Liverpool guaranteed their safety in the WSL for another season after an excellent home victory against Manchester City. That coupled with Reading loss against Aston Villa means that Reading are being relegated down to the WSL2 next season.
The first season back in the top flight was always about surviving and making it a second year, so their seventh place position is exactly where they need to be. Matt Beard disagrees, and in the post-match interview, the manager bemoans some of the incidents that he believes might have cost them points.
“If I look at the way the season has been, I think we could be in a much better position already,” Beard lamented. “If you look at the penalty we should have had away at Brighton, the disallowed goal at Everton and then there’s been other moments where we haven’t quite taken chances. Like I’ve said, this is a tough league. I know our team is hard to play against and we have got a talented squad.”
Liverpool beat the title-seeking Manchester City by a score of 2-1, with Missy Bo Kearns making a case for a third consecutive Player of the Month award by nailing in the winner.
On that goal, Beard revealed that it came about from instructions given during half-time.
He said, “I thought the second goal was top drawer. It’s pleasing because we showed the players at half-time the spaces the players could exploit because we were just taking an extra touch or were just too slow to move it. The goal came specifically from that, and they became stretched and it was a great team goal.”
There are two more matches left in the season, against Aston Villa and Manchester United. Liverpool have a break next week, but then both Leanne Kiernan and Niamh Fahey should be available to play.
This is obviously huge news, even if there’s only pride left to play for. Kiernan, in particular, has been out since the first game of the season. Potentially having her on the pitch will be a huge psychological boost for the Reds, who have had to scrap all their plans to revolve the attack around Kiernan when she went down against Chelsea in the season opener.
“I’ve got a great selection headache for the final two games because we don’t play next weekend. I’ll have Niamh Fahey back fully fit, Leanne as well, and all of a sudden I’ve got options and real good attacking threat,” Beard said.
Hold onto your butts, friends, because we might actually get to see Kiernan and Shanice van de Sanden play together before the summer break.