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Liverpool 1 (Van de Sanden 8) Birmingham City 0
Liverpool goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain was the star of the show as she saved a penalty and saw another go wide during her side's FA Women's Super League opener against Birmingham City.
Kirsty Linnett could have put Birmingham in front from the spot after just five minutes, when Sophie Ingle was penalised for handball, but Chamberlain saved low to her left.
The Blues were left ruing the miss three minutes later, when Shanice Van de Sanden beat Sophie Baggaley to Kate Longhurst's crossfield pass and bundled in.
Natasha Harding could have doubled the lead on the hour, when Van de Sanden squared, but Baggaley was out fast to charge the shot down. Harding was in again on 69 minutes, from Katie Zelem's lobbed pass, but Aoife Mannion got a vital touch as she shaped to shoot.
Birmingham had another penalty moments later, when Mandy Van den Berg brought Melissa Lawley down in the area - for which she was sent off - but Ayisi dragged the resulting spot kick wide. Chamberlain then saved twice from Linnett on 89 minutes as Liverpool held on for three points.
Liverpool: Siobhan Chamberlain, Martha Harris, Gemma Bonner, Mandy van den Berg, Alex Greenwood, Sophie Ingle, Kate Longhurst, Katie Zelem (sub Laura Coombs 80mins), Shanice van de Sanden, Emma Lundh (sub Caroline Weir 75mins), Natasha Harding (sub Rosie White 90mins). Subs not used: Danielle Gibbons, Maz Pacheco, Ashley Hodson, Mollie Green.
Birmingham City: Sophie Baggaley, Alex Windell (sub Emily Westwood 63mins), Aoife Mannion (sub Charlie Wellings 75mins), Kerys Harrop, Meaghan Sargeant, Jessica Carter, Chloe Peplow (sub Coral Haines 83mins), Jo Potter, Melissa Lawley, Freda Ayisi, Kirsty Linnett. Subs not used: Sian Johnson, Abbey Leigh Stringer, Connie Schofield, Cheryl Edwards.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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