Report: Liverpool 1 United Women 0

Sunday 05 May 2024 16:00

Manchester United Women suffered a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at Prenton Park for our penultimate fixture of this season's WSL campaign.

The fixture produced a relatively even contest for a good portion of the first half, with Leah Galton, Millie Turner and Ella Toone all coming close to finding an opener.

It would be the hosts to make the first mark, however, when Liverpool defender Jenna Clark headed home from close range at the back post, just minutes before the interval.

Liverpool managed to ask further questions following the break, buoyed by their goal late in the first half, but failed to double their advantage. United struggled to find a route to goal in the second half, coming closest in the final few minutes through substitute Melvine Malard's header, but otherwise found a tough Merseyside defence difficult to break down.

Read on for a breakdown of the all north-west encounter...

Lucia Garcia ran the right flank throughout the first half.


The contest began as evenly as the league table suggested it would, with the two sides only separated by goal difference heading into this clash.

Both teams had spells of possession in the early moments, but it was United that created the first big chance when Galton latched onto the end of a through ball from midfield and found herself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but the resulting shot was fired straight at Teagan Micah between the Liverpool sticks.

A scuffle in the box following a corner produced our second notable opportunity when the ball fell to the feet of Turner just outside the six-yard box, but her effort was also gratefully clutched by Micah.

The hosts had had their fair share of close encounters by the midpoint of the opening half. It looked a certain goal when Emma Koivisto unexpectedly collected possession inside United's penalty area and headed it flat against the woodwork and the ball fell back into her own path. Now just inches from goal, the ball returned too quickly for Liverpool's no.2 to react and she could only direct the second chance wide

As an innocent coming-together between Koivisto and our defender Gemma Evans sent the Liverpool player flying into an advertising board, Koivisto returned to her feet after some treatment. But the Merseysiders' boss Matt Beard was seemingly unhappy with what he had seen, receiving a red card following his touchline protests.

Marc Skinner's side came close to breaking the deadlock once more as the half-time break approached, in the aftermath of that dugout exchange. Lucia Garcia ran down the right flank, which she had been dominating throughout the first 45 minutes, before cutting back to Toone in the middle. The ball caught some air on the way in and Toone's shot was fired over the bar as a result.

It looked like we were heading back towards the dressing rooms on level terms after that chance, but a stoppage-time corner was taken short by the hosts and whipped towards the back post by Marie Hobinger with such precision that it only required a gentle glance from Clark to confirm the opener, leaving United with all the work to do in the second half.

Ella Toone came close to breaking the deadlock moments before the Liverpool opener.


It seemed the hosts carried through the momentum they had built up before the break, working Mary Earps relentlessly following the commencement of the second half.

Ceri Holland proved to be significantly unsettling around the edge of the United box, with the Liverpool midfielder firing a couple of long-distance efforts that required Earps to tip over the bar.

Heading into the final 10 minutes, United continued fighting to turn the tide in this battle in our favour, but it was the Merseysiders who were still applying a good deal of the pressure in the game.

A ball crossed in by Liverpool captain Taylor Hinds was met by the head of striker Sophie Roman Haug, but she nodded the chance a fraction wide.

Mary Earps ensured United stayed in the game until the final whistle.

The hosts quickly regained possession following the restart, but an effort powered towards goal inside the penalty area by Leanne Kiernan was held resolutely by Earps to keep United in the game.

Skinner's side did ramp up the pressure in the final moments, going more direct and sending the ball into the box whenever the chance presented itself, but struggled to find the killer final touch.

Against the run of play, Roman Haug robbed Turner and darted towards goal, but fired her shot into the side netting.

United captain Katie Zelem delivered another late ball into the box following that chance for the visitors. Rachel Williams made her presence known and nodded it to Melvine Malard in a more advanced central position, the French forward sending it towards the top right corner but being denied by the acrobatic leap of Micah in the hosts' goal.

It was to be the final chance in this contest, meaning United were to leave Prenton Park for the final time - with Liverpool to move venue next term - empty-handed.

A frustrating afternoon at Prenton Park.


Liverpool: Micah; Clark, Bonner, Fisk; Koivisto (Daniels 90+4), Hobinger, Nagano, Holland, Hinds; Enderby (Kiernan 78), Roman Haug (Lawley 90+4).

Unused substitutes: Spencer, Parry, Leath.

Bookings: Bonner.

Goals: Clark 45+3.

United: Earps; Blundell, Le Tissier, Turner, Evans (Riviere 59); Naalsund (Ladd 46), Zelem; Garcia (Geyse 75), Toone (Malard 75), Galton; Parris (Williams 59).

Unused substitutes: Tullis-Joyce, Mannion, Guerrero, Miyazawa.

Bookings: Garcia, Ladd