A howler from Liverpool goalkeeper Anke Preuss handed Everton an historic 1-0 victory as Anfield hosted its first FA Women’s Super League Merseyside derby in front of 23,500 fans.
In winning on their neighbours’ ground, Willie Kirk’s side achieved in their first visit what their male counterparts have not been able to do since 1999.
It was harsh on Liverpool, and Preuss in particular as she let Lucy Graham’s shot slip through her grasp, that such a momentous occasion should be decided by a mishap but was a cruel lesson in taking chances when they arose.
Everton did that clinically, albeit with a helping hand, as they leapfrogged Manchester United into fourth place.
The hosts, visibly buoyed by the Anfield occasion, were the better side for much of the game with Kirsty Linnett and Niamh Charles particularly influential.
Aside from a couple of efforts from distance and a number of driving runs down the right it was Linnett’s twisting, flicked header in the 16th minute which provided the team’s best moment of the first half.
However, Everton goalkeeper Tinja Korfela proved more than equal to the task as she flung herself to her right to claw away the ball which was destined to drop inside the far post.
Plenty to admire about Liverpool Women's performance despite the defeat, they were the superior team throughout. Impressive attendance of 23,500 at Anfield.
— Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) November 17, 2019
Korfela then fumbled Rhiannon Roberts’ 25-yard drive but with no-one following in she was spared further embarrassment.
The same could not be said for Preuss, a virtual spectator, seconds before the interval as she failed to get fully across to Graham’s speculative shot from distance and watched in horror as the ball slipped through her arms and over the line.
Such is the luck for a team bottom of the table with just one point from their opening six matches.
After the break Charles had a shot blocked by the sliding Danielle Turner and also fired over as the hosts continued to press attacking the Kop.
Reds’ substitute Rinsola Babajide injected a threat in the final 30 minutes but could not rectify a shortcoming which has been a season-long problem for her side with just one league goal so far.
Liverpool FC Women: Preuss; Jane, Bradley-Auckland, Fahey, Robe; Linnett, Roberts, Bailey, Clarke; Lawley; Sweetman-Kirk
Subs: Kitching, Rodgers, Kearns, Murray, Hodson, Babajide
Next Match: Blackburn (A) – Women’s League Cup – Thursday, Nov 21, 7.45pm (GMT)