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Brescia 1 (Gama 28) Liverpool 0
It's advantage Brescia in the UEFA Women's Champions League Round of 32 tie after Sara Gama's strike in the first leg made it 1-0, but Liverpool still have it all to play for in Widnes next week.
It was nip and tuck in the opening few minutes and Liverpool did probe through Rosie White, whose through ball was latched onto by Ashley Hodson but Roberta D'Adda averted the danger.
Hodson was proving a thorn in Brescia's side down the right but the Reds couldn't capitalise on her good work. Meanwhile down at the other end Brescia fired a warning shot, Stefania Tarenzi firing a superb chance wide of the target.
Midway through the half the Italians' pressure told as Gama's swerving long range effort caught out Danielle Gibbons, who got down to parry only for the ball to land in the net.
A fantastic intervention from Gemma Bonner then stopped Brescia from doubling up almost immediately after she blocked Barbara Bonansea's goalbound volley. Bonansea continued to threaten and beat Gibbons with another strike - but not the inside of the post as it bounced clear.
Liverpool, who finished seventh in FA WSL 1 this year, did turn the tide late in the first half and Natasha Dowie would have levelled the scores if not for D'Adda's block. Lucy Staniforth, who had also come alive as the first half went on, tried to beat Chiara Marchitelli straight from the restart but the keeper was equal to it.
Then Asisat Oshoala - substituted on for Hodson at half time - nearly inspired the leveller but Dowie fired over after the Nigerian international's run and cross. Still Liverpool pressed, the hosts forced into another block after Staniforth's volley, while efforts from Katie Zelem and White followed suit.
The already injury-depleted Reds had been administered a blow however after captain Bonner limped off to be replaced by Shannon Beckwith at the back.
As the game entered its last ten minutes White found space in the box but was denied by a reflex save from Marchitelli. Daniela Sabatino nearly extended Brescia's advantage twice, her first being ruled out for offside before her low effort crept wide of the right-hand side of Gibbons' goal.
One last chance fell Liverpool's way after Katrin Omarsdottir was brought down in a dangerous position, but Staniforth's free kick sailed wide.
The second leg will take place at Widnes next Wednesday (6.30pm kick off).
Brescia: Chiara Marchitelli, Roberta D'Adda, Elena Linari, Martina Rosucci, Valentina Cernoia, Daniela Sabatino, Cristiana Girelli (sub Lisa Alborghetti 56mins), Barbara Bonansea, Sara Gama, Chiara Eusebio (sub Lisa Boattin 81mins), Stefania Tarenzi. Subs not used: Camelia Ceasar, Annamaria Serturini, Laura Ghisi, Martina Lenzini, Elisa Mele.
Liverpool: Danielle Gibbons, Martha Harris, Ingrid Ryland, Lucy Staniforth, Gemma Bonner (sub Shannon Beckwith 57mins), Satara Murray, Ashley Hodson (sub Asisat Oshoala 45mins), Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie, Katie Zelem, Rosie White. Subs not used: Rachel Darbyshire, Mollie Green, Hannah Dale, Maz Pacheco.
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