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.
Category: arsenal ladies
Reds Weekly Round Up! Week 7
It’s been a long 8 weeks since we played our last league game against Birmingham City. Tomorrow night we play Arsenal Ladies at Halton Stadium, Widnes in a 7pm KO that will be screened live on BT Sport.
Here is the final weekly round up (until the end of the season);
- Fara Williams was in last Sunday’s Mirror commenting on the upcoming Arsenal game and the disappointment of crashing out of the Euros early.
“I’ve felt very low since we went out of the Euros, but being back with my Liverpool team mates has given me a big lift.”
“We had a massive boost from beating Arsenal at their place, and if we can do it again on Saturday that will give us the confidence to go on and win the league.”
- Louise Fors has been updating her website this week, giving it a makeover in time for the second half of the season! The blogs are a great insight to what it’s like living in Liverpool and playing for the club, I really recommend that you go and check out a few of them.
- Last week there were rumours of a number of Liverpool players leaving the club, one of those has been confirmed this week as Hannah Keryakoplis who has gone to play for Stoke. Hannah made her debut for the Potters this week and scored on her debut.
Keryakoplis was our joint top scorer last season and made 18 appearances. However this season has found opportunities limited. Good luck at Stoke Hannah!
- Liverpool Ladies first game back against Arsenal will be shown live on new channel BT Sport, if you have BT Broadband this channel is free and you can subscribe by going to channel 413.
Full details on how to get BT Sport are here: http://www.bt.com/sport/
Anyone unable to watch BT Sport I am sure there will be a live stream link and will share that as soon as I find one on Twitter!
- Today came the news that at the end of the season defender Whitney Engen will leave Liverpool for Swedish side Tyreso FF. There she will join a number of previous and international team mates. There are conflicting reports on Twitter as to whether this is purely over the off-season or a permanent deal.
Tyreso put an official statement on their website, which when translated by Google gave us gems such as “American country impact jaw Whitney Engen is ready for the club”. Luckily Katja (@applessqabbles on Twitter) has translated this again for us so it makes a little more sense, you can find that here: Tyreso statement.
- Ahead of the season starting up again, manager Matt Beard has given a great interview to the official LFC website which you can read here: Matt Beard: “Don’t expect another rout”
PS One last thing, the latest issue of LFC magazine is duo out next week and should feature Amanda Da Costa’s regular column.
Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies vs Arsenal Ladies
After what seems a very long 8 weeks, Liverpool Ladies are finally back in action on Saturday night. In the first football match to be screened live on BT Sport we take on Arsenal Ladies at Halton Stadium, Widnes.
Arsenal had a slow start to their league campaign with a couple of postponements due to their run in both the Champions League and FA Cup. Unfortunately for them this means that their fixture list for the second half of the season is a little more congested than ours.
We have played Arsenal twice this season, losing one and winning one. First of all early in the season we faced the Gunners in The FA Cup at Anfield, a semi final in which we were narrowly beaten. A couple of weeks later we played Arsenal in the league at the Emirates, causing an upset as the Ladies ran riot with a 4-0 win – this being Arsenal’s first league defeat in almost 2 years.
Since this defeat Arsenal have returned to their unbeaten ways, although they came close to losing away at Lincoln with only a Steph Houghton wonder strike saving them at the end. They have won each of their last 3 games, including home and away against Bristol Academy and Chelsea. In those games Arsenal have scored 9 goals but conceded 5 and the last time they kept a clean sheet was back in April against Birmingham City – 9 games ago.
Over the summer Jennifer Beattie and Rebecca Spencer have left Arsenal, who have replaced the pair with young Scottish duo Emma Mitchell and Caroline Weir. Jayne Ludlow announced her retirement after spending 13 years with the club while they have been bolstered by the return of Katie Chapman. Kelly Smith may also feature, she made her return from injury for England during Euro 2013 and Steph Houghton should also now be fully fit, after picking up a slight injury in the last Arsenal Ladies game Houghton played in all 3 England games at the Euros.
Liverpool have also been making waves in the transfer market this summer with a number of new and exciting signings. New Zealand international Sarah Gregorius joins us from the German league and we have signed Chelsea Ladies forward Kate Longhurst, alongside two England Under 19 internationals – Ellie Stewart and Katie Zelem. Leaving the club is striker Lillie Fenlon-Billson, Billson has joined Lincoln Ladies where hopefully she will see more first team action. There has also been rumours of other players moving on but as yet these are unconfirmed.
Liverpool have been in fantastic form so far this season, topping the league table on goal difference. We have won 5 out of 6 league games scoring 17 goals – 11 in our last 3 – conceding just 6. There were many highlights over the first half of our season, most notably the 4-0 win at the Emirates and the 4-1 derby win away at Everton. As the season has progressed we have gotten better and better, the fitness levels of our players pushing us ahead of the other clubs. We also proved strength in depth with the brilliant Lucy Bronze stepping in on a number of occasions at centre back and Jess Holbrook doing a fine job in place of Katrin Omarsdottir in the final two league games of the season. These performances, along with the new signings, must give manager Matt Beard a welcome selection headache.
As mentioned earlier Arsenal seen a number of games early in their season postponed; while Liverpool have played 6 times, Arsenal have 2 games in hand with 4 games played. If Liverpool can take 3 points from Arsenal on Saturday it could be a massive blow to Arsenal’s title chances. At the moment the league is looking like a 3 horse race, with ourselves, Arsenal and Bristol Academy. Everton and Chelsea also sit in 3rd and 4th place respectively and, given a good run of results, could mount an attack on the top 2. There is currently an 8 point gap between Liverpool and Arsenal and a 6 point gap between us and Everton, who lie in 3rd with the same number of games played. Liverpool also have to play Bristol twice in two games that will be crucial to the second half of our season.
Liverpool v Arsenal kicks off 7:00pm this Saturday 3rd August. The club have announced this week that any supporter with tickets to Steven Gerrard’s testimonial that same day at Anfield will be granted free entry to our game. Anfield season ticket holders also have free entry to this game along with all other Liverpool Ladies home games. Alternatively tickets are priced just £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions which you can purchase there on the night.
If you have missed any Ladies news over the break I have been doing a weekly reds round up and you can find the links to each of these below. These will now cease until the end of the season, at least for now – I’ll see how it goes!
Reds Weekly Round Up: Week 1
Reds Weekly Round Up: Week 2
Reds Weekly Round Up: Week 3
Reds Weekly Round Up: Week 4
Reds Weekly Round Up: Week 5
Reds Weekly Round Up: Week 6
Reds Weekly Round Up: Week 7 – will be online this Friday.
Here is also a link to the mid season review I posted, thanks to everyone who has read this so far it is by far the most read post on this blog!
During the break I have started providing Liverpool website This Is Anfield with monthly updates on the Ladies. You can find the first two articles below if you fancy a bit more extra reading!
LFC Ladies June Round Up: Top of the League
LFC Ladies July Round Up: Euros and New Signings
Follow This Is Anfield on Twitter and like their Facebook page!
Finally just want to say a massive thank you to everybody who reads these blogs, follows @LFCLadiesFans on twitter, This Is Anfield for giving me to opportunity to bring the Ladies news to a wider audience and Antoine over at Empire of the Kop for allowing me to promote the Arsenal game on his site.
Hope to see you at Halton during the second half of the season!
Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies v Lincoln Ladies & The FA Cup Final (BAWFC v ALFC)
This Wednesday Lincoln Ladies make the trip to Halton Stadium in search of their first league win this season. This game sees the start of a busy couple of weeks for Liverpool, for more information please see my previous blog here.
Liverpool go into this game sitting 3rd in the league but with a game in hand over second placed Chelsea. We have played three away games since our last game at Halton, the first of which being an emphatic 4-0 win over reigning champions Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. This ended Arsenal’s unbeaten league run which dated back to July 2011. People pointed to the fact Arsenal had a few players out injured but there was only two changes to the starting line up that beat us a couple of weeks earlier at Anfield. From the match reports and the two minute highlights video we get, Liverpool were clearly the more clinical team on the night coupled with top class defending unlike the Gunners. Whitney Engen’s goal line clearance could be watched over and over again and you would still be in awe every time! Amanda Da Costa scored the first two goals of her Liverpool career, Natasha Dowie and Louise Fors grabbed the other two.
After the Arsenal victory it was back to London again looking for a third straight league win, a win over Chelsea would have kept us at the top of the table. Liverpool started brightly taking and early lead through Whitney Engen (or Egan if you’re the commentator on the FAWSL highlights video) and Nicole Rolser’s goal bound strike was only just tipped over by the Chelsea keeper. Jakobsson equalised for Chelsea shortly before half time. Liverpool sustained their first half pressure after coming out for the second half, however despite a clear foul on Whitney Engen in the build up Chelsea took the lead with an Eni Aluko goal. Great goalkeeping from Linn prevented Liverpool from getting a goal back the game finished 2-1 Chelsea.
The third of our games seen us at Chelsea for a second weekend running, this time in the Continental Cup with Liverpool needing just a point to reach the semi finals. From the whistle Liverpool were never just looking for a point and quickly wreaked revenge on Chelsea. Nicole Rolser finally scored her first Liverpool goal, an in form Natasha Dowie scored twice bringing her season tally up to an impressive 7 goals in 9 games and Fara Williams rounded off the scoring with a brilliant free kick. The 4-0 victory seen us qualify for the semis in style at the top of our group and set up a semi final at Halton Stadium against Lincoln Ladies to be played 7th/8th August.
Onto the opposition then; Lincoln have had a mixed start to their season. They have done brilliantly in both cup competitions, only getting knocked out of The FA Cup in the semis against Bristol and setting up a Continental Cup semi against us despite their tough group of Arsenal, Bristol and Birmingham. They have yet to win a game in the league however and will no doubt be in search of 3 points in this game. Of their last 5 games they have lost just once and if not for a wonder goal from Steph Houghton, Lincoln could have claimed Arsenals second league defeat of the season.
Lincoln have quite a young side but also boast the experience of England captain Casey Stoney and England No 1 Karen Bardsley amongst their ranks. Jess Clarke will be a constant attacking threat on the wing, providing the service for front woman Carla Cantrell. Our previous game against Lincoln at Sincil Bank was won by a Natasha Dowie goal and finished 1-0, this game should be a similarly close encounter.
The FA Cup Final
To verge off topic from Liverpool now, yesterday I attended The FA Cup Final to see Bristol attempt to overcome Arsenal. It was a fantastic day out in Doncaster. I always love meeting fellow supporters and during the game I sat with 4 Arsenal supporters whilst silently hoping for a Bristol win! The game itself was good, I was disappointed with Bristol’s Laura del Rio starting on the bench but apparently she was carrying an injury and she did come on with about 15 minutes to go.
Arsenal opened the scoring within 2 minutes to immediately put Bristol on the back foot. Bristol’s defence was poor and it was only thanks to an excellent performance from Bristol goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain that the scoreline was kept to less than what it could have been. Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs gave a great performance and deservedly won player of the match. Bristol’s travelling support also deserves a mention for continuing to sing despite their team being 3-0 down. The only dampeners on the day were Lucy Staniforth’s injury and the treatment of the Doncaster Belles supporters. More on that can be found here.
Highlights of my day included hearing the Bristol supporters singing “4-0 at The Emirates” to the Arsenal team as they got off their bus, Alex Scott spying my Liverpool shirt and saying “oh no don’t remind me about that” and finally two 5 year old Arsenal supporters asking me what drug testing was thanks to Grace McCatty!
While I thoroughly enjoyed the final I would obviously have preferred to have seen Liverpool there but there is always next year and we still have the Continental Cup to play for!
Hope to see a few of you at the game on Wednesday, KO is 7:30pm and as always tickets available at the gate for a fiver!
Match Preview: Arsenal Ladies
Tomorrow evening Liverpool Ladies take on Arsenal in the FA Cup Semi Final, looking to reach the final for the first time ever. Anfield will host the tie as the FA’s choice of a ‘neutral’ venue. Tickets on the night will be £5 for adults, £2.50 concessions with the seating being unreserved on The Kop. The game is not televised so if you’re in Liverpool get yourself down to support the girls and if you are unable to for whatever reason the official twitter will be live tweeting the game here. I will try my best to update my twitter whilst there however I don’t hold much faith with the wifi at Anfield!
Our opposition Arsenal are the team to beat in Women’s football and are by far the biggest test we could face on route to a final. Since their foundation in 1987 they have won the FA Cup a record 11 times and for the past two season have been Women’s Super League Champions. Their team boasts a number of established internationals including Women’s Player of the Year Steph Houghton. Houghton is a remarkable attacking left back who you may remember from scoring 3 goals for Great Britain in last years Olympics. Striker Kelly Smith has not featured for Arsenal yet this season and so is a doubt to appear here. Other players to watch out for are attacking midfielder Jordan Nobbs and Rachel Yankey.
To reach the semi-final Arsenal beat Birmingham 6-0 however have lost both games since, both to Wolfsburg whilst crashing out of the Champions League. On the other hand Liverpool go into the clash unbeaten in all competitions despite a near-complete squad overhaul during the winter the team have won all but one of their games together. That game being the 1-1 at home to Everton in the Continental Cup. Liverpool acquired their place in the semi-final with two away wins, convincingly beating Aston Villa 5-0 and then a 2-1 win over current Premier League Champions Sunderland in the quarters. Despite Liverpool Ladies never reaching an FA Cup Final before there is experience within the team, Fara Williams, Becky Easton and Natasha Dowie all won the cup while they were with Everton, Dowie scoring a great goal in the final.
To play at Anfield will be brilliant for players and supporters alike and it promises to be a great occasion!