Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal
by Shannon Cookson at Prenton Park for Impetus (24/10/22)
Above: Friida Maanum hits Arsenal’s second goal at Prenton Park yesterday. Photo: Arsenal WFC.
Arsenal went top of the Barclays Women’s Super League table thanks to goals from Lia Walti and Frida Maanum in front of Liverpool’s biggest-ever crowd at Prenton Park.
This success was Arsenal’s 12th successive WSL victory – equalling the all-time record, and the North London side went ahead with just 16 minutes played as Walti found the back of the net from a corner kick. Liverpool had failed to clear the set piece which allowed the Swiss international to strike from inside the box.
Six minutes later, the Gunners doubled their lead as Matildas star Caitlin Foord fed Maanum who dispatched the ball into the net.
Liverpool found chances hard to come by, which was emphasised by the events of the 37th minute, The Reds gained a half chance from a quick freekick. The Arsenal defenders panicked, and it was headed out for a corner which was taken by Hinds, but visiting keeper Manuela Zinsberger comfortably gathered.
Just before the break, it could have been three. Niamh Fahey made initially made a great challenge but possession was picked up by Kim Little, but his misplaced effort saw the ball fly over the top.
Liverpool had a penalty shout soon after as Foord miskicked the ball with the consequence that it hit her hand in the penalty area. Referee Anthony Backhouse was unmoved.
Home keeper Rachael Laws made some fantastic saves during the match as the visitors could have easily increased their lead.
One such effort from Laws came after Maanum played the ball out to Foord who fed Stina Blackstenius but the Swede’s chance to increase the visitor’s advantage was denied.
With just over 15 minutes remaining, Laws kept her side in the game once more as Beth Mead fed Foord who was denied by the home custodian who made herself big to prevent the Australian from scoring.
Liverpool were not without chances. They earned a free kick with a foul on Taylor Hinds. Ceri Holland took the freekick, and found Melissa Lawley who fired over the top. Megan Campbell fed Hinds from a short throw, but Arsenal defended well. Steph Catley also saved her side with a clearance from near the line as the Reds pressed the Gunners.
With four minutes remaining the hosts had one final chance to get on the scoresheet as Missy Bo Kearns found Katie Stengel who just misplaced the ball.
This was a routine win in the end for Arsenal, and all the more impressive as it comes just days after their trip to European champions Olympique Lyonnais. It has been quite a week for Jonas Eidevall’s team. For Liverpool, their season will not be defined by their matches against the big three. Matt Beard has his team set up well and the Reds will be confident of finishing well clear of the drop zone.
Teams: LIVERPOOL (3-4-3): Laws, Flaherty, Fahey, Campbell, Koivisto, Matthews, Holland, Hinds, Daniels, Stengel, Lawley. Substitutes: Robe, Roberts, Kearns, Furness.
ARSENAL (3-4-3): Zinsberger, McCabe, Catley, Wubben-Moy, Wienroither, Maanum, Walti, Little, Foord, Blackstenius, Mead. Substitutes: Beattie, Nobbs, Miedema, Maritz, Iwabuchi.
Scorers: Walti 16’, Maanum 23’.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse.