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Women's Football News
Arsenal 0 Liverpool 4 (Da Costa 37,52, Dowie 54, Fors 57)
Arsenal, the defending FA WSL champions, were stunned at the Emirates Stadium as Liverpool struck four times to record their biggest ever league win.
Domestic and UEFA Women's Champions League commitments had forced the Gunners to start their league campaign later than everyone else and they got the defence of their crown off to the worst possible start, with a brace from Amanda Da Costa and further strikes from Natasha Dowie and Louise Fors propelling the visitors to an emphatic win.
The result propelled Liverpool to the top of the FA WSL and is one of the most stunning results in women's football history in this country, inflicting one of Arsenal's biggest ever domestic defeats.
In front of a crowd of 2,017, the game was played at a hectic pace and both teams had good chances in the opening period. On seven minutes Nicole Rolser was millimetres away from connecting with a Lucy Bronze cross and moments later Whitney Engen made a great defending header from an Ellen White header on goal.
The action moved from end to end at a furious pace and after 30 minutes it felt as if it should be 4-4 and not 0-0. From here on Liverpool pressure grew and Nicole Rolser shot just wide.
Liverpool should've taken the lead after 35 minutes when Da Costa fed a superb through ball towards Dowie. However the striker, who was one-on-one with Emma Byrne, lashed her shot high and wide. But parity did not last for long as just two minutes later, a ball out of defence found Dowie who fed the ball through to Da Costa who squeezed the ball past Byrne from the edge of the area for a goal that had been coming.
Liverpool came close to extending their lead with a Fara Williams free kick which was well saved just inside the near post. Minutes later a desperate Arsenal lunge denied Nicole Rolser from being through on goal, the ref surprisingly took no action. Arsenal came close to levelling with the last chance of the half when White's looping header bounced off the top of the bar.
Liverpool were good value for their half time lead and started the second half on a mission. In the opening action, Dowie lifted the ball over the keeper only to see it cleared off the line. This was followed by five minutes of end to end action and then five minutes of magic.
On 52 minutes Corina Schroder broke on the left and beautifully picked out Da Costa whose tireless run was rewarded by her having an empty net to slide the ball in to double the lead.
Liverpool's pressure continued and an undefendable Louise Fors corner was flicked in to the net by Natasha Dowie. Liverpool then showed their class when Whitney Engen broke from defence, found Fara Williams on the left who made space to superbly pick out Louise Fors who slotted the ball beyond Byrne to complete five fairytale minutes and give Liverpool a four-goal lead.
End to end action followed with both sides having further chances but Sarah Quantrill was determined to keep a clean sheet, even though the game easily could have finished 4-8.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Jennifer Beattie, Steph Houghton, Gilly Flaherty, Ciara Grant, Gemma Davison, Jordan Nobbs (sub Jade Bailey 75mins), Ellen White, Kim Little, Danielle Carter. Subs not used: Yvonne Tracy, Rebecca Spencer, Lauren Bruton, Bianca Bragg.
Liverpool: Sarah Quantrill, Lucy Bronze, Whitney Engen, Fara Williams, Gemma Bonner, Corina Schroder, Amanda Da Costa (sub Jess Holbrook 72mins), Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie (sub Hannah Keryakoplis 80mins), Louise Fors, Nicole Rolser (sub Lillie Billson 76mins). Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Becky Easton, Michelle Evans, Sophie Riccio.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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