Bristol City 0-1 Liverpool: Höbinger pushes Robins closer to inevitable relegation

Bristol City’s loss to Liverpool at Ashton Gate sees the Robins slip deeper into the drop zone, with their relegation from the Barclays Women’s Super League set to be confirmed next weekend – or as early as this Sunday, if West Ham can defeat Manchester City at Joie Stadium.

A tumultuous season for Lauren Smith’s side left them fighting to overturn a seven-point deficit at the foot of the league table, but Marie Höbinger netted for Liverpool after 13 minutes on Saturday and that would prove to be the decisive goal.

Bristol City could not break down the visiting defences, and the side now look destined to return to the Barclays Women’s Championship for the 2024/25 season.

As it happened

It perhaps shouldn’t have taken Liverpool as long as it did to open the scoring in BS3. Marie Höbinger picked out the bottom corner with 13 minutes on the clock, but an earlier goal-line clearance saw Sophie Román Haug after she attempted to turn a Shae Yanez clearance into the back of the net.

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Goalkeeper errors had the potential to define the game – Yanez would breathe a sigh of relief when the refereee judged that she’d been fouled by Haug, with the striker keen to bundle home after the Robins’ keeper dropped the ball.

A similar chance was fashioned at the other end, with Rachel Furness knocking Teagan Micah off-balance as Lauren Smith’s side squandered a rare foray forward. Amalie Thestrup tested the Liverpool shotstopper as the second half wore on, though Micah was able to parry away with relative ease.

But Bristol City’s grasp on the game slipped as the end of regulation time neared, with Höbinger’s long-range effort tipped onto the woodwork by Yanez – who would then go on to deny both Mia Enderby and Missy Bo Kearns.

The Robins are left needing to overturn a seven-point deficit with just three games left to play, meaning their relegation could be confirmed if they fail to beat Manchester City next weekend. The Cityzens could seal Bristol City’s fate this Sunday though – should they lose to West Ham, survival would be mathematically impossible for the Robins.

The lineups

BCI: Yanez; Napier, Layzell, Connolly, Aspin, Bull; Furness, Syme, Rodgers, Morgan; Thestrup

LIV: Micah; Hinds, Fisk, Clark, Parry; Enderby, Nagano, Höbinger, Kiernan, Kearns; Haug