The Liverpool FC Women are about a third of the way through their preseason preparations, but they looked to be in good form in a friendly on Sunday. Matt Beard’s side took a step in in their opponent after a 6-0 drubbing of Nottingham Forest, this time taking on Blackburn Rovers of the FA Women’s Championship.
The Reds lined up in their usual 3-4-3 formation. Despite being photographed in training, Rachael Laws was not included in the side for the second game in a row, with Earth Cumings retaining the starting gloves. Newcomer Emma Koivisto getting her first start at right wing back. Missy Bo Kearns got the nod to start in midfield alongside Rachel Furness, while Katie Stengel was flanked by Shanice van de Sanden and Yana Daniels up top. Leanne Kiernan and Melissa Lawley started the match on the bench.
Shanice van de Sanden picked up where she left off in the last match, proving to be a handful down the right flank. She used her speed to create a crossing opportunity in just the 3rd minute, but the Blackburn keeper got to the ball just ahead of Katie Stengel’s back post run.
Liverpool stayed on the ascendency, fashioning two chances for Yana Daniels in quick succession. Missy Bo Kearns and Katie Stengel combined, with the latter finding Daniels on the run, but the Belgian put her shot wide of the post.
Just two minutes later, Daniels was again given a chance, and this time she buried the opportunity. Shanice van de Sanden got the ball to the end line on the right flank before dropping the ball back for Missy Bo Kearns. The midfielder sent a great cross to the back post where Daniels met the ball for a close-range header she nodded down past the keeper to give Liverpool the 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
Liverpool were not able to keep the lead for long, however. Missy Bo Kearns was judged to have fouled an attacker a few yards outside of the Liverpool box, setting up an opportunity for Saffron Jordan. The striker stepped up and hit an absolute rocket that hit off the inside of the near post and past Eartha Cumings into the back of the net.
Liverpool got right back onto the attack, with Shanice van de Sanden and Emma Koivisto combining to set up a chance for Katie Stengel in the middle of the box. The American striker just couldn’t get enough pace on the ball and saw it saved as it headed for the far corner.
The Reds created a couple of additional shooting chances in the box, with both Katie Stengel and Yana Daniels failing to truly trouble the keeper. Liverpool generated one last good chance to round out the half, this time with Katie Stengel bounding a header off of the crossbar after a good ball in from Rachael Furness.
Liverpool made a raft of changes at half time, with Gilly Flaherty making her Liverpool debut in place of Megan Campbell. Razza Roberts, Ceri Holland, Carla Humphrey, and Melissa Lawley all entered the match at the half as well.
Just minutes after the second half started, Melissa Lawley earned a corner kick for Liverpool off of a dangerous cross that was flicked just out of the path of a lurking Katie Stengel. Carla Humphrey swung in a dangerous corner kick that the keeper pushed up onto the crossbar before the ball dropped to the feet of the waiting Katie Stengel, who calmly poked the ball into the net to restore Liverpool’s lead.
Another Stengoal for the collection pic.twitter.com/hB6KnQb8px— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) August 8, 2022
Liverpool fashioned a few more chances as the second half wore on, with Ceri Holland putting a soft shot on net after a neat overhead flick from Carla Humphrey. Melissa Lawley also looked to get into the action, ripping a shot from the top of the box that just skewed past the far post. Carla Humphrey also tried her luck from distance, forcing the keeper into a diving save.
The Reds got a late goal to seal the win after great play from Emma Koivisto. The Finnish defender stepped up to win a ball on her own half, then slid the ball through to a flying Melissa Lawley. The winger took a touch into the box and then unselfishly squared the ball to the far post to the onrushing Yana Daniels to be thumped into the net.
Koivisto ➡ Lawley ➡ Daniels ⚽ pic.twitter.com/S1y6nEUXTM— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) August 8, 2022
All in all, it was another good warm up for the season with fitness gained and players getting time on the pitch together. Getting a commanding win is icing on the cake. You can watch the full highlights at LFCTV.
Liverpool will take a big step up in their level of competition in their next friendly, taking on Manchester United next Saturday.