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Manchester United 1, Liverpool FC Women 2: Reds Fight Back For Big Away Win

Liverpool conceded early, but the Reds forced their way back and generated two goals for their first ever win against Manchester United.

Manchester United v Liverpool FC - Barclays Women´s Super League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Manchester United 1 - 2 Liverpool

Manchester United: Malard 3’
Liverpool: Turner (OG) 32’, Hinds 68’


It’s a big match for the Liverpool FC Women as they try to stay involved in the race for a top 3 place and a spot in European competition last season. The Reds were disappointed to have drawn at home to Bristol City last weekend and come into the match three points behind Manchester United for the fourth spot.

Matt Beard makes two changes from the side that face Bristol City. Missy Bo Kearns steps into a starting midfield role for Marie Höbinger while Melissa Lawley starts up top in place of Shanice van de Sanden. Rachael Laws was injured late in the midweek cup win over Everton meaning Matt Beard has to name an Academy player as the reserve goalkeeper on the bench.

First Half

Goal Manchester United. Just a couple of minutes into the match, Liverpool get beaten by a simple ball over the top to Leah Galton after the defense stepped up to the midfield line. Jenna Clark got back and got a partial block on the striker’s shot, but it came back off of the post right back to her. Galton put the ball into the center of the goal area for Ella Toone to sweep into the net. The replay shows there’s a good chance that Galton was offside, but with no VAR in the WSL to review and potentially rectify.

Yikes. Just moments later Teagan Micah misplays a ball and Melvine Malard is there to nick the ball away. Thankfully for Liverpool, Marard’s shot with an open goal goes on the wrong side of the near post.

Liverpool finally are able to get hold of the ball and break forward through Melissa Lawley. She races down the right channel and gets just enough room to play a cross in looking for Sophie Roman Haug. The striker isn’t able to get clean contact on the ball but it comes all the way to the left edge of the box for Taylor Hinds. The left wing back takes a touch before trying to drive a shot on goal, but the shot is blocked out for a corner.

Missy Bo Kearns puts a good ball in from the set piece, again targeting Sophie Roman Haug. Mary Earps comes to claim, with Roman Haug challenging, and the goalkeeper spills the ball, but right to a defender and it is cleared from danger.

Liverpool are growing into the match now and beginning to generate some good chances. Taylor Hinds plays a ball down the left channel for Ceri Holland to run onto. Holland takes the ball into the left side of the box and plays it in for Sophie Roman Haug. The striker is unable to get a clean shot away, but it is a sign of hope for the Reds.

Manchester United put another warning shot across the bow. A well-worked play leads to a corner kick for the home side. The ball in is met by Millie Turner with a thumping header, but it comes back off the crossbar and Liverpool are able to clear the danger.

GOAL LIVERPOOL!!! Sophie Roman Haug starts the play by keeping control of a poor pass right in the center circle and quickly spinning and playing a pass to Ceri Holland. The Welsh midfielder immediately releases Melissa Lawley down the right wing, and Lawley drives ahead before putting a cross in to the near post. Emma Koivisto steams in and gets just enough on the ball with her head to redirect it past Mary Earps in goal!

The replay shows that Koivisto didn’t actually get anything on the ball, but her effort forced Millie Turner to stick her own head in, and it deflected off of the defender for an own goal. Don’t think anyone from the Liverpool will care as the ball in the net puts the teams level at 1-1. It’s technically Liverpool’s first goal against Manchester United as well, though it was scored by a Manchester United player.

Liverpool come close to taking the lead just a few minutes after going level. It’s again Melissa Lawley on the ball down the right wing after a brilliant turn, and her cross comes in with Ceri Holland and Sophie Roman Haug challenging for it. Neither is able to get clean contact but the ball falls for Missy Bo Kearns. The Scouser rips a shot from close distance but Mary Earps makes a fantastic reaction save to tip the ball just over the crossbar.

That’ll do it for the first half. A disastrous start for Liverpool, but they clawed their way back into the match and did enough to force an own goal to get level.

Second Half

We’re back underway at the Leigh Sports Village for the second half. No changes for either side to start things off.

It’s been fairly back and forth through the opening 15 minutes of the half. Neither side has been able to fashion anything too dangerous.

Liverpool with a good break down the left flank. Taylor Hinds gets the ball high up the left flank and puts a fantastic cross in for Ceri Holland. The midfielder takes a touch and gets a shot away, but it is blocked out for a corner.

The ball in from Missy Bo Kearns is a great on, curving in towards the crossbar. Mary Earps is forced to deal with it as it almost drops under the crossbar, and the ball comes out to Ceri Holland. The midfielder twists and turns on the right side of the box before lifting a ball towards the back post. It’s again awkward for the Manchester United defense to deal with as several Liverpool players get involved in a scramble for the ball but just can’t force it home.

Matt Beard makes his first change, and it’s a like for like switch. Marie Höbinger comes on in place of Missy Bo Kearns.

A minute later both sides make additional changes. This time for Liverpool it’s Shanice van de Sanden on for Melissa Lawley.

Shanice immediately gets involved after Fuka Nagano plays a well weighted ball down the right wing. The Dutch forward drives forward down the right wing and forces a corner kick.

GOAL LIVERPOOL!!!!! It’s Marie Höbinger providing the service on the corner kick and the ball somehow flies past a host of bodies attacking the ball to captain Taylor Hinds, who is just standing unmarked. Hinds simply side foots a volley from close range to give Liverpool the 2-1 lead!

That was the first goal Taylor Hinds has scored in the WSL for the club. Talk about a good time to open your top flight account!

Liverpool are going for a third goal here. Marie Höbinger powers in a deep cross from the right, and it finds the head of Sophie Roman Haug. The power of the cross means the Liverpool striker can’t quite redirect the ball as she’d hope and it goes just wide of the far post.

Manchester United pushing hard now for an equalizer. They earn a corner kick on the left, and the ball is looped towards goal from a header. The ball just lands over top of the crossbar and on the top of the net as Teagan Micah leaps to ensure it stays on the other side of the bar.

Gemma Bonner is shown a yellow card as she breaks up an attack, and is frankly lucky not to see red. She lunges in late on the left wing, and her studs find the ankle of a Manchester United player.

Oh no, very scary moment as Gemma Bonner goes down hard after heading a ball clear and taking a huge hit from Rachel Williams. Bonner went backwards and bounced off the turf and it is immediately obvious something is wrong. The referee blows for a halt to play and the medical staff come racing onto the field.

After several minutes of treatment, Boner is able to be helped into a sitting position, which is a fantastic sign. She is walked off the field with a good bit of blood. The replay shows that Williams went in headfirst and clattered Bonner in the mouth. How that was not a card for dangerous play I have no idea.

With no center backs on the bench, Leanne Kiernan comes on form Bonner. Liverpool will shift to a 4-3-3 now with Clark and Fisk in the center of the defense.

Play resumes and Manchester United get right into the attack. Liverpool struggle to clear the ball and a shot comes in from close range but Teagan Micah makes a fantastic save.

There will be 12 minutes of added time after the lengthy stoppage. Liverpool are going to have to continue to play here with fierce pressure coming from Manchester United.

Matt Beard makes a final change to try and take some time off the clock. Sophie Lundgaard comes on for the engine that is Ceri Holland in midfield.

Liverpool are taking the ball to the corner every time the get it into an attacking area, but keep giving the ball right back to Manchester United too easily. Finally, Taylor Hinds drives to the byline instead and earns a corner kick to take some additional moments off of the clock. It’s a short corner and Liverpool come away with the throw in as the clock ticks towards 10 minutes of extra time played.

Liverpool press forward as Manchester United play the ball back to Mary Earps, and the goalkeeper mishits the ball off of the advancing Leanne Kiernan. Luckily for Earps, the ball comes off of Kiernan’s knee and directly back to her.

Manchester United throwing everything forward now. A ball is bounced across the face of goal and somehow evades everyone until Emma Koivisto clears it off of the line.


Final Thoughts

Wow, after a terrible start, Liverpool forced their way back into the match. It frequently wasn’t pretty, but the Reds did enough to say they earned the win against Manchester United. Liverpool are now level with Manchester United on points for fourth place in the able, but behind on goal difference.

The WSL now goes on a winter break. Matt Beard and his side will next play on January 14 against Bristol City in the FA Women’s Cup. The next WSL match will be another big one in the race for a European spot as they will head to Manchester City on January 21.

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