Liverpool fell to their first defeat of the WSL as an impressive Birmingham side ran out comfortable 4-0 winners in front of over 300 at Skelmersdale on Wednesday evening.

Manager Robbie Johnson made three changes from the team that lost to Bristol Academy on Sunday, bringing in Caroline Charlton, Lynda Shepherd and Gemma Watson in place of Nicki Harding, Katie Brusell and Cheryl Foster.

Birmingham - buoyed by their opening day demolition of Bristol - started well and their impressive array of attacking players almost combined to give them an early lead.

Karen Carney set Dunia Susi away down the left flank, but after cutting inside, the forward could only blast a shot over the bar.

The two exchanged roles 10 minutes later - this time Susi turned provider for Carney, but the England winger couldn't find a teammate with her cross.

For all their creativity, it was a big stroke of luck which finally gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half. Susi again proved the thorn in Liverpool's side when her shot from 18 yards took a huge deflection off Sam Chappell and spun past Andrea Worrall into the bottom corner.

Worrall stopped the Blues from doubling their lead just a minute later, when a deep corner was headed back into the danger zone by Rachel Williams and Susi was on hand to flick the ball goalwards, but her effort was blocked at close range by the home goalkeeper.

If Birmingham's goal was fortunate, the Reds enjoyed their own good luck on the half hour as Carney broke into the box and saw her shot glance off Worrall's bar.

Birmingham's dominance did tell after 37 minutes, though, when Vicky Jones was adjudged to have fouled Emily Westwood in the area. For the second time in as many games, Worrall was beaten from 12 yards as Williams confidently stroked the ball into the bottom right corner.

The hosts almost gifted Blues a third right on the stroke of half-time, as Williams capitalised on confusion between Worrall and Chappell. The England midfielder nipped between the hesitant Liverpool duo, but her touch was just too heavy and she was unable to prevent the ball from running behind.

Five minutes into the second half, Carney proved a menace to Liverpool again. Her cross from the left was perfectly measured, but Williams could only head wide.

Williams made no mistake two minutes later, though, as she added a third with a terrific finish after latching onto Susi's through ball.

Susi herself could have added a fourth soon after as she outpaced Vicky Jones, but Worrall was quick off her line to deny the forward with her feet.

An hour in, Johnson made a double substitution, with Brusell and Foster replacing Kelly Jones and Watson.

Liverpool's subsequent attacks did carry more of a threat, and Brusell's burst forward led to a free-kick on the edge of the Birmingham area, but Michelle Evans could only curl well over the ball of the untroubled Marie Hourihan.

The tireless Ruesha Littlejohn then fired a dangerous ball across goal, but Birmingham nearly created a fourth on the break, with Chappell having to make a crucial defensive header in her own six-yard box.

Carney's quality once again shone through on 74 minutes when she turned two defenders and fired narrowly over the bar.

Worrall was called upon two minutes later as she made two fine saves in the space of 30 seconds. First, the experienced goalkeeper blocked with her legs to deny Susi, then she dived to her right to parry away Williams' curling effort.

Liverpool's improved second half showing was nearly rewarded with a goal on 80 minutes when Foster's free kick was only partially dealt with by Hourihan, and the ensuing scramble saw Chelsea Weston clear off the line to preserve the visitors' three-goal cushion.

With the clock ticking down, Williams completed her hat-trick from the penalty spot after Foster was cruelly deemed to have handled substitute Marie Ballard's cross.

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