Hemp. The forward tried to lob Rachael Laws, but got it all wrong and sent it well over the goal.

With under 10 minutes to play, Matt Beard sent Razza Roberts on in place of Taylor Hinds. Roberts went to the right wing back spot, with Emma Koivisto moving over to the left.

Manchester City again flew forward on the break as Liverpool threw caution to the wind chasing an equalizer. City broke down the right and played a brilliant cross in. Shanice van de Sanden put on the jets to get back and get a touch on the ball just ahead of Hayley Raso, but the only way she could play it was towards her own goal. Rachael Laws flew across the face of goal to get her body in front of the ball and somehow keep it out of the net. Laws took a hit from Raso and stayed down for a few moments.

Matt Beard made one final change, with Charlotte Wardlaw entering the fray in place of Emma Koivisto.

Liverpool had another great opportunity courtesy of Megan Campbell after the Reds earned a throw in high up the right wing. The Irishwoman flung the ball into the box, and Katie Stengel got a head to it to keep the ball alive. It somehow fell to Jasmine Matthews in front of an open goal, but she slipped as she tried to get a toe to the ball, and the chance was left wanting.

That was the last significant action, and the referee blew the whistle for full time a couple of minutes later.

Final Thoughts

That was Liverpool’s best performance in the league from start to finish. They got their first goal from open play, and generated a decent few additional chances in both halves. The Reds were undone by good counter attacking play by Manchester City in the second half, but were not unduly outplayed throughout the match, and a point would very much have been a fair result.

After a brutal stretch of games to open the season, Liverpool sit 10th in the table ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City, while equal on points and goal difference with Reading. Liverpool will return to action next Sunday, hosting 8th place Aston Villa.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liverpool Offside Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Liverpool FC news from Liverpool Offside