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Women's Football News
Liverpool 2 (Oshoala 12, Smorsgard 57) Manchester City 1 (Parris 53)
Manchester City fell to their second successive defeat in the FA Women's Super League at the home of champions Liverpool, who recorded their second win of the season.
Although the Blues had cancelled out Asisat Oshoala's opener through Nikita Parris, the hosts secured the win through Line Smorgard's 57th minute header at the Select Security Stadium to leapfrog their visitors in the table.
In truth, this defeat could have been heavier - if the home side were more clinical in front of goal. After the hosts had retaken their lead, they rarely looked like relinquishing it and once again, City were left to rue a lack of creativity in the final third.
Just a point separated the sides before kick off and there was little between the two in the first moments of the clash. Neither were able to retain possession in the opening exchanges, with Beattie's driven free kick the first real chance of the game.
The decisive moment of the first period occurred on twelve minutes when the visitors - possibly unsighted by the sunlight - failed to clear a Liverpool corner and Oshoala, lurking at the back post, was on hand to bundle the ball home for her second of the season.
City responded well to falling behind but struggled to create any clear cut chances. Nikita Parris and Toni Duggan both tried their luck from range to no avail, with their efforts lacking the pace and accuracy to trouble Libby Stout in the Reds goal.
As was the case last weekend, Nick Cushing's side were found lacking in the final third and were unable to dominate possession the way they had in previous games. Liverpool meanwhile - Oshoala in particular - looked a constant threat on the counter attack.
The disappointment of the first 45 minutes was summed up moments before the break when Duggan blazed over a first time shot after the ball - for once - had fallen kindly in and around the box.
After the restart and with their manager's half-time team talk fresh in their minds, City started brightly and sought a more direct approach - and it paid off with the equaliser. It was the in-form Parris who scored it on 53 minutes and she certainly enjoyed her fifth of the season. City were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position after Natasha Harding was felled and Issy Christiansen executed the perfect delivery for Parris to head into the back of the net, much to the Everton loanee's delight.
Christiansen could have turned the game on its head moments later but, as Duggan had in the first half, blasted over the bar. The respite didn't last long though as Liverpool rallied and regained their advantage through a header of their own, as Smorsgard rose to meet Oshoala's cross.
Matters could have been made worse for City shortly after when Oshoala combined well will Fara Williams, only for the latter to shoot straight at Brooks. Minutes later, she would repeat that feat, forcing the young shot stopper to gather at the second attempt.
Smorsgard then almost netted her second of the evening but volleyed Martha Harris' delivery wide as the hosts' search for a two-goal cushion continued.
In a bid to rescue the game for his side, Cushing introduced Steph Houghton and Natasha Flint into the fray but although it was a real positive to see the skipper back in action, neither could inspire their side to find another leveller. Parris went closest to clinching one with three minutes of normal time remaining but her half volley flew just wide.
Liverpool: Libby Stout, Martha Harris, Satara Murray, Gemma Bonner, Corina Schroder (sub Ingrid Ryland 60mins), Becky Easton, Asisat Oshoala, Fara Williams, Kate Longhurst (sub Katrin Omarsdottir 70mins), Line Smorsgard (sub Nicole Rolser 78mins), Natasha Dowie. Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Katie Zelem.
Manchester City: Alex Brooks, Lucy Bronze, Abbie McManus (sub Steph Houghton 60mins), Kathleen Radtke, Demi Stokes, Jennifer Beattie, Natasha Harding, Issy Christiansen, Krystle Johnston (sub Natasha Flint 70mins), Toni Duggan, Nikita Parris. Subs not used: Karen Bardsley, Chelsea Nightingale, Emma Lipman, Georgia Brougham, Sarah Wiltshire.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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