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Women's Football News
Arsenal 1 (Natalia 64) Liverpool 3 (Williams 9, Easton 17, Oshoala 87)
Arsenal slipped to their first Women's Super League defeat of the season against Liverpool at Meadow Park on Sunday.
The Gunners courageously fought back after a disappointing first half performance but fell just short against Matt Beard's physically imposing side, following the mid-season World Cup break.
Fara Williams gave the visitors an early lead, smashing into the top corner from 25 yards, before Becky Easton reacted quickest to divert Williams' corner past Emma Byrne from close range. Half time substitute Natalia Pablos Sanchon pulled one back with an exquisite lob but Asisat Oshoala hit back with a similarly deft finish to ensure three points would leave Meadow Park for the first time this season.
Arsenal were slow to react to Liverpool's fast tempo and were punished after just nine minutes. Williams latched onto Natasha Dowie's flick and arrowed a swerving strike past Byrne to find the top corner from 25 yards.
The veteran England midfielder was causing Losa's side problems throughout the first half and played a big part in Liverpool's second less than ten minutes later, when her corner was fumbled by Byrne and gratefully tapped in by Easton.
The Gunners burst into life soon after and were unlucky to not have pulled a goal back before the break. First Danielle Carter sent her low shot just wide of the bottom corner, before Alex Scott headed off target from debutant Marta Corredera's cross.
Vicky Losada was growing in influence as the half progressed and, after she found Carla Humphrey with a defence splitting pass, the teenager looked certain to score only for Libby Stout to beat away her powerful drive on the stroke of half time.
Arsenal continued to press in the second half and nearly found a breakthrough when half time substitute Chioma Ubogagu connected with Danielle Carter's deep cross, but Stout reacted well once more to hold onto the American's header.
Losa's changes revitalised the Gunners, and Natalia almost made a similar impact from the bench when she picked up the ball on the left hand side before sending a fierce strike inches wide of the far post.
The Spaniard did not have to wait much longer to leave her mark, though. Jemma Rose pumped the ball into the box and, having peeled off her marker, Natalia lobbed the onrushing Stout with a delicate first time volley.
Arsenal were in the ascendancy and had Liverpool pinned in their own box for much of the second half, but Oshoala pounced on a rare defensive error in the 87th minute to clip over Byrne and end the Gunners' unbeaten WSL run.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Dominique Janssen, Jade Bailey (sub Chioma Ubogagu 45mins), Jemma Rose, Casey Stoney, Marta Corredera, Leah Williamson, Danielle Carter (sub Chloe Kelly 87mins), Carla Humphrey (sub Natalia Pablos Sanchon 45mins), Vicky Losada. Subs not used: Sari van Veenendaal, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Evie Clarke, Rianna Dean.
Liverpool: Libby Stout, Becky Easton, Martha Harris, Fara Williams (sub Pacheco 85mins), Gemma Bonner, Satara Murray, Kate Longhurst, Katrin Omarsdottir (sub Rosie White 45mins), Natasha Dowie, Asisat Oshoala (sub Line Smorsgard 87mins), Ashley Hodson. Subs not used: Rachel Darbyshire, Hannah Dale.
Attendance : 2,061
(Report by www.arsenal.com)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Jemma Rose battles with Natasha Dowie
(middle) Kate Longhurst up against Arsenal duo Vicky Losada and Danielle Carter
(bottom) Asisat Oshoala lobs home the decisive third goal
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