Liverpool Women's Manager Vicky Jepson with her players shows her dejection after the final whistle during the FA Women's Super League match at Anfield, Liverpool. ( Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images)

Positives despite defeat for Liverpool FC Women after five-goal thriller

Liverpool Women suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat against Arsenal on Thursday night, despite taking an early lead in the Women’s Super League.

Liverpool FC Women 2-3 Arsenal

Women’s Super League, Deva Stadium
February 13, 2020

Goals: Babajide 14′, Furness 45′; Miedema 30′ 78′, Nobbs 32′.

Three weeks and two postponed fixtures since their last outing, Liverpool FC Women took on reigning WSL champions Arsenal at Chester FC’s Deva Stadium and pushed the title-winners all the way.

Since winning 8-1 against Blackburn in the Women’s FA Cup at the end of January, Liverpool had seen games against Birmingham City and Everton called off, with a change of stadiums necessary for this game to go ahead.

Arsenal are once again in the fight for honours at the top and made a strong start, almost scoring inside a minute, but the home team fought back well and indeed scored the game’s opening goal.

Rinsola Babajide showed tremendous pace to make up about ten yards on a defender, beat her to a bouncing ball and race through to slot home under the keeper.

The free-scoring Vivianne Miedema equalised for Arsenal on the half-hour mark, though, and Jordan Nobbs, who assisted that strike, scored the second just a couple of minutes later to turn the game around.

Despite the double setback, Liverpool rallied to equalise before the break, Rachel Furness leathering home with her left foot after an attempted header back to the keeper landed woefully short.

HT: LFC Women 2-2 Arsenal

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA - Monday, July 22, 2019: Liverpool's Rinsola Babajide 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)

Vicky Jepson’s team battled hard after the break against something of an Arsenal onslaught, with goalkeeper Anke Preuss called into action multiple times.

A low save from Miedema and a fine diving palm away to divert a cross from oncoming attackers were particularly notable interventions from the stopper.

But inside the final 12 minutes, Miedema found space in the box to divert a header back toward the near post, finally beating Preuss and winning Arsenal the game.

It leaves Liverpool still on six points, outside the relegation zone on goal difference ahead of Bristol City.

Jade Bailey came closest to a third for Liverpool, with a corner which almost flew straight in, but in the end a positive performance was all they could take from the encounter.

For match highlights, UK viewers can watch here.

Liverpool FC Women: Preuss, Jane, Robe, Furness, Fahey, Bradley-Auckland, Charles (Hodson, 80), Bailey (Clarke, 85), Babajide, Linnett (Roberts 66), Lawley.

Subs not used: Foster, Murray, Purfield.

Next match: Chelsea (a) – Women’s FA Cup – Sunday 16 February, 12:30pm