Liverpool Ladies re-ignited their Super League campaign with a 2-0 win over second placed Chelsea at the Select Security Stadium on Saturday night.

A first-half penalty from Gemma Davison, added to a strike from Lucy Bronze secured a priceless three points for the Reds.

In his pre-match programme notes, Ladies boss Matt Beard admitted a defeat would end his side's hopes of retaining their Super League title.

His warning appeared to have had the desired effect on his charges and the home side got off to the best possible start.

Enjoying the bulk of the possession, they were awarded a penalty on five minutes after a quick turn of pace from Gemma Davison saw her brought down in the box by Blues defender Laura Bassett. From the resulting spot-kick, the winger stepped up to convert past Marie Hourihan to put the Reds in front.

However their joy was short lived as moments later Kate Longhurst was involved in a nasty-looking collision with Drew Spence. The number seven came off worse and left the field with an ice-pack attached to her head before being bandaged up.


The reigning champions almost doubled their lead on 16 minutes when a low ball in from the right from Lucy Bronze found Natasha Dowie, however her latched effort flew agonisingly wide. Another opportunity went begging just five minutes later when a routine catch from Chelsea stopper Hourihan fell at the feet of Fara Williams, whose effort just failed to find the target.

However they weren't to be denied and a second duly came just a minute later when Bronze stormed through the centre of the park, before unleashing an unstoppable shot via the underside of the crossbar to make it 2-0.

Despite heading into the clash five points behind their visitors, Liverpool appeared up to the task of handling the dangerous attacking threat from South Korean international JI So-Yun and England's Eniola Aluko, sister of Hull City striker Sone.

The first real chance from the visitors didn't come until the 27th minute when Aluko managed to outmuscle Reds captain Gemma Bonner on the left before her tame effort was comfortably held by Libby Stout.

Liverpool then nearly added a third when Corina Schroder's neat through-ball found Dowie who'd evaded the offside trap before seeing her shot saved.

If the first half was entertaining, sadly the same could not be said for the second period as chances became few and far between for either side.

But the most notable action would have concerned Beard as two of his star players, Williams and Longhurst were forced off with injuries which will no doubt stretch his already threadbare squad further.

In terms of chances, the only real effort of note came from Dowie with less than 15 minutes remaining as her shot from the edge of box was gathered by Hourihan.

Nevertheless, it was a real commanding performance from a Liverpool side desperate to stay in contention at the top of the table, and one that would have pleased the manager after defeat last time out to Manchester City.

Liverpool Ladies: Libby Stout, Becky Easton, Corina Schroder, Gemma Bonner, Nina Pedersen, Katrin Omarsdottir, Fara Williams (Amanda Da Costa 56), Lucy Bronze, Kate Longhurst (Claudia Walker 69), Gemma Davison, Natasha Dowie. Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Hannah Dale, Ashley Hodson.

Beard's charges are next in action on August 23 when they entertain Notts County at the Select Security Stadium.

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