The renewal of an old rivalry took place on Sunday afternoon in the Barclays Women’s Super League as Manchester United took on Liverpool. Marc Skinner’s Red Devils saw off Leicester City on Thursday evening in the Conti Cup, while Matt Beard’s Reds dismissed Merseyside rivals Everton on Wednesday in the same competition.
MNU: Earps; Riviere, Turner, Le Tissier, Blundell; Ladd, Zelem, Toone; Parris, Malard, Galton
LIV: Micah; Fisk, Clark, Bonner; Koivisto, Hinds, Nagano, Kearns, Holland; Lawley, Roman Haug
Liverpool had not beaten Manchester United in three previous attempts in the WSL, and an early goal for Marc Skinner’s hosts provided one of the reasons why. An excellent ball forward found its way to Leah Galton, who smacked an effort off the post before the ball came back to her. Galton then looked for Hayley Ladd, but the ball instead fell to Ella Toone, who fired the ball into an empty net – helped by some poor Liverpool defending.Embed from Getty Images
Melvine Malard, United’s top scorer this term, could have add a immediate second to the scoreboard, but the French striker saw her effort travel just wide of the bottom corner.
Liverpool eventually grew into the game, with Ceri Holland’s wonderful cross in from the left almost finding Sophia Roman Haug, but Millie Turner cleared up at the back and headed the ball away.
Up the other end, Jayde Riviere’s cross found Ella Toone unmarked in the box. The England international then headed the ball just wide of the top corner. Melvine Malard fired just over the bar shortly after.
Millie Turner was next to test Teagen Micah in the Liverpool goal, but the Manchester United defender’s header from a corner crashed back off the bar instead and was subsequently cleared by Grace Fisk.
Matt Beard’s visitors had seen United miss many chances to go further in front, but they punished Marc Skinner’s hosts for their complacency as they unearthed an equaliser. Melissa Lawley made an excellent run down the right hand side and eventually delivered the ball in towards Emma Koivisto. However, the ball was instead steered in by Millie Turner for an own goal.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool had the wind in their sails now, and almost took the lead via a brilliant volley from Missy Bo Kearns, but Mary Earps pulled off a trademark save to keep the score-line level.
The opening minutes of the second half saw keeping possession become the main aim, and while United retained the lion’s share of the ball, it was Liverpool who found the first real chance of the second 45 in the 61st minute. Taylor Hinds received the ball down the left hand side and delivered a wonderful ball into Ceri Holland, whose volley was expertly kept out by Mary Earps.
Liverpool completed their turnaround in the 68th minute, and they had their captain to thank for doing so. Marie Hobinger, who came on for Missy Bo Kearns earlier in the second half, delivered a pinpoint corner into the box. The ball fell to the foot of Reds captain Taylor Hinds, who volleyed home past Earps for her first goal since February 2022 to give Liverpool the lead.Embed from Getty Images
Marc Skinner’s side almost took their chance to get back level, but Geyse, who came on for Ella Toone after Liverpool went ahead, directed her header just wide at the back post.
A nasty clash of heads late on between United substitute Rachel Williams and Gemma Bonner saw the Liverpool defender come off worse. After receiving treatment on the pitch, Leanne Kiernan would replace Bonner for the final few minutes.
United had another excellent chance to level matters in the 88th minute, with Katie Zelem’s volley palmed away excellently by Teagen Micah.
As the game entered twelve additional minutes at the end of the second half, United continued to press for an equaliser of their own, but couldn’t find that chance to get level again and Liverpool held for a big win over their rivals.
The mid-season break now takes place for both sides, but after that, it’s a return to Women’s FA Cup action on January 14th. Manchester United play host to Newcastle United, while Liverpool travel to Bristol City – both kick off at 1pm.