Match Report: Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal

Arsenal are top of the WSL after a comfortable 2-0 win over Liverpool at Prenton Park on Sunday which boasted a record attendance of 3,348. The game kicked off at midday and ended with two goals from Lia Wälti and Frida Maanum and yet another consecutive league clean sheet. Though The Gunners are level on points and goal difference with Manchester United, the London side sit first due to the alphabetical order.

The visitors were the stronger of the two as the game began and it did not take long for the first chance to arrive. Only 12 minutes in, Kim Little fed the ball to Stina Blackstenius who was too quick for her markers. Twisting away from Niamh Fahey, she ran down the right and drove the ball into the box. Caitlin Foord slid in for a shot on goal but missed it by a sheer inch.

The Gunners made up for it just two minutes later. Their corner was headed away but the ball fell perfectly for Wälti. The Swiss cushioned the ball down nicely before striking it into the back of the net, hitting Ceri Holland on its way in.

The attacks were relentless and by the 21st minute, Arsenal were two goals up. Maanum, with her back to goal, received the ball from Foord who was already causing all sorts of problems for Liverpool’s defence. The 23-year-old turned away from Yana Daniels and broke free from Fahey before pummeling the ball past Rachel Laws.

Photos: Hana Basir

Liverpool then began to rack up several chances. Megan Campbell, who was setting up for her recognisable long throw, opted to go short for once to Taylor Hinds. The fullback’s cross nearly met Jasmine Matthews but was punched away by Manuela Zinsberger, which was a common sight towards the end of the first half as the Austrian keeper was forced to come off her line more than once.

Arsenal were kept at bay in the second half with Liverpool coming out a slightly better side. Calls for a penalty were ignored when there was an apparent handball in the box by Foord as she tried to clear the ball. Koivisto played to the whistle and picked up the loose ball but her shot was blocked by Zinsberger.

Liverpool were given a golden opportunity on goal in the 87th minute when substitute, Missy Bo Kearns made her way up the pitch and delivered a pass into the path of Katie Stengel. The forward was unlucky to be slightly off pace and was not able to get her foot on it.

Despite the improved performance by the Merseyside team in the second half, Arsenal showed more calmness on the ball which led to the three points. The loss leaves Liverpool in ninth place but the shift put in by the players showed that it is a team missing injured firepower, and is still being rebuilt for the WSL.

Liverpool: Laws, Koivisto, Flaherty, Fahey, Matthews, Campbell (Roberts, 90+1), Hinds (Robe, 90+1), Holland, Daniels (Kearns, 71), Lawley (Furness, 83), Stengel.
Substitutes: Roberts, Kearns, Furness, Cumings, Robe, Kirby, Wardlaw, Humphrey, Silcock.

Arsenal: Zinsberger, Wienroither (’64), Wubben-Moy, Catley, McCabe (’76), Little (C), Walti (’64), Maanum (’90), Mead, Blackstenius (’76), Foord
Substitutes: Marckese, Williams, Beattie (’76), Maritz, Reid, Nobbs (’64), Miedema (’76), Iwabuchi (’90), Agyemang

Attendance: 3,348