Liverpool Ladies dent Manchester Citys title hopes in Chester
Liverpool Ladies claimed a 1-0 victory over Manchester City Women as the Blues suffered a major blow in the WSL 1 title race at the Deva Stadium in Chester.
It was the home side who created the opening chance as Caroline Weir played in Satata Murray however her powerful strike was well blocked by Jennifer Beattie in the heart of the City defence allowing the Blues to clear the danger.
It was Scott Rogers side who created the next opportunity of not as Niamh Charles linked up well with Alex Greenwood before the latter’s cross directed towards Katie Longhurst was over hit before the ball ran out of play.
However, Liverpool were ahead on nine minutes as Greenwood whipped in a superb cross into the head of Bethany England and she leapt like a salmon out of water to head beyond Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and into the net.
Nick Cushing’s side came close to an equaliser on 17 minutes when Georgia Stanway broke clear down the left before squaring the ball into Kiera Walsh, but her effort was superbly blocked by a last ditch sliding tackle from captain Gemma Bonner.
In what was a frantic end to end opening to the came City were a whisker away from equalising on 25 minutes when Jill Scott latched onto the end of an Izzy Christiansen corner before her header was cleared off the line by Martha Harris.
Rogers would have been delighted with his sides start and he should have saw his side double their advantage on 31 minutes as Weir played a defence splitting pass into the feet of England however her touch let her down allowing the ball to roll into the grasp of Bardsley.
Greenwood was causing constant problems down the flank as Liverpool were seeking a second and on 38 minutes she fizzed in a low cross that was spilled by Bardsley the ball inches away from falling to the feet of England however she was denied by a fantastic tackle from Steph Houghton.
Manchester City created the perfect chance to equalise on the stroke of halftime as Esme Morgan picked out Kiera Walsh with a perfect through ball however she lashed her effort into the side netting.
Liverpool started the second half on top playing some sublime one touch football and it was they who could have doubled their lead when Sophie Ingle linked up well with Weir, but she fired her effort over the crossbar from just outside the area.
Cushing’s side had the perfect opportunity to level the tie on 52 minutes as Nadia Nadim was teed up on the edge of the area by Morgan, but her effort was blocked by the sliding Harris.
After a scrappy period Bardsley was then called into action on 64 minutes as Laura Coombs got onto the end of a Greenwood corner but her effort was well saved down low by the visiting keeper.
Liverpool were dealt a blow on 71 minutes as Niamh Charles was forced to come off after a collision with City winger Clair Emslie she was replaced by Ali Johnson.
However, it was the Reds who dug out the next goal scoring opportunity as Weir got on the end of a long punt upfield from Bonner, but she drilled her effort wide of the upright from a promising position.
City then had huge appeals for a penalty on 84 minutes as Houghton met a Parris corner perfectly before her header hit Ingle the English captain claiming it hit her hand in the process.
As the game neared it’s end City created yet another chance as Stanway tried her luck from range but she blazed her effort high and over the crossbar to the relief of the Liverpool supporters around the stadium.
Rogers side could have sealed the victory on 88 minutes as Coombs hit a sweet strike from outside the area after Weir had picked her out with a perfect pass, but her effort was beaten away by the palms of Bardsley.
City then immediately broke and won a freekick in a promising position after Emslie was pulled down by Ingle however Houghton fired her effort inches over the crossbar when she really should have tested Siobhan Chamberlain in the Liverpool goal in the final talking point of what was an entertaining game.
Hi my names Josh Bunting I study Sports Journalism at UCFB Etihad Campus , Reporter at Sheffield Wednesday football club.