Of all the results discussed prior to this game, a 3-0 defeat was not one I was expecting. It is a disappointing result to start the second half of the season with, but I have no doubt the Ladies can pull it back and – ahead of Bristol’s game today against Everton – we still top the table on goal difference.
Arsenal had played a couple of friendlies in the lead up to the second half of the season and were far quicker out of the blocks than Liverpool. Their quick passing and through balls through the middle cutting through our midfield, Gemma Davison in particular impressing for the Gunners. Arsenal’s defence kept our attacking players quiet throughout. They limited our shots but there were a few bright moments during the first half for Liverpool. First – with the score level, Gemma Bonner’s free kick found Whitney Engen in the 18 yard box who headed it on for Natasha Dowie who shot just wide. Following that Engen made a great interception starting a Liverpool attack which saw Nicole Rolser’s strike again off target. Arsenal’s Danielle Carter then missed a sitter at the other end, Liverpool’s relief was short lived as Jordan Nobbs put Arsenal ahead. Ten minutes before half time Alex Scott doubled Arsenal’s lead to send Liverpool in at the break down by two goals to nil.
Liverpool looked revitalised upon beginning the second half, for the 10 or so minutes we dominated possession creating chances and driving the ball forwards but were unable to capitalise on this. Katrin Omarsdottir came on replacing Jess Holbrook and made an impact, immediately making a difference and providing a bit more muscle in our midfield. Liverpool were awarded a penalty which Natasha Dowie stepped up to take, unfortunately it wasn’t Dowie’s night in front of goal and despite a well taken penalty it was well saved by Emma Byrne. The fantastic Jordan Nobbs then scored a great goal for her second of the game and Arsenal’s third. New signings Sarah Gregorius and Kate Longhurst made their Liverpool debuts in front of the 746 strong crowd, Longhurst in particular looked great when she came on.
POTM has to go to Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs who was brilliant throughout. For a Liverpool player it would be between Whitney Engen and Lucy Bronze, with Engen perhaps having the slightest of edges on her team mate with a number of great interceptions which prevented the scoreline from being more than what it was.
We will bounce back from this result, as it stands now we still top the table on goal difference. Arsenal are 5 points behind us but with two games in hand, we really need Everton to beat Bristol Academy tomorrow but even then that would see Everton just 4 points behind us with the same number of games played! It certainly makes the league more interesting.
The Ladies are next in action Wednesday night, we have a huge game against Lincoln Ladies in the Continental Cup Semi Final. As we topped our group we will host the game at Halton Stadium, the game kicks off at 7:30pm and I will have a match preview up for this in the next few days!
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