Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea: Women’s Super League – as it happened | Women’s Super League

It is a fairytale return to the top flight for Liverpool as two Katie Stengel penalties cancelled out an early Fran Kirby spot kick to seal a shock win over the defending champions. I am speechless, Emma Hayes looks speechless, the league is blown wide open. Just wow.

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Wow, I am speechless. A fairytale return to the WSL if the result stays like this. Wow!

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Wow! She tricks Musovic and it’s a beauty, game on.

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Can the defending champions hold onto the win? Or will newly promoted Liverpool be able to pick up some points?

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Well it has been a fast paced half but it is only Kirby’s penalty that separates the sides. Chelsea have had a bundle of chances but class defence keeps the newly promoted club in this.

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That was so easy for Fran Kirby, sending Laws the wrong way. Flaherty conceded that penalty on her debut for Liverpool.

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Here we go!

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Welcome back to our Women’s Super League coverage and to finish off the first round defending champions Chelsea will take on newly promoted Liverpool at Prenton Park.


Chelsea have lost some stars who were instrumental in their three consecutive WSL title wins at the end of last season with Ji, Jonna Andersson and Drew Spence all departing. But they have had a good transfer window, bringing in the likes of Eve Perisset and Kadeisha Buchanan.


Liverpool have also had a good summer of business, bringing in six players after winning the Championship last season. Among the stars in their ranks is former West Ham captain Gilly Flaherty and ex-Wolfsburg star Shanice van de Sanden.


Many will be predicting a Chelsea win this afternoon but with the results we have seen already in round one it could go either way. Team news to come ahead of the 5pm kick-off.

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Key events

What a season this will be! Both Chelsea and Man City were hit with shock defeats today and sit in eighth and seventh respectively, no one would have predicted this at the start of round one. Game on! Take a read of the report from Liverpool’s stunning 2-1 win over defending champions Chelsea:

Look at the celebrations, it is just such a stunning result even Liverpool look like they cannot believe it:

What a comeback! 💪

— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) September 18, 2022


Here is the winning penalty. A fun fact for you, this is the first WSL match that had three penalties scored in it!


A second for @ksteng12!

— Barclays Women's Super League (@BarclaysWSL) September 18, 2022


The attendance at today’s match was 3,006 which is a new record for Preston Park! What a game for those fans to witness.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes told Sky: “Firstly congratulations to Liverpool. They did their game plan well. We knew about the long throw from Campbell. The second penalty we should defend that better. I thought going forward we weren’t good enough. Nothing went where it was supposed to go. We’re disappointed but we go.

“They play a 5-4-1 and they don’t come out. They have maximised the opportunities. We couldn’t hit a barn door today.

“We chalk it off and go again. I say it all the time, what is to worry about losing a football match.”

Here’s how the table looks after round one:

The current #BarclaysWSL table!

— Barclays Women's Super League (@BarclaysWSL) September 18, 2022


Liverpool manager Matt Beard told Sky: “It’s just the first game. I felt over the course of the game we deserved it especially after our tactical changes at half-time.

“Over pre-season we have tested ourselves up against good WSL sides. We have started slowly, it just took a little bit of time.

“We knew we could hurt them on the counter-attack.”

On Campbell: “Whenever we pick a team we already have changes in mind. the throw causes team problems.”

On injuries: “Shanice [Van der Sanden] has had an Achilles problem for a while. Kiernan we don’t know, she is in a boot.”

The match was the first Chelsea have lost after leading at half-time since 2013 in the league! The team to beat them nine years ago? Of course it was Liverpool.

Player of the Match Katie Stengel told Sky: “He reiterated we have to believe in ourselves. It is just another team out there so why not believe in ourselves?

On her thoughts ahead of the penalties: “I told myself don’t miss. Please don’t miss!

“When I step up for a penalty I decide what I’m going to do before I step up to take it.”

On working with Beard: “What he lacks in height he makes up for in motivational speeches!”

And on the derby next week: “I am looking forward to the derby, we get to play at Anfield. It’s a dream come true!”

Anyone got their breath back yet? Me either! We should be hearing from both managers next. It will be interesting to see Emma Hayes’ reaction …

Look at what it means:


The Reds take all three points against the reigning WSL champions, thanks to @ksteng12’s double 😍

— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) September 18, 2022


Chelsea will be ruing the Sam Kerr goal that was chalked off, she was viewed offside but it was marginal. With Man City also losing earlier today there is so much promise for how this season will turn out! I know you don’t want to miss out on any action so do subscribe to our weekly newsletter below:

Beard threw himself at his coaching staff with a beaming smile! The dejected looks on Chelsea faces sum it up. They are shell shocked and Liverpool have put their stamp back on the WSL. This season is going to be so much fun!

Matt Beard celebrates Liverpool’s victory. Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC/Getty Images

Full time: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea

It is a fairytale return to the top flight for Liverpool as two Katie Stengel penalties cancelled out an early Fran Kirby spot kick to seal a shock win over the defending champions. I am speechless, Emma Hayes looks speechless, the league is blown wide open. Just wow.

90 + 5 min: Perisset puts in a good cross but Laws catches once again! The goalkeeper is having a blinder. Liverpool win a free kick through Player of the Match Stengel, who has also played so well for Liverpool. The hosts are making a change with Stengel off for Humphrey.

90 + 3 min: Liverpool are playing out this game so well, the temptation to put in heavy challenges as Chelsea come forward will be there but they are doing a fabulous job. Another chance goes straight to Laws, Beard even looks in disbelief. Campbell has been given a yellow card for time wasting.

90 + 1 min: Stengel is coming forward again but Chelsea win it back. Liverpool do enough to pressure them off the ball, this is magnificent from Liverpool. They will have to weather a seven minute added wait. Cuthbert puts in a great cross but Laws collects.

89 min: Chelsea are throwing everything at this to try and get an equaliser. Charles has won a corner but my, oh my! No one would have predicted this. The corner pings around but Liverpool do enough to clear. I am actually in shock at this. I’m so happy for Liverpool and this has blown the league wide open if this result stands.

PENALTY! Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea (Stengel, 87)

Wow, I am speechless. A fairytale return to the WSL if the result stays like this. Wow!

86 min: Buchanan has given away a penalty! She cannot believe it but she did take Stengel out in the penalty area, it is up for debate as Buchanan looked to get the ball. Wow! What a call.

Stengel is challenged by Buchanan.
Stengel is challenged by Buchanan. Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC/Getty Images

85 min: Kirby gets a cross in and it is just ahead of Kerr who can’t get a shot away. Cuthbert sails a ball upfield to Kirby whose subsequent pass is just beyond Kerr. Chelsea are desperate for the three points here. England is on for James in another Chelsea change.

83 min: Liverpool are in full control here, the Chelsea side seem a ghost of what they were last season at the moment. Chelsea have a corner after patient build-up play. They take it quickly but Liverpool deal with it.

81 min: Cankovic’s first touch in a Chelsea shirt sees her give away a throw in. Campbell throws a long one into the box but Chelsea clear. It was straight out by Kirby and so Liverpool come again with a long throw. Holland’s attempt sails over the bar.

79 min: Chelsea have a shot but Laws collects well, the keeper has been really good in this match. The Blues are coming forward again, Cuthbert’s chance sails over the bar. Another Chelsea change as Ingle comes off for Conkovic.

77 min: Eriksson is back on her feet and she will continue in this one, Furness is still on the floor. She is now back to her feet and looks to be continuing in this. A great thing to see both players okay.

75 min: Chelsea are coming forward and I’m struck at how little I have heard Kerr and Cuthbert’s name in this match. It just goes to show how good Liverpool’s defence has been so far. Buchanan looked to chip Laws but it was well read by the keeper. There’s a clash of heads between Eriksson and Furness – both on the floor and there will be a break in play here.

Rachel Furness and Magdalena Eriksson receive treatment after clashing heads.
Rachel Furness and Magdalena Eriksson receive treatment after clashing heads. Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC/Getty Images

73 min: Liverpool are coming forward and a loose pass from Charles means Musovic needs to pounce on the ball before a mistake is found. Hinds has a punt at goal but it goes wide.

71 min: Chelsea changes as Bright and Reiten are off for Perisset and Rytting Kaneryd. Liverpool make three changes with Koivisto, Kearns and Lawley for Furness, Daniels and Roberts. Can Liverpool shock the defending champions here?

69 min: Don’t you just love a competitive match?! Chelsea look to immediately hit back but Reiten’s strike isn’t powerful enough.

PENALTY! Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea (Stengel, 67)

Wow! She tricks Musovic and it’s a beauty, game on.

Stengel scores her sides equalising goal.
Stengel scores her sides equalising goal. Photograph: Paul Greenwood/REX/Shutterstock
Stengel is mobbed by her Liverpool teammates.
Stengel is mobbed by her Liverpool teammates. Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC/Getty Images

65 min: Campbell puts in a long throw into the box and it bounces around, Bright handballs and there’s a penalty call! Bright isn’t happy at all but her hand is out.

65 min: Cuthbert is wrestled off the ball but Chelsea win it back at halfway. Possession exchanges hands as Chelsea prepare to bring on fresh blood.

63 min: James does well to feed Kerr but the Australian captain is ruled offside. It is another close call and Kerr will probably feel a bit hard done by there.

61 min: Liverpool work the ball well to launch an attack but Chelsea win it back. The Blues finally get in a good position but James’ attempt is fluffed and sails out of play.

59 min: Chelsea come forward once again through James but Liverpool are still doing well to crowd the defending champions on the ball. Flaherty does well to close down Reiten and the ball comes to Laws.

57 min: Kiernan continues to receive treatment, she sat up to talk to the medics but she was straight back down afterwards. The player got back to her feet but walking seemed a struggle, let’s hope the injury isn’t too serious. She was replaced by Campbell.

55 min: Fans are calling for a free kick with Kiernan on the floor injured. Matt Beard is visibly not impressed but Buchanan did go for the ball. It looks like Kiernan is crying in pain, hopefully she is okay!

Leanne Kiernan is brought down.
Leanne Kiernan is brought down. Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC/Getty Images

53 min: Charles does well to put in a clean challenge to prevent yet another Liverpool attack. The hosts have really come alive in this second half, all that is missing now is a goal.

51 min: Chelsea were coming through but Liverpool closed down the threat quickly and got on the counter. Kearns was steaming away but her pass goes out of play.

49 min: Buchanan is called upon next to deal with Liverpool’s threat and Reiten wins a throw in to stem the danger. James is fouled in the midfield by Hinds, giving the Blues possession.

47 min: Bright clears the early danger from Liverpool but it is the Reds who have sustained possession in this second half so far.

Back underway! Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea

Can the defending champions hold onto the win? Or will newly promoted Liverpool be able to pick up some points?

Here is the penalty that separates the sides so far:

The Champions lead 🔵

Fran Kirby scores from the spot against newly promoted Liverpool in the #WSL!

— Sky Sports (@SkySports) September 18, 2022


Half-time: Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea

Well it has been a fast paced half but it is only Kirby’s penalty that separates the sides. Chelsea have had a bundle of chances but class defence keeps the newly promoted club in this.

45 min: The moment of madness from Flaherty to give away the early penalty is frustrating for Liverpool. They have defended really well since and just need a final touch in attack, it hasn’t been an easy ride for Chelsea. Kerr is once again offside, the third time the whistle has blown for her.

43 min: The ball pings around the box for Chelsea but no one can take a clean shot. Bright sends it back in but Fahey clears. James brings it back in and a cracking header away from Fahey keeps them out once more. Kirby has the latest chance but it’s blocked. Defensive masterclass right there.

41 min: Flaherty concedes a corner but it was from good defence. They go short to Kirby and try to whip it in but it’s badly handled by Chelsea and Liverpool come away with it. The Blues quickly have it back though with the Reds playing it out.

39 min: Chelsea are playing a lot of the game between their defenders at the moment. It is a frantic match with not many moments to breathe. Chelsea come forward once again but Kirby loses possession in the box. The Blues come again but Kerr’s header goes wide.

Sam Kerr heads at goal.
Sam Kerr heads at goal. Photograph: Paul Greenwood/REX/Shutterstock

37 min: Liverpool’s free kick sees them play out the back but Chelsea immediately win it back. Possession exchanges hands and it ends with the Blues streaming forwards. Kirby pipped the ball but a miscommunication sees it not find a teammate and back in Liverpool’s hands.

35 min: Charles hits it out of play in what has been a slightly sloppy game so far for the Chelsea player. Lawley almost unlocked Liverpool’s attack but the cross has too much on it. Liverpool have a free kick after Reiten fouled Koivisto.


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