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Liverpool FC Women fight valiantly but fall to narrow Arsenal defeat

Liverpool FC Women fought valiantly against Arsenal but succumbed to another league defeat on Sunday.

Arsenal Women 1-0 Liverpool FC Women

Women’s Super League, Meadow Park
November 24, 2019

Goals: Miedema 27′

Vicky Jepson’s side have struggled to put points on the board so far this season having picked up just one in their opening six games, and the task was not to get any easier as they made the trip to London to face third-placed Arsenal.

The Gunners’ side is littered with quality and experience and is in direct contract to Liverpool whose foundations are built on emerging youth.

The Reds came into the fixture off the back of a morale-boosting 6-0 victory over Blackburn in the cup, but back-to-back wins were not to be.

Liverpool started brightly and captain Sophie Bradley-Auckland was handed their best chance of the game when Becky Jane whipped a delivery into the box in the eighth minute, in which her fellow defender struck the upright with a shot from the centre of the area.

It woke the Gunners up, however, and they would go on to dominate possession and territory – forcing Jepson’s side into making rushed clearances at the back.

Wave after wave of Arsenal attacks were to come, and while they too fluffed their lines at times, Liverpool were unable to stop Vivianne Miedema finding the net in the 27th minute after a quick transition through the middle from their defensive third to the Reds’ penalty box.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA - Monday, July 22, 2019: Liverpool's Rhiannon Roberts (L) and Sophie Bradley-Auckland during a friendly match between Liverpool FC Women and Metropolitan Conference All Stars at Jordan Field at the Harvard Stadium on day seven of the club's pre-season tour of America. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool had taken the approach of trying to disrupt play as much as possible and throw the Gunners out of their rhythm, but now they had to find a route to goal.

The Reds have failed to score from open play in the league so far this season, and Arsenal‘s defence – who have conceded just three goals – ensured Liverpool often opted for long-range strikes which rarely found the target.

Rhiannon Roberts, Kirsty Linnett, Leighanne Robe and Melissa Lawley would all try their luck throughout the 90, and while the Reds looked to roll the dice late on, they were unable to level the scores.

While it ensured Jepson’s side fell to their sixth defeat, Liverpool’s overall defensive performance will come as a positive after they kept the Gunners at bay for large periods.

Second-placed Man City now await before a must-win clash with West Ham on December 8.

TIA Woman of the Match: Sophie Bradley-Auckland

Liverpool FC Women: Preuss; Jane, Bradley-Auckland, Fahey Robe; Bailey, Roberts, Linnett (Murray 78′); Lawley, Babajide (Hodson 65′), Sweetman-Kirk

Subs not used: Kitching, Charles, Kearns, Rodgers

Next Match: Man City (A) – WSL – Sunday, Dec 1, 2pm (GMT)

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