Liverpool Ladies ended 2017 with a crushing defeat at Chelsea’s hands this weekend. The Blues dominated the Continental Cup quarter-final with England star Fran Kirby scoring a hat-trick in the 5-1 game.
Kirby was the first player on the scoresheet when she beat Gemma Bonner and fired past Siobhan Chamberlain in the fourth minute. It pretty much kept going downhill from then on for the Reds. Ramona Bachmann and Kirby added to Liverpool’s misery in the first half which ended 3-0.
The Reds began the second half well, and Casey Stoney allowed fans to hope when she headed in a goal in the 51st minute, but Kirby was quick to nip that in the bud when she scored her third goal on a rebound soon after. Erin Cuthbert finished off the rout for Chelsea with a curling ball that Chamberlain had no chance against.
Reds coach Scott Rogers was understandably frustrated with Liverpool’s performance, but acknowledged that the defeat came at the hands of one of the best teams in Europe:
“I don’t think we started the game well and you’re always up against it against a top team like Chelsea — we started slower than we wanted to and were punished by a top team,” he said after the game. “We said to them at half-time that we needed to be a little bit braver and take some more risks, it is a cup-tie.”
“As a group we were much better in the second-half and performed more to the level that we are accustomed to seeing,” he added. “But you look at their team and they’re not just one of the best in our league, they’re probably one of the best in Europe. That’s the level that everyone is aspiring to get to. Today they turned up and at times we didn’t.”
“They’re a very good side and we’ve been punished today.”