BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 20, 2023: Liverpool's team huddle before second half during a pre-season friendly match between Birmingham City FC Women and Liverpool FC Women at St Andrews. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Liverpool produce another surprise WSL win with goals from summer signings

Liverpool had their home debutants to thank as they produced another surprise win in the WSL, ahead of next weekend’s Merseyside Derby at Anfield.

Liverpool Women 2-0 Aston Villa Women

Women’s Super League (2), Prenton Park
Sunday, October 8

Goals: Hobinger 21′, Flint 77′

Matt Beard’s Liverpool team made it two wins from two in the Women’s Super League as they beat last season’s fifth-placed finishers with ease.

The Reds were made by Aston Villa to shoot towards the Kop in the first half, and they almost scored twice in the opening four minutes.

While the visitors began to grow into the match, Liverpool retained a threat and that paid off in the 21st minute thanks to Marie Hobinger’s calmness on the ball.

Receiving inside the box, bodies flew in front of her but the summer signing remained measured and cut onto her left foot, before finishing into the top corner on her home debut.

Thirty minutes in, Aston Villa thought they had equalised when Nobbs had a gaping goal to aim for. However, quite incredibly, Koivisto managed to keep the ball out.

From no more than eight yards out, Nobbs’ shot flew straight at Koivisto’s head and the Liverpool player somehow managed to head the ball away from under the crossbar.

The rapid reaction-speed she showed to clear amazed the crowd, and the Finnish full-back deserves full credit, too, for being clever enough to read what was happening.

Half time: Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa

Alisha Lehmann was withdrawn at half time by Villa manager Carla Ward, and in her place came Ebony Salmon.

It didn’t change much, though as Liverpool remained on top, playing out from the back with confidence – something we didn’t see often enough last season.

On the hour mark, Koivisto went down for the second time, but continued to solider on and was eventually given a standing ovation when she made way after 80 minutes.

Liverpool continued to keep the away side at bay and struck again with less than 15 minutes remaining.

Once more the Reds had a home debutant to thank as the substitute, Natasha Flint, held off her marker and slotted to the keeper’s left.

Next up for Matt Beard’s side is a trip to Leicester in the WSL Cup. Looming large, though, is the Merseyside Derby at Anfield next Sunday.

It’s a great opportunity to attend a game at Anfield if you would’t normally be able to.

Two wins against two strong teams has set expectations high for the rest of the season. With players still to return from injury, things are looking positive for Beard’s team.

Player of the match: Emma Koivisto

Liverpool Women: Laws; Koivisto (Enderby 81′), Fisk, Bonner, Clark, Hinds (Matthews 73′); Nagano, Hobinger (Taylor 81′), Holland; Kearns (Lawley 73′), Daniels (Flint 53′)

Subs not used: Micah, Parry, Lundgaard

Next match: Leicester (A) – WSL Cup – October 11, 7pm (BST)