Lucia Garcia

Liverpool 0 United Women 1

Saturday 27 May 2023 16:50

A second-half goal from substitute Lucia Garcia was enough to secure Manchester United a 1-0 win against Liverpool in our final game of the Women’s Super League season.

United had to win to keep our title hopes alive and though we secured all three points, Chelsea were crowned Champions following a 3-0 win away to Reading. 

Despite chances from Nikita Parris and Ona Battle in the first half, the Reds could not open the scoring until late into the second. A superb pass from Maya Le Tissier fell to Garcia who, after fluffing her first chance, struck the ball into the back of the net to secure the win for United.

The result means that United finish the season second behind Chelsea, securing Champions League football for the first time.

Vilde Boe Risa in action for United.

Marc Skinner made one change from the side that beat local rivals Manchester City 2-1 last time out, with Vilde Boe Risa coming in for Hayley Ladd. 

United put early pressure on the hosts but despite an excellent run from Ella Toone, Alessia Russo could not get enough on the ball to guide it into the back of the net. Both sides were playing at a fast pace in the first 15 minutes, making chances scarcely available for either team. 

Despite getting in the box on numerous occasions, United struggled with the final ball with crosses from Parris and Leah Galton not finding another white shirt. With 20 minutes on the clock, it looked like United were going to take the leader but Parris’ close-up header went straight into the hands of Rachael Laws.
After a quiet spell which saw neither goalkeeper tested, Batlle's cross was palmed away by Laws underneath her own crossbar before it was cleared. 

Just minutes later and the post once again came to Liverpool’s rescue after Zelem found Parris in the box. A superb volley by Parris, which looked like it was heading into the bottom corner, was pushed onto the post once again by Laws just before the half time whistle went.
Nikita Parris had United's best chance of the first half, with her effort palmed onto the post.

The second half started much like the first, with both sides lacking the cutting edge in the final third, but it was a Reds’ corner which gave them a great chance. Taken short, the ball was whipped into a sea of white shirts but Parris and Russo both failed to get a connection on the ball.

Just before the hour mark and United once again were pushing forward but a clash of heads between Russo and Laws stopped play for treatment, both able to continue after a short stop.

With an hour on the clock, Mary Earps came to the rescue for the Reds as she dived to stop Emma Koivisto’s shot before getting up and collecting the ball to stop our opponents capitalising on the rebound. 
Mary Earps registered a record 14th clean sheet against Liverpool.
Minutes later, second-half substitute Garcia opened the scoring for the Reds after getting on the end of a superb pass from Maya Le Tissier. After scuffing her original shot, she let the ball bounce and smashed it in at the near post.

Liverpool came close to equalising as the clock counted down but Carla Humphrey's close range attempt went screaming over the bar.

Skinner’s side continued to push until the final whistle but Garcia’s goal proved to be the decisive one, securing our final three points of the league campaign. 
Ona Batlle in action for the Reds.

Liverpool XI: Laws; Kovisto (Robe 74), Fahey (Roberts 66), Matthews, Kearns (Humphrey 74), Nagano, Hinds (Daniels 85), Holland, Van de Sanden (Dowie 66), Bonner, Stengel.

Unused substitutes: Kirby, Cumings, Lundgaard, Taylor.

Yellow cards: Holland 55.

United XI: Earps; Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Zelem, Boe Risa; Galton (Thomas 74), Toone (Williams 69), Parris (Garcia 69), Russo (Naalsund 87). 

Unused substitutes: Baggaley, Ladd, Riviere, Tounkara, Cascarino. 

Goals: Garcia 72.

Yellow cards: Toone 13.


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