ColumnMatt Beard on Brighton win, Micah WSL debut and 'fantastic' Roman Haug

It was a very pleasing performance from us on Sunday against Brighton, scoring four goals, keeping a clean sheet. I’m delighted.

We got better and better as the game went on. With a number of new players in the team it can take time to gel and for them to understand what we are asking of them, but we’ve been doing that and picking points up.

I thought Sunday was our most complete performance of the season. We have shown glimpses of that in games, but the difference was we were ruthless in front of goal against Brighton. We could have scored more, but I was really pleased with our performance.

I gave Teagan Micah her first start in the WSL against Brighton, and she had a good league debut. I thought she did really well midweek against Manchester United, she was unlucky when she picked up an injury on the last international break.

We have got goalkeepers here with different strengths, Lawsy [Rachael Laws] has been brilliant but we felt it was the right choice to go with Teagan on Sunday and she repaid us that faith.

Gemma Bonner got our first goal and with helping us keep a clean sheet that was a perfect day for her with the special presentation to mark the record appearances for the club in the WSL era she received before the game. That was great and it was great to see her mum as well.

I saw Gemma’s social media post on Sunday night about what it meant to have her family there and she is just a great person and I’m delighted for her to receive that special shirt from a club legend like Ian Callaghan. She deserved that moment.

Shanice van de Sanden celebrated a wonderful week for her personally with our second goal and there was a feeling in our camp that she was going to score. She was on fire in training on Saturday!

I always say how infectious a personality she is but it was a different level this week after her partner gave birth to their child, so it was a fitting end to a great week for her.

Shanice has been getting better each week and I’ve been really pleased. She is getting stronger and she has been really unlucky with us since her return with the injuries, so I’m pleased we are starting to see the true Shanice now on the pitch.

I was also pleased for Ceri Holland to get her first goal of the season and she deserved that because she works so hard for the team, and her goal just goes to show not to give up on lost causes.

One thing we focused on for this game is Brighton have a good block and they are difficult to break down. I felt we were a bit naive in the first half but in the second we knew when to go forward and when to play through it. If you look at some of the counter-attacks we had, we could have scored a lot more than the four we got.

I thought Sunday’s game against Brighton was Sophie Roman Haug’s best display in a Liverpool shirt, she led the line fantastically well and deserved the Player of the Match award.

She is still finding her feet but she was excellent, two assists and I’m really pleased she got her first home goal as well in front of the Tranmere Kop end.

Leanne Kiernan was excellent again when she came on and I’m so pleased for her. She has been through the mill and back and been through a lot. I’m delighted for her, you can just see she is playing with a smile on her face. I guess when you’ve been out of action to then get back in training and back on the pitch, you appreciate it even more.

Marie Höbinger was a joy to watch and she is just a great technician. She is only 22 and she can get even better. She reminds me of Fara Williams when I was looking at her for our recruitment.

There’s definitely glimpses of Fara there; right foot, left foot, the way she just drops her shoulder and takes corners with both feet. She just sees pictures, an absolute talent.

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We now go into an international break but it was important that we got back to winning ways ahead of that because it keeps us in touch. I mean, Chelsea seem to be running away with it already but it keeps us in touch with second, third and fourth place. That’s what we want to get to and we want to be challenging for those positions, to win trophies, but we need to make sure we keep in and around that group.

We’ve got a tough run of games heading into Christmas with Bristol City, Everton in the Continental League Cup then Manchester United away to finish the year. The most important thing is we keep picking points up, whether that’s three or whether that’s one.

We’ve had a good start. We learned a lot from the Chelsea defeat, we really did, so in hindsight that might be a bit of a blessing for our journey that we are going on this year but we are in a good place at the moment.

Thank you for your continued support.



Matt Beard was speaking to's Steve Hunter