The Liverpool FC Women had the opportunity to make a statement against Manchester City on Sunday and announce their presence as a legitimate contender for a European spot. Instead the Reds put forth a sloppy display filled with unforced errors and poor decisions. After the match, Liverpool manager Matt Beard expressed his frustration as his side performed well below their expected standard.
We were the architects of our own downfall today. We get in front. The second and fourth [City] goals shouldn’t happen. It’s just frustrating, because we’ve set ourselves a high standard this year. We said it after last week against Bristol City, we didn’t perform to the best of our ability and we said if we perform like that and make mistakes like we did, you get punished against these types of teams. It’s a frustrating afternoon.
When asked about what he said to the players after the performance, Beard felt like there wasn’t much he needed to say as the squad knew how poor they had been. Beard stated the focus now was on bouncing back from the tough loss and being positive in their next performance.
There’s not really much I can say at the moment, we obviously need to review the game back. We’ll obviously go through clips of the players. I just think more than anything, we need to make sure we bounce back from it. We had a similar defeat against Chelsea and we bounced back really well. We just need to make sure we bounce back from it and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.
While the manner of the result was ultimately the worst part of the day, Beard acknowledged that his side has made some progress over the season on bridging the gap to the top sides in the WSL. While the Reds have improved, however, it is still a pretty stratified top group compared to everyone else.
Look, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea are in a different league to everyone else in the Super League. We’re frustrated with the result today but the gap is big. We have bridged that gap over the course of this season. We need to learn from today and make sure we don’t allow that to happen again.
I said before the game, it’s important that we try to stay in touch. We’re already in a much better position compared to this time last year. We just want to keep improving week on week. You’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some. We make sure we learn from it and make sure we don’t let it happen again.
Beard also acknowledged his ongoing frustration with the large amounts of added time being played. Liverpool were undone by a corner kick that occurred two minutes after the six minutes of extra time in the first half had already elapsed. Beard noted that he is not alone in his feelings as the opposing manager also has been unhappy with the large quantities of extra time.
I think there were numerous decisions – look, the result was our fault, not the officials’ fault. But there were numerous decisions; I don’t know where the extra two minutes [at the end of first-half stoppage time] came from. But we still need to defend the corner. It needs to be looked at because Gareth [Taylor, City manager] even said to me on the touchline it’s just getting worse every week. But it is what it is – the result is our fault and no-one else’s.