Liverpool’s impressive start to the Women’s Super League season continued with a hard-fought triumph over Aston Villa.
Marie Hobinger was on hand to take advantage of the hosts’ early dominance, cutting inside and firing into the top corner after Villa failed to clear a Yana Daniels cross.
Emma Koivisto was quickly called into action to produce a heroic headed goalline clearance to prevent Adriana Leon scoring a swift reply from six yards.
Villa ramped up the pressure and Liverpool were lucky to escape when goalkeeper Rachael Laws had to scramble back to thwart half-time substitute Ebony Salmon after a mis-placed pass.
But the Reds weathered the visitors’ attacking storm and Natasha Flint doubled their advantage in the 77th minute, rifling home after Melissa Lawley, returning from a hip injury, found the striker inside the area.
The result meant Liverpool are in second place with a perfect tally after their first two matches, while Villa are still pointless.
Liverpool, who shocked title contenders Arsenal with a win at the Emirates on the opening weekend, started brightly with Daniels and Taylor Hinds finding success down the wings.
However, Villa improved when having to come from behind, responding with energetic forward breaks which unsettled the Liverpool backline.
Villa gained a foothold with Salmon’s introduction boosting their attacking efforts, but the hosts remained resolute in defence.
Liverpool’s back three of Grace Fisk, Gemma Bonner and Jenna Clark worked tirelessly to stifle any chance of Villa getting on the scoresheet and particularly impressed in the air.
Resurgent Liverpool campaign continues
Last season was tough for Liverpool, but they still managed a seventh-placed finish on their top-flight return.
Back then it took them nine games to claim their second win of the campaign. This time around they’ve done it in two.
The recovery of players from injury, coupled with strong summer recruitment – such as goalscorer Hobinger and defender Clark – have enhanced Matt Beard’s side.
Defensive improvements proved crucial on Sunday night and the Reds are yet to concede this term.
They take on Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield next weekend, while Aston Villa travel to Arsenal.
- 2KoivistoSubstituted forEnderbyat 81′minutes
- 14HöbingerSubstituted forTaylorat 81′minutes
- 12HindsBooked at 66minsSubstituted forMatthewsat 73′minutes
- 7KearnsSubstituted forLawleyat 73′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 20DanielsBooked at 45minsSubstituted forFlintat 53′minutes
Aston Villa Women
- 1van Domselaar
- 2MaylingSubstituted forPachecoat 61′minutes
- 23LeonSubstituted forMagillat 72′minutes
- 8NobbsSubstituted forBlindkilde Brownat 61′minutes
- 7LehmannSubstituted forSalmonat 45′minutes
- 19Blindkilde Brown
- Melissa Burgin
Match ends, Liverpool Women 2, Aston Villa Women 0.
Second Half ends, Liverpool Women 2, Aston Villa Women 0.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Ceri Holland (Liverpool Women).
Attempt blocked. Ebony Salmon (Aston Villa Women) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Danielle Turner.
Laura Blindkilde Brown (Aston Villa Women) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Fuka Nagano (Liverpool Women).
Melissa Lawley (Liverpool Women) is shown the yellow card.
Lucy Parker (Aston Villa Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Natasha Flint (Liverpool Women).
Attempt missed. Rachel Daly (Aston Villa Women) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Rachel Daly (Aston Villa Women) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Jasmine Matthews (Liverpool Women).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Rachael Laws (Liverpool Women).
Corner, Aston Villa Women. Conceded by Grace Fisk.
Attempt saved. Ebony Salmon (Aston Villa Women) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Anna Patten.
Foul by Rachel Daly (Aston Villa Women).
Gemma Bonner (Liverpool Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mayumi Pacheco (Aston Villa Women).