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Liverpool 2 (Davison 14, Dowie 73) Linkoping 1 (Minde 37)
Liverpool will take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League Round of 32 tie following a hard earned win at the Select Security Stadium.
Despite a lively start from Linkoping, it was Liverpool who made the early breakthrough they desired when a Fara Williams corner was cleared as far as Gemma Davison, who fired in a deflected effort past Kathlynn Fraine to open the scoring.
Linkoping almost hit back straight away as Stina Blackstenius threaded a neat pass into the path of Kristine Minde who raced through on goal before being denied by a save from Libby Stout. The Liverpool goalkeeper was again called into action and had a scare when she was unable to hold a powerfully struck free kick from Pernille Harder but she was able to avert the danger.
However the Linkoping pressure eventually told eight minutes before half time when Minde was put through again, this time by the impressive Harder, and this time she made no mistake by tucking the ball home.
The second half started more quietly with fewer chances at either end but the game came to life with the introduction of Nicole Rolser, who was continuing her comeback from a long term knee injury. The German winger almost made a quick impact with a shot which clipped the bar from close range.
Linkoping hit back with Blackstenius breaking through after exchanging passes with Harder but Stout once again came to the rescue with a good save.
With seventeen minutes remaining, Liverpool grabbed the goal they needed. After initial good work from Davison, Lucy Bronze had a shot blocked but was able to set up Natasha Dowie who duly restored their lead.
Both sides had chances late on, first Stout made another good save from Blackstenius and then Kate Longhurst was denied by Fraine. Liverpool therefore take a slender advantage into the return meeting in Sweden next Thursday.
Liverpool: Libby Stout, Lucy Bronze, Martha Harris (sub Nicole Rolser 64mins), Fara Williams, Gemma Bonner, Nina Pedersen, Amanda Da Costa, Katie Zelem (sub Katrin Omarsdottir 60mins), Natasha Dowie (sub Kate Longhurst 77mins), Gemma Davison, Corina Schroder. Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Becky Easton, Hannah Dale, Ashley Hodson.
Linkoping: Kathlynn Fraine, Janni Arnth, Mariann Knudsen, Charlotte Rohlin, Stina Blackstenius, Claudia Neto, Pernille Harder, Kristine Minde, Magdalena Ericsson, Maja Krantz, Jonna Andersson (sub Emma Lennartsson 70mins). Subs not used: Hilde Gunn Olsen, Jessica Silva, Jennie Nordin, Tove Almqvist, Fridolina Rolfo, Venera Rexhi.
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