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Liverpool FC Women run Man City close but fall to successive narrow defeat

Liverpool FC Women went toe to toe with Man City on Sunday but again fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of a first-half goal.

Man City Women 1-0 Liverpool FC Women

Women’s Super League, Academy Stadium
December 1, 2019

Goals: Bonner 20′

Vicky Jepson’s side were back in action on the search for their first win of the league campaign, a task which continues to grow harder by the day as a trip to second-placed Man City was on the agenda.

The Reds made one change to the side who fell to a narrow defeat at the hands of Arsenal last time out, with Rinsola Babajide making way for Niamh Charles in what was her 50th appearance for the club.

Liverpool Women started brightly and created a perfect opening to net their first league goal in open play this season 15 minutes in after Jade Bailey was given time and space in the box, but City did just enough to keep the Reds at bay having also blocked Courtney Sweetman-Kirk’s follow up effort.

But as City started to find their feet in the clash chances started coming their way, with desperate blocks and interventions required to keep the hosts off the scoreboard.

And while Liverpool appeared to be doing the hard things well a drop in concentration and loose marking saw ex-Red Gemma Bonner edge City into the lead with a deft header with 20 minutes gone.

Jepson’s side would show glimpses of their threat with Melissa Lawley and Charles not afraid to drive at the home side, while at the other end of the field Anke Preuss made a number of brilliant saves to keep her side in striking distance heading into the break.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA - Monday, July 22, 2019: Liverpool's Rhiannon Roberts 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)

City enjoyed the lion’s share of possession early in the second, but as they started to take their foot off the gas slightly Liverpool started to come to the fore.

With the first clear cut chance of the second 45 coming the way of the Reds after Lawley’s delivery into the box was mishandled by Ellie Roebuck, with a goal denied by the slightest of margins as Charles could not react in time with the drop of the ball.

Georgia Stanway would see an effort fly narrowly over the crossbar just after the hour mark to provide a timely reminder for Liverpool to keep on their toes at the back as they continued to push for an equaliser.

It was a goal which Liverpool did not stop pushing for and for the remainder of the half looked they appeared the most likely to score, with Bailey’s long-range effort parried by the ‘keeper before a scramble in the box from the resulting corner somehow did not see the ball rustle the back of City’s net.

Ultimately, it was a performance which was in direct contrast to their position in the table, with the final ball and confidence to take on the shot again proving decisive in the end result.

There were positives aplenty but the next clash against mid-table West Ham is a must-win game for the Reds to ensure they do not drift further away from the safe zone.

TIA Woman of the Match: Niamh Charles

Liverpool FC Women: Preuss; Jane, Bradley-Auckland, Fahey Robe; Bailey, Roberts (Murray 78′), Linnett; Lawley, Charles, Sweetman-Kirk (Hodson 73′)

Subs not used: Kitching, Kearns, Rodgers, Babajide

Next Match: West Ham (H) – WSL – Sunday, Dec 8, 2pm (GMT)

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