Post-Match Report

WSL: Arsenal 1-3 Liverpool - Report

Sanchon scores

Liverpool -

Meadow Park
Barclays FA Women's Super League
Barclays FA Women's Super League
  Arsenal Women
      
                  Natalia (64)
            
   crest
Arsenal Women
Natalia (64)
1 3
  Liverpool
      
              Fara Williams (9)
               Becky Easton (17)
               Asisat Oshoala (87)
          
   crest
Liverpool
Fara Williams (9) Becky Easton (17) Asisat Oshoala (87)

By Max Jones at Meadow Park

SUMMARY

Arsenal Ladies slipped to their first Women’s Super League defeat of the season against Liverpool at Meadow Park on Sunday.

The Gunners courageously fought back after a disappointing first-half performance but fell just short against Matt Beard’s physically imposing side, following the mid-season World Cup break.

Fara Williams gave the visitors an early lead, smashing into the top corner from 25 yards, before Becky Easton reacted quickest to divert Williams’ corner past Emma Byrne from close range.

Half-time substitute Natalia Pablos Sanchon pulled one back with an exquisite lob but Asisat Oshoala hit back with a similarly deft finish to ensure three points would leave Meadow Park for the first time this season.

SETTING THE SCENE

Pedro Martinez Losa made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Bristol Academy in May, handing debuts to his two newest signings.

Former SGS Essen defender Dominique Janssen started at left back in place of Emma Mitchell while Marta Corredera - who joined from Barcelona on Wednesday - came in for the recently departed Lianne Sanderson.

Elsewhere Leah Williamson made her first start for three months and fellow Centre of Excellence graduate Carla Humphrey also started at the expense of Natalia and Chioma Ubogagu.

Losa also included returning World Cup stars Alex Scott, Casey Stoney and Vicky Losada in his line-up, while Sari van Veenendaal was named on the bench. England’s top scorer in the tournament, Williams, started for the visitors.

FIRST HALF

Arsenal were slow to react to Liverpool’s fast tempo and were punished after just nine minutes. Williams latched onto Natasha Dowie’s flick and arrowed a swerving strike past Byrne to find the top corner from 25 yards.

The veteran England midfielder was causing Losa’s side problems throughout the first half and played a big part in Liverpool’s second less than 10 minutes later, when her corner was fumbled by Byrne and gratefully tapped in by Easton.

The Gunners burst into life soon after and were unlucky to not have pulled a goal back before the break. First Danielle Carter sent her low shot just wide of the bottom corner, before Scott headed off target from Corredera’s cross.

Losada was growing in influence as the half progressed and, after she found Humphrey with a defence-splitting pass, the teenager looked certain to score only for Libby Stout to beat away her powerful drive on the stroke of half-time.

SECOND HALF

Arsenal continued to press and nearly found a breakthrough when half-time substitute Chioma Ubogagu connected with Carter’s deep cross, but Stout reacted well once more to hold onto the American’s header.

Losa’s changes revitalised the Gunners, and Natalia almost made a similar impact from the bench when she picked up the ball on the left-hand side before sending a fierce strike inches wide of the far post.

The Spaniard did not have to wait much longer to leave her mark, though. Jemma Rose pumped the ball into the box and, having peeled off her marker, Natalia lobbed the onrushing Stout with a delicate first-time volley.

Arsenal were in the ascendancy and had Liverpool pinned in their own box for much of the second half, but Oshoala pounced on a rare defensive error in the 87th minute to clip over Byrne and end the Gunners’ unbeaten WSL run.

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