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Digging Deeper Into The Liverpool FC Women Win Over West Ham

The Reds blitzed their way to a 2-0 lead in a dominating first half, and played solid team defense in the second half to hold on for a big 3 points.

Liverpool FC v West Ham United - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

After a shock win over Chelsea in the opening match of the season, it’s been a string of frustrating results for the Liverpool FC Women. The performances have been getting better, but Matt Beard’s side was only able to scrape together a paltry two additional points coming into the match with West Ham. Liverpool finally put it all together against the Hammers, finding their offense early before gritting out the win with some solid defending to finish the game off. The win elevated the Reds to 9th in the table.

Below, we take a look at some winners and losers on the night, and attempt to disentangle narrative from fact.


Ceri Holland
Need someone to press high up the pitch to win the ball back in a dangerous area? Ceri can do that. Need someone to track a runner and make a big tackle in the box? Ceri has you covered. Need someone to ride the press, turn away from pressure, then play a pass to jumpstart the attack? Ceri is your woman.

Ceri Holland has quite possibly been Liverpool’s most important player this season, and she was absolutely sensational against West Ham. She muscled two defenders off the ball to win it in the Hammers box to open the scoring for Liverpool, then proceeded to show up literally everywhere on the pitch to run the game. She was smart on the ball, and read the game extremely well to get into the right spots to shut down attacks.

Katie StenGOAL
The American striker has been in great goalscoring form, notching four goals in the last five league matches for Liverpool, including notching her sixth goal of the season against West Ham. Stengel initially starting the move outside the box before finishing off a cross from Taylor Hinds. She is third for goals scored in the league, sitting two behind joint golden boot leaders Rachel Daly and Khadija Shaw.

Besides her goalscoring exploits, Stengel has been putting out a massive work rate match in and match out. She challenged for seemingly every headed ball in the attacking half, throwing her body around to win more than her fair share. She also made run after run to make herself available for the ball. With Leanne Kiernan still out with an ankle injury, Stengel’s work has been all the more impressive with no one to spell her.

Centurion Fahey
Niamh Fahey has been a rock for Liverpool through the turmoil of relegation through the relief and joy of promotion back to the WSL. Against West Ham, the Liverpool skipper made her 100th appearance for the Reds.

Clean Sheets
While Liverpool have had some solid defensive efforts this season, they had not recorded a clean sheet before today. Against West Ham, Liverpool completely nullified the West Ham offense in the first half, and then did very well to limit chances as the Hammers threw themselves into the attack in the second half. It was a team effort, with all Gilly Flaherty, Niamh Fahey, and Megan Campbell all doing well to keep the shape in the back and make the big tackles and interceptions when needed. Rachael Laws didn’t have much to do for most of the match, but she made two huge saves near the end to preserve the clean sheet.


Injury Worries
It was a very physical match with West Ham on a very cold day, and Liverpool had quite a few players go down needing treatment. Megan Campbell looked to have injured her shoulder on one of her long throw ins, while Ceri Holland and Katie Stengel took some big challenges while in the air. Hopefully no one is seriously hurt, and the Reds can manage to make it to the winter break.

Paul Konchesky’s Mom
In case you didn’t know, the West Ham Women’s manager is former Liverpool left back Paul Konchecky, who had a short stint for the Reds during the darkest of days of the Hodgepocalypse. He is probably most famously known for having his mom leap to his defense in a rant littered with colorful language after Liverpool fans questioned his play.

Managing against the Reds, Konchecky’s side was roundly beaten, and they looked completely bewildered at how to defend. Looks like his mum might need to warm up her keyboard.

From the Manager

“From start to finish, the way we managed the game at the end, West Ham are a tough team to play against and I felt we dealt with everything they threw at us.”

-Matt Beard

What Happens Next

It’s a big week for Matt Beard’s side before hitting the winter break. Liverpool will host Manchester City on Wednesday in the last group stage match of the Continental Cup. Whichever team wins the match, whether in regulation or in the shootout in case of a draw, will win the group and automatically advance to the knockout rounds. The loser will still likely advance, but it is not guaranteed.

Liverpool will then stay at home in their last match of the calendar year, taking on winless Leicester City. Matt Beard and his squad will have the opportunity to end the year on a high note while also putting more distance between themselves and the bottom of the table.

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