West Ham X - Y Liverpool
West Ham: Ueki 95’
Liverpool: Höbinger 52’
On the heels of a disappointing loss to Everton at Anfield, the Liverpool FC Women will look to finish off their first stretch of matches with a third win in four outings. The Reds have travelled to London to face West Ham.
Matt Beard has again kept the majority of his side unchanged in their 3-5-2 formation, with Natasha Flint making her first WSL start for Liverpool in place of Missy Bo Kearns. This will be the first match that the Reds have fielded two recognized strikers up top to start the match.
#WHULIV TEAM NEWS ⚪— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) October 22, 2023
Here’s how we line up to take on West Ham
Liverpool stroke the ball around in the opening minute of the match, moving it from the right side to the left before Taylor Hinds releases Ceri Holland in the left channel. The midfielder drives a cross into the box, but it just eludes Natasha Flint at the back post.
Liverpool quickly win the ball back from the goal kick and immediately press forward for another chance, but Fuka Nagano’s ball over the top is collected by the goalkeeper just ahead of Sophie Roman-Haug. West Ham quickly launch an attack and earn a corner kick, but Liverpool are able to deal with the first set piece opportunity.
Liverpool come right back down the pitch and see a dangerous ball in the box cut out, but the Reds recover the ball and earn a corner themselves. Marie Höbinger provides a great delivery and finds the head of Roman Haug, but the striker flicks the ball just on the wrong side of the back post.
Natasha does well to beat her marker on the dribble and get to the end line, and her cut back cross is blocked out for another corner kick. This time Höbinger finds the head of Sophie Roman Haug at the near post, but the striker again cannot get the ball on frame.
Through the first 15 minutes, Liverpool have dominated possession of the ball. When the Reds have turned it over, they have been quick to win it back and deny West Ham the chance to counter or build.
Liverpool work the ball out right to Emma Koivisto on the right, and the wing back sees her driven cross in deflect off of the leg of a defender and just elude the two strikers in the box before being knocked behind for the third corner of the game for the Reds. Höbinger’s ball in is headed away at the near post. Feel that the pressure is building here with Liverpool finding their way through West Ham’s midfield with some regularity.
Liverpool force Mackenzie Arnold into a good save with their first shot on target in the 23rd minute. The Reds get the ball into the box, where it bounces around and half cleared a couple of times. The ball pops out of the box, and Fuka Nagano runs in and strikes a low shot that had plenty of venom on it. West Ham’s Australian goalkeeper does well to get down and parry the ball away as it arrowed towards the far corner.
After calmly dealing with West Ham’s press for most of the day, Rachael Laws just about makes a hash of things. The ball is played back to the Liverpool goalkeeper, and she takes her time to survey the field before playing the ball forward. She strikes it directly into the charging Riko Ueki, and thankfully deflects out for a goal kick.
Liverpool continue to move the ball well and get the ball into dangerous areas over the final 15 minutes of the half. There are a few half chances, but the ball continually eludes the attackers in the box or is just cut out before a connection can be made.
Riko Ueki is the first player to go into the book. Liverpool deal with a West Ham attack and the Reds begin to move the ball forward before the West Ham attacker makes a late tackle on Sophie Roman Haug to earn the yellow card.
As the first half clock ticks towards the close of the first half, Liverpool earn a throw in on the left side even with the top of the West Ham box. It comes in to Ceri Holland, who rolls away from her defender and takes a touch into the top of the box. She unleashes a curling shot that beats the goalkeeper but comes crashing off of the crossbar. Liverpool then earn a free kick in the scramble to recover the ball, but again the Reds are thwarted after a scramble in the box before the referee blows the whistle to end the half.
Liverpool again get out to a fast start to being the half. The Reds work the ball to the right wing, where Emma Koivisto swings in a good cross. The ball is nodded behind just before Sophie Roman Haug could make contact. Höbinger’s corner kick swings in dangerously, and it is caught just under the crossbar by Mackenzie Arnold.
Liverpool earn another corner just a minute later after some good high pressing. Höbinger puts the ball on the head of Gemma Bonner at the near post, and the defenders header hits off the crossbar and down away from the goal. It comes back out to Ceri Holland at the top of the box, but her shot flashes wide of the far post.
Liverpool are taking site at goal now. Taylor Hinds tries her luck from distance and sees her strike just miss the frame of goal. It’s building now for the Reds.
GOAL LIVEROOL!!! The high press again causes a turnover, with Ceri Holland cutting out a pass near the top of the box. She squares it to Marie Höbinger, who takes a touch before driving a low shot through the legs of a defender and into the far corner.
Oof, Sophie Roman Haug, who is wearing a mask to protect her broken nose, goes up bravely to meet a cross from Natasha Flint. The defender throws her head back to get something on the ball, and the back of her head smacks into the face of the Liverpool striker. She has to come off for a couple of minutes, but as able to continue thankfully.
Like in the first half, Liverpool have absolutely dominated but are almost undone by their own making. Fuka Nagano misplays a pass back to Rachael Laws from a wide position, instead playing in Vivane Asseyi. Thankfully for Liverpool the West Ham attacker slips as she tries to get to the ball and it runs out harmlessly for a goal kick.
West Ham make a rare brake into the Liverpool box, and Lisa Evans play the ball across the face of goal. Emma Koivisto was on hand to partially block the cross, and Racheal Laws slides out to claim the ball. She stays down momentarily as Liverpool make their first subs of the game. Yana Daniels replaces Natasha Flint, and Jasmine Matthews comes on for Koivisto. Matthews steps into a central defense role, with Grace Fisk sliding out to left wing back.
Liverpool break forward down the left through Taylor Hinds, but she takes a heavy touch and loses the ball. West Ham quickly attack and Gemma Bonner is forced into a foul five yards outside of the Liverpool box. Vivenne Asseyi goes for goal with the free kick, but it whistles well wide of the near post.
With 15 minutes left in regulation, Matt Beard makes another change. Missy Bo Kearns comes on for the goal scorer Marie Höbinger.
West Ham earn a corner kick, and do not clear the ball. It stays with West Ham on the left edge of the box by the end line, and a low cross is spilled by Rachael Laws. The two team scramble for the ball, and Ceri Holland and Riko Ueki go down after a hard collision at the top of the box as they both challenged for the ball. It was fair by both players, but they hit heads, and both needed a couple minutes of treatment before continuing.
Liverpool make their last changes of the match in the 84th minute. Mia Enderby replaces Sophie Roman Haug, and Gemma Bonner is replaced by Lucy Parry.
Parry is immediately involved, stepping in as the right wing back. She gets forward well and puts a good ball into the box that is partially blocked. Taylor Hinds tries to flick it up to keep it in the box, but West Ham knock it out for a throw in.
Liverpool come inches from doubling their lead through Missy Bo Kearns. Mia Enderby intercepts a ball and immediately plays it to Kearns, who steams down the middle of the pitch. With the goalkeeper in front of her and defenders closing from the sides, Kearns rips a shot from the top of the box but it whistles just past the post. The Scouser will certainly want that shot back.
West Ham throwing everything they can at the Liverpool box as the clock rolls up to the 90th minute. The fourth official holds up the board for six minutes of extra time.
The Hammers have their best chance of the day through Izzy Atkinson. She steams forward down the left flank and fizzes a ball that runs just past the far post. Moments later, Atkinson again gets the ball into a dangerous area and drives a ball towards the near post, but Rachael Laws is able to block it and then fall on the ball.
Mia Enderby uses her energy and pace to good effect to hustle after a long clearance by Liverp
Ugh, West Ham equalize at the death. A hopeful ball is lofted into the box from the right flank, and it caroms off of two Liverpool defenders before Ueki slides in to touch it home from close range. An absolute gut punch for Liverpool, who have dominated the match.
Dropping points at the death after absolutely bossing the match is certainly not the way you want to head into an international break. Liverpool certainly deserved to win, and had opportunities to ice the match but failed to convert.