Liverpool Women kicking off the season with a 2-1 win against defending champions Chelsea wasn’t on a lot of our bingo cards, but if you’re Matt Beard (or if you watched the second half of the game), you’re probably feeling pretty good about both our performance and how much we deserved those three points.
“This was the first game and I felt over the course of the game I think we deserved it, especially the tactical changes we made at half-time,” Liverpool Women’s boss Matt Beard said after the game was over. “It’s great that we’ve started with three points at home. This was a fortress for us here last year and we made it uncomfortable and difficult for Chelsea today.”
“Whenever we pick a team to play in a game, we’ve already got changes in mind. If you look at the changes we made – Yana [Daniels], Furney [Rachel Furness], Meg Campbell coming on, we were physically a lot bigger,” he said about tactical changes in the second half. “Especially from [Cambell’s] throw, it causes teams problems. First half, Chelsea played with quite a high line and they’re quite expansive so we wanted to go with Leanne [Kiernan] and Mel [Lawley] with the pace. It didn’t quite work for us. We adapted it at half-time and I think we got our rewards from that.”
“We’re looking forward to it, it’s going to be a great occasion for us,” he added about next week’s match against Everton. “Obviously playing Everton is the first fixture as a Liverpool manager that you always look for. Getting back in the WSL and having that fixture again is fantastic for us. We’re looking forward to the occasion. We’ve got to make sure we play the game and obviously not the occasion. But we’re looking forward to it.”
The incredibly swift adaptability of the team and the way they made this game work for them is a sign of an extremely exciting season to come. Here’s to next week and another three points, this time at Anfield.