Liverpool Ladies 1 – 2 Arsenal Ladies, FA Cup Semi Final Match Report

 Liverpool exited the FA Cup this evening with a fighting performance against Arsenal Ladies. There are lots of positives to take from the defeat, the team is really starting to settle as a group and last season who would have thought we would push Arsenal all the way in an FA Cup Semi Final!
 Liverpool bossed the midfield from the off. Katrin and Rolser in particular were impressive, Katrin nearly opened the scoring with her header going slightly wide of the post. Natasha Dowie was also a stand out performer, holding up play brilliantly in and around the 18 yard box. A great header on the stroke of half time from Dowie gave the Ladies a morale boost and it was a shame there wasn’t longer left to play in the first half.
 Liverpool started brightly in the second half and were unlucky to be caught on the break for the second Arsenal goal. Rolser spotted Byrne off her line and tried an audacious chip from 20 yards out that unfortunately sailed over the crossbar. Also unlucky in the second half was Amanda DaCosta – full of energy and seemingly all over the pitch – who went through on goal only to be thwarted by the Arsenal defence. Dowie almost snatched a second equalizer for Liverpool in injury time following a great ball into the box from Whitney Engen however it wasn’t to be.
 There was a 2000 strong crowd on The Kop, bit of a strange crowd – a lot of kids meant Arsenal players were getting booed. Booing opposition players is something I don’t condone at football games, the energy is best spent getting behind your own team! An amusing fight also broke out after someone threw a bottle onto the pitch when Arsenal scored their first goal.
 Other than that it was great to see the ladies play at Anfield in front of a large crowd. Fantastic to see Anfield traditions upheld, George Sephton being the ever-present Voice of Anfield, the playing of You’ll  Never Walk Alone as the teams walked out and a favourite of mine – clapping the opposing keeper as they run towards the Kop goal. Arsenal are a well-oiled machine and I wish them the best of luck in next month’s final.
 Next up for the reds we have Doncaster Belles in the Continental Cup. The game is due to be played Saturday 4th May at Halton Stadium, Widnes and will kick off at 7:15pm. Ticket pricing is the same as this evenings game (£4 adults, £1 under 16’s) and tickets can be purchased on the day at the turnstiles.
 In other news today the FA has announced the 18 teams who will play in the restructured WSL next season. Liverpool have retained their WSL status and will play in the top tier of the competition. The two big changes for current WSL teams, Doncaster Belles will be in the second tier of the league having being replaced by Manchester City Ladies and Lincoln Ladies will be rebranded as Notts County. Highly disappointing for both sets of supporters and for women’s football.
From The FAWSL website;
The following clubs have been selected for FA WSL1:
Arsenal Ladies FC, Birmingham City Ladies FC, Bristol Academy Women’s FC, Chelsea Ladies FC, Everton Ladies FC, Notts County Ladies FC  (formerly known as Lincoln Ladies FC), Liverpool Ladies FC, Manchester City Ladies FC
The following clubs have been selected for FA WSL2:
Aston Villa Ladies FC, Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies FC, Durham Women’s FC, London Bees Women’s FC (Barnet FC), Millwall Lionesses FC, Oxford United Women’s FC, Reading Women’s FC, Sunderland Women’s FC, Watford Ladies FC, Yeovil Town Ladies FC

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