Liverpool 1 - 1 Spurs
Liverpool: Höbinger 91’
Spurs: Bizet 71’
The Liverpool FC Women come into the match with Spurs looking to break their first losing streak in the league this season. The Reds suffered defeats to Manchester City and Arsenal over the past two weekends and now face a Spurs side level on points with Liverpool.
Matt Beard is without the services of Taylor Hinds due to a calf injury, and Teagan Micah is also out of the squad with a foot injury. Niamh Fahey retains her starting role over Jenna Clark in the center of defense while Shanice van de Sanden and Sophie Roman Haug return to starting roles up top. Missy Bo Kearns is given a starting role in midfield ahead of Marie Höbinger and Sophie Lundgaard.
Not a huge surprise, but Liverpool are looking MUCH more assured and aggressive on the ball in the early going compared to the last two matches. After not getting a shot on target against Arsenal until the 93rd minute, the Reds force an early save against Spurs in the opening couple of minutes.
Spurs look for some quick transitions when they win the ball back in their own half, but Liverpool are doing well to close space to win the ball back. Fuka Nagano is again popping up everywhere to regain possession and start another attack for the Reds.
The match has gotten a bit choppier as Spurs have played their way back into the game. Challenges are flying in all over the pitch with neither side able to generate clear attacks midway through the first half.
Spurs are trying to trap Liverpool when the Reds try to play it out of the back, but thus far Liverpool have done pretty well to make the right decisions with the ball. There have been a couple of turnovers, but not in terrible positions.
Spurs earn the first corner kick of the match almost 30 minutes into the first half. Gemma Bonner turns it behind for another corner from the other side now. This time the Reds are able to clear and break forward with the ball but Ceri Holland is fouled from behind. The referee shows a yellow card to Martha Thomas for the challenge.
Liverpool with a decent spell of possession around the Spurs box for the first time in a while after the foul. The sequence ends with a lofted ball into the box being put behind by Emma Koivisto as she challenged for a header.
Scramble in the box almost leads to a chance! Ceri Holland does well to race forward and get to an errant ball ahead of several Spurs defenders. She flicks a hopeful ball just over the heads of the defenders as Shanice van de Sanden speeds forward from the left. Goalkeeper Barbora Votikova gets the the ball first, but she collides with a teammate and van de Sanden almost gets a touch before Votikova is able to reclaim it. Votikova goes down and receives some treatment, but is able to continue.
Votikova now gifts Liverpool a chance! A backpass is played to the goalkeeper, and she plays the ball to the feet of Emma Koivisto at the top of the box. The Liverpool wing back tries a quick shot, but it lacks any real power and Votikova is able to make an easy save.
Now it’s Rachael Laws’ turn to pass the ball directly to the opposing team. Thankfully the ball was tackled away and recovered by Liverpool before any damage could be done.
Spurs have a couple of half chances after Liverpool turnovers late in the first half. Rachael Laws is able to intercede on both occasions before any damage is done.
A late foul on Sophie Roman Haug gives Liverpool a chance as the first half draws to a close. The free kick is sent into the box and a bit of a scramble ensues, but no Liverpool player was able to get a clean strike.
No changes to start the half for either side. Plenty of quality on the bench for Liverpool should Matt Beard need to make a change.
Rachael Laws starts the half with a defense splitting pass to Martha Thomas. It should be noted that Martha Thomas plays for Spurs. Thankfully Liverpool’s defenders quickly scramble and are able to win the ball back.
For the second time in the match, Liverpool have a chance for a break broken up by the referee. Missy Bo Kearns looks to slide a ball forward, but it is blocked by the referee, who pulls play back for a drop ball.
Liverpool with some good pressure 10 minutes into the half. They close down the goalkeeper a couple of times in quick succession and force a couple more turnovers around the Tottenham box. Unfortunately, the Reds continue to struggle to to connect on their own passes high up the pitch and fail to get any real shots off.
The Reds are keeping the pressure on and again look to get the ball into a dangerous area. The ball is lofted into the box but it is touched away just ahead of Sophie Roman Haug.
Jasmine Matthews earns a free kick on the left side of the pitch in the Tottenham half. Missy Bo Kearns puts the ball in for the head of Sophie Roman Haug, but the ball is headed out for a Liverpool throw in.
Matt Beard makes his first change of the match during the break in play. Melissa Lawley comes on for Shanice van de Sanden. This match is crying out for some wizardry on the ball from Lawley.
Liverpool earn a corner just a minute after the change and Missy Bo Kearns whips in a dangerous delivery. The ball flies past several players and is claimed by Votikova.
Liverpool charge forward again and Ceri Holland just gets a shot away as she bursts into the box. It’s deflected out for a corner, which is turned behind for another corner. Liverpool almost get on the end of the second ball in, but Spurs clear and counter. Substitute Jessica Naz gets into the box with the ball, but Gemma Bonner is able to get back and make a challenge to break the play up.
Missy Bo Kearns is withdrawn after 68 minutes. She struggled to get much going today with her passing. Marie Höbinger enters in her place.
Goal Tottenham. Martha Thomas is able to touch the ball past Nimah Fahey on the right and play a ball into the box for Celin Bizet. The ball is slightly behind the midfielder, but she is somehow able to get her leg back and get just enough on the ball to loop it over the head of the advancing Rachael Laws.
Oof, Spurs wiht a golden chance and put it off the post. Grace Clinton plays a perfect ball down the right channel for Amanda Nilden, who is through on goal. Her shot beats Laws, but just comes off the inside of the post and back out. It looked like Nilden was pretty well offside, but the linesman didn’t raise the flag.
With Liverpool chasing the game now, Matt Beard brings on Leanne Kiernan and Lucy Parry. Niamh Fahey and Emma Koivisto are the players withdrawn. That will signal a shift to 4-3-3 for the Reds with Lawley and Kiernan flanking Sophie Roman Haug.
Lucy Parry is immediately involved, putting in a couple of good crosses in from the right flank. The second cross is headed behind for a corner kick. Liverpool again create a scramble in the box off of the delivery, but again are unable to get a shot off.
It’s a wonderful sight to see Leanne Kiernan running in full flow with the ball. She glides forward with the ball down the left channel and finds Ceri Holland at the top of the box. The midfielder’s shot is blocked and Tottenham again clear the ball forward.
Wow, Spurs again should have iced the match. Substitute Wang Shuang gets the ball unmarked in the box and rips a shot on goal. It ends up right at Rachael Laws, and the Liverpool goalkeeper is able to make the save.
Leanne Kiernan again gets into full flow with the ball on the left. This time she is fouled after beating her defender. Kiernan took an arm to the face and stays down for a moment as Charlotte Grant is shown a yellow card.
GOAL LIVERPOOL!!! A hopeful ball into the box is not dealt with well by Charlotte Grant and Melissa Lawley picks her pocket. Lawley quickly plays the ball to Marie Höbinger who shifts the ball past one player before driving a low shot just inside the near post!
The goal occurred just at the end of regulation. There are 7 minutes of added time for the Reds to find a match winner.
Kiernan again has Graham beat with pace down the left. The defender pulls Kiernan back and earns the foul. It’s a yellow for Graham. Liverpool send the ball into the box, but can’t get anything to drop off of the free kick.
Now it’s Fuka Nagano who gets pulled back on the right to stop a counter. Another yellow card to Spurs, this time to Jessica Naz, but again Liverpool fail to generate anything off of the free kick.
That’s the last real opportunity as the referee blows for full time just a minute later.
That was not the prettiest of matches, with both teams struggling to generate any sort of consistent threat going forward. Liverpool had more of the chances on the day, but it was Spurs who had the more dangerous chances. In the end, the draw seemed deserved for both squads. Liverpool will remain just ahead of Spurs in the table as they are tied on points but the Reds having a better goal difference. Liverpool will be back in action next Sunday as they take on London City in the FA Women’s Cup.