Liverpool Women kickstarted their league season with a resilient 1-0 victory over Arsenal, in front of a record Women’s Super League crowd of 54,115 at the Emirates.
Arsenal Women 0-1 Liverpool Women
WSL (1), The Emirates
October 1, 2023
Goal: Taylor 48′
The opening day of the new season saw Matt Beard take his injury and covid-hit squad, he could name only five substitutes, to the Emirates, where a record WSL attendance awaited.
The 54,115 fans in the stadium was a testament to the continued growth of the women’s game and the Reds took the opportunity to showcase their mettle at the first opportunity.
Arsenal, who finished third last season, were always to be a tricky first test and they piled on the pressure early doors, dominating territory and possession.
Goalkeeper Rachael Laws was pivotal for Liverpool, keeping the Gunners off the scoresheet in a first half that saw the hosts take eight shots and have 12 corners – compared to Liverpool’s six and one respectively.
HT: Arsenal Women 0-0 Liverpool Women
— Barclays Women's Super League (@BarclaysWSL) October 1, 2023
With the scores level at the break, Beard’s side had built the perfect foundations for a gritty second-half performance that saw the deadlock broken just three minutes into the half.
Marie Hobinger’s pressure in the final third won the ball back and Missy Bo Kearns took it from there, driving into the box and teeing up Miri Taylor, formerly of Arsenal, for a comfortable finish at the back post.
The 20-year-old’s team-mates were on her in a flash as the lower corner of the Emirates erupted into celebration, Liverpool had their noses in front.
From then on, they defended desperately and gallantly as wave after wave of Arsenal pressure came at them, but they did not stop asking some questions of their own.
This team ? pic.twitter.com/Ch41PdTYja
— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) October 1, 2023
They will have internally groaned at the showing of 10 minutes of added time but they were savvy in navigating the final exchanges and protecting their lead.
With Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan in attendance, Liverpool secured an opening day victory and their first over Arsenal since July 2016 – a brilliant start, now to continue it on home soil next week.
Liverpool Women: Laws; Koivisto, Clark, Bonner, Fisk, Hinds (Parry 81′); Nagano, Hobinger (Enderby 73′), Holland; Kearns (Lundgaard 80′), Taylor (Flint 67′)
Subs not used: Micah
Next match: Aston Villa (H) – WSL – Sunday, October 8, 6.45pm (UK)