BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 1, 2024: Liverpool's Gemma Bonner (L) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the second goal during the FA Women’s Super League game between Liverpool FC Women and Chelsea FC Women at Prenton Park. Liverpool won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool leapfrog Man United into top 4 as manager sent off in impressive win

In their last-ever match at Prenton Park, Liverpool Women manager Matt Beard was sent off as the Reds beat Man United 1-0 to leapfrog them into fourth place.

Liverpool Women 1-0 Man United Women

WSL (21), Prenton Park
May 5, 2024

Goals: Clark 45+3′

To see off the Reds’ six-year stint playing at Tranmere’s Prenton Park, 4,567 watched Liverpool beat Man United thanks to Jenna Clark’s first goal for the club.

The Reds started the better side and should have gone ahead inside 20 minutes, when Emma Koivisto read a back pass and headed toward goal with just the goalkeeper, Liverpool fan Mary Earps, to beat.

Her close-range effort did beat the ‘keeper but not the post, instead bouncing back off the woodwork and against Koivisto to ricochet wide. Nobody could quite believe the ball wasn’t in the net.

The Reds’ passing started to dissipate after that as a series of head injuries broke the game’s flow.

Fifteen minutes later, manager Matt Beard was sent off for his complaints towards the officials after a heavy challenge saw Koivisto hit the advertising hoardings with her head.

You could hear the thump from the other side of the ground but, thankfully, she was OK to carry on. Beard, however, was sent down the tunnel.

Just before the break, Marie Hobinger was tasked with a delivering from a free-kick and, as usual, she crossed perfectly to the back post where Clark was waiting to nod home her first goal for Liverpool.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 15, 2023: Liverpool's Marie Höbinger during the FA Women’s Super League game between Liverpool FC Women and Everton FC Women at Anfield. Everton won 1-0. (Photo by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

The provider is on a brilliant run of form from dead balls – it was only four days ago that she became the first player in the competition’s history to assist three goals from corners in a single WSL match.

Half time: Liverpool Women 1-0 Man United

The second half continued like the first, stoppages breaking up play and neither side creating clear-cut opportunities.

In the 78th minute, Leanne Kiernan came on for Mia Enderby who had again worked tirelessly up front.

Kiernan’s strike partner, Sophie Roman Haug, will have felt frustrated not to have added a second soon after, as she missed a free header from just a few yards out.

Thanks to some late heroics from goalkeeper Teagan Micah, it mattered not and Liverpool now need just a point to seal fourth place on the final day against Leicester.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 23, 2022: Liverpool's manager Matt Beard before the FA Women’s Super League game between Liverpool FC Women and Arsenal FC Women at Prenton Park. Arsenal won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This wouldn’t mean Champions League qualification, however, for those wondering.

In all competitions this season, Liverpool have won six, drawn two and lost five games at home. In comparison, they won seven last season but also lost seven.

Couple that with vastly improved away form and you have a very satisfying finish to the season for manager Beard, even if the Prenton Park era did end with him watching from the stands.

Liverpool have one game left to play this season, a trip to Leicester on May 18.

Player of the match: Marie Hobinger

Liverpool Women: Micah; Koivisto (Daniels 90+4′), Fisk, Bonner, Clark, Hinds; Nagano, Holland, Hobinger; Enderby (Kiernan 78′), Roman Haug (Lawley 90+4′)

Subs not used: Spencer, Parry, Leath

Next match: Leicester (A) – WSL – May 18, 3pm (BST)