Everton: Finnigan 9’, Park 33’, Bennison 88’
Liverpool. Everton. Merseyside Derby. Anfield. If this doesn’t get you excited, well, I don’t know what to say to you. The Reds come into the match on the heels of a confidence-boosting 2-1 win over reigning WSL champions, Chelsea. Everton are looking to bounce back from and opening day 1-0 loss to West Ham.
With Leanne Kiernan out for several months with an ankle injury, and Shanice van de Sanden still working her way back from and achilles issue, Matt Beard opts to push Taylor Hinds into an attacking role on the left while Megan Campbell slotting in at left wing back. The rest of the team sheet is the same as last weekend.
Here’s how we line up for today’s Merseyside derby against Everton pic.twitter.com/ap0q367xi1— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) September 25, 2022
There’s a great crowd on hand at Anfield, official attendance numbers announced at over 27,500! Really lovely to hear You’ll Never Walk Alone belted out loud and clear for the Women’s team!
Everton kick off the first half to get the game underway! The Reds come out with a very cohesive press, moving well together to cut out passing lanes as Everton stroke it around their defense trying to find a way through.
Taylor Hinds is whistled for an early foul about 30 yards out from the Liverpool goal. Everton get the ball into the box, and Liverpool have to scramble a couple of times to clear the ball away, but eventually the danger is dealt with.
Megan Campbell makes a great recovery run to slide in and tackle the ball out for a corner kick. Everton take it short before swinging the ball in to the back post, and the ball is headed back across goal before being headed again, but this time over the bar for a goal kick.
Everton with the lions share of the ball through the first 10 minutes. They work the ball forward and slide it inside to Megan Finnigan, who’s shot from distance is just touched over the bar by Rachael Laws. The Blues send the corner into the middle of the box, and the ball is headed to the back post, where Finnigan is on hand to head it back across Rachael Laws and into the corner for the opening goal. Liverpool’s marking on the corner left a lot the be desired.
Liverpool get their first sustained bit of possession in the 12th minute, moving the ball well to drag the defense around. The momentum is lost after Megan Campbell plays an errant pass that goes to an Everton defender.
Everton earn another corner in the 20th minute after a shot bobbles through, and Laws gets a touch on it to ensure it goes past the post. The corner is again easily won by Everton in the middle of the box, but this time Liverpool thump the second ball away.
Liverpool do well to get the ball up the right side of the field, and Everton have to clear the ball all the way across to the other side for a throw in. Megan Campbell delivers one of her trademark long throws into the box, and Everton get a head to the ball, but the header loops towards the goal and floats just over the bar for a corner kick. The referee decides that instead of a corner, Everton were fouled and awards a free kick instead. Boo this ref.
Katie Stengel steps up and surprises and Everton defender with her pressure, and takes the ball away deep in the Everton half. She drives towards the box, and has a Liverpool player to her right, but the American gets the ball tangled under her feet and eventually has to pull it back. She does get a shot off, but it balloons well over the bar.
The Reds keep the pressure up, however, and win the ball back again. Taylor Hinds gets an attempt off, but it is blocked out.
Ugh, Everton score a second out of seemingly nothing. Liverpool lose the ball midway in the Everton half, and quickly get the ball into the right channel for Jess Park to run onto. Rachael Laws elects to stay on her line, and Park is able to run past Jasmine Matthews and into the box. Laws finally advances on Park, and the Everton attacker easily cuts past the keeper and slots the ball home.
Everton earn two corner kicks in quick succession, and have Liverpool completely out of sorts. The Reds are in real danger of falling apart here.
Melissa Lawley does well down the left to earn a corner for Liverpool. Missy Bo Kearns sends the ball in, and the ball bounces around the box, eventually coming to the feet of Ceri Holland. The midfielder takes a strike, but the ball somehow curls just past the far post.
Everton again slice open the Liverpool defense after a turnover in midfield. Katja Snoeijs drives forward with the ball, turning Jasmine Mathews inside out before playing the ball to Izzy Christiansen to her left. Cristiansen slides the ball back across to Snoeijs, who continued her run brilliantly, but the ball slips just past the attacker and past the far post.
After two minutes of added on time in the first half, the referee blows the whistle for half time. Matt Beard and his staff will have a big job to sort things out with the squad. Liverpool are struggling mightily to deal with the speed of Everton up top, particularly with Jess Park.
Rachel Furness comes on to start the second half in place of Missy Bo Kearns. It’s a like for like change in midfield, but Furness will bring added physicality. Liverpool kick off as they look to find a way back into this game.
Everton have done very well to manage the chaos caused by Megan Campbell throw ins. They are winning the first ball into the box time and time again, and immediately breaking up the field in the space left behind Liverpool as the Reds gamble getting players into the box.
Liverpool struggling to string together passes, and are turning the ball over in their own half with poor passes. Katie Stengel gets caught out after one such pass and gives up a free kick that the Reds again fail to deal with, and Rachael Laws has to make a good save on Katja Snoeijs to keep the ball out of the net.
Matt Beard goes to his bench again as Liverpool try to chase this game. Yana Daniels comes on in place of Jasmine Matthews. Megan Campbell pushes inside to Matthew’s spot, and Taylor Hinds drops back to wing back with Daniels going into the attacking role.
Liverpool with what is probably their most cohesive attacking move in the 59th minute. It starts out of defense, with Campbell feeding the ball forward to Taylor Hinds, who in turn finds Rachel Furness inside. The Norther Irishwoman drives forward and plays it wide to Yana Daniels in an advanced area on the left. Daniels plays it immediately to Katie Stengel in the middle who feeds the ball back left to Daniels. The Belgian drives to the by line, but her cross hits the outside of the side netting.
Everton make their first change in the 63rd minute. Gio comes on in place of Isobel Christiansen.
Ceri Holland goes down and needs treatment. She is able to jog off under her own power, thankfully, and is able to rejoin play.
Taylor Hinds drives into the left side of the box, and her cross is blocked out for a corner at the last moment by a sliding Gio for a corner kick. The corner is sent in and Liverpool look like they might have a chance for a shot, but the lineswoman raises her flag for offside.
Charlotte Wardlaw and Razza Roberts join the fray for Liverpool. Off come Melissa Lawley and Emma Koivisto. I have no idea what formation Liverpool will be playing now.
Liverpool earn a throw deep in the Everton half on the left side. Megan Campbell fires it into the box, and Rachel Furness challenges for the header. The ball bounces, and Furness acrobatically volleys the ball over her shoulder towards the goal. Courtney Brosnan has to catch the ball as it loops towards the net to save Liverpool’s first shot on target from open play this season.
Gilly Flaherty tugs back an Everton attacker near the midway line, and the referee blows for a foul. Flaherty is shown a yellow.
As the clock ticks towards the 80 minute mark, the crowd gets in full throat to cheer on Liverpool, urging the Reds on. Rachel Furness wins a free kick after challenging for a header midway into the Everton half. Hinds sends the free kick on and Everton knock it behind for a corner kick.
Campbell whips the corner in and Brosnan punches the ball out for a corner on the other side. This time Charlotte Wardlaw sends it in, the the ball gets flicked on first time, but Everton clear. Liverpool regain possession and send the ball into the box towards Rachel Furness. She and an Everton player knock heads challenging for the ball, and it instead bounces in front of the goalkeeper, Brosnan, who watches as it goes over her head and towards the goal. Brosnan is just able to turn and capture the ball as it is about to drop across the goal line.
Liverpool are again completely undone by the speed of the Everton attackers. Gio steams forward towards a hopeful ball played forward. Niamh Fahey struggles to get back in the foot race and tries to get her body in front, but the ball squeaks away to Jess Park. She squares it to Hanna Bennison for a calm strike on goal. Charlotte Wardlaw slides in to try and clear it off the line, but can’t keep it out of the net as Everton go up 3-0. Nightmare stuff for Liverpool.
There are seven minutes of extra time as the match had to be stopped several times for pitch invaders.
Liverpool push hard for a goal and come close twice. Rachel Furness plays a fantastic ball tot he back post for Yana Daniels, but her volleyed shot doesn’t have power and bounces into the grateful hands of Brosnan. Moments later Razza Roberts sends a cross in to the back post from the other side, and this time it is Katie Stengel who gets on the end of it, but her header goes over the net.
The referee blows for full time, and that’s the end to a disappointing performance from Liverpool.
After weathering the storm against Chelsea, getting shredded by Everton in front of a record crowd at Anfield is a big disappointment. Matt Beard’s side had a few bright attacking moments, but they were few and far between. Liverpool will need to right the ship before a brutal WSL schedule in October.