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Liverpool stun Chelsea with comeback win as Women’s Super League come back strong


There was a huge shock on the opening weekend of the Women’s Super League as Liverpool lost 2-1 to champions Chelsea.

Liverpool, who are back in the top flight after winning WSL 2 last season, came from behind to claim the stunning victory at Prenton Park.

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Who saw this result coming?

Not Chelsea boss Emma Hayes, that's for sure

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Not Chelsea boss Emma Hayes, that’s for sure

It looked like it would be a routine game for Emma Hayes’ side when Fran Kirby put them ahead with a three-minute penalty.

But the Reds, who are managed by Matt Beard, rallied and equalized midway through the second half thanks to Katie Stengel’s spot kick.

And the hosts got their second penalty of the game in the 87th minute, Stengel making no mistake about it by sending Zecira Musovic the wrong way.

The Reds’ victory ended the Blues’ 13-game unbeaten streak, while Liverpool celebrated their return to the top flight in front of a record 3,006 fans at Prenton Park.

Former Blues defender Gilly Flaherty gave her new side an unfortunate start, mistimed their clearance and instead made contact with Reiten to concede a penalty in the first minute.

Kirby stepped in from the spot and sent Rachael Laws the wrong way to convert within three minutes, his 29th goal in his last 31 starts for the Blues.

It looked like Liverpool were going into hiding when Kirby opened the scoring

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It looked like Liverpool were going into hiding when Kirby opened the scoring


Emma Koivisto had a chance to equalize soon after when Chelsea keeper Musovic failed to hold off a Ceri Holland effort and the Finnish defender pounced on the rebound but sent her effort over bar.

The defending champions dominated throughout the opening exchanges with Lauren James, who earned her first England cap earlier in September, looking particularly bright on the right wing.

They looked to double their advantage in the 20th minute when Kirby sent a long ball over Kerr, who easily shot past Laws from 18 yards out, but his volley effort was immediately ruled offside.

Beard’s side received a major blow when Leanne Kiernan was forced off, supported by two staff, after being brought down by Chelsea debutant Kadeisha Buchanan.

But Liverpool got the breakthrough they were looking for when Flaherty’s shot after a throw-in caught Millie Bright’s arm and was called in for the handball and Stengel coldly converted for his first WSL goal.

And Liverpool managed to hold on for the famous victory

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And Liverpool managed to hold on for the famous victory

Five minutes before the hour mark, Stengel broke down on the right and into the box, chased by Buchanan who brought him down with a sliding tackle to set up Stengel for his winning double.

It capped off an exciting start to the 2022/23 season, which also saw Aston Villa claim a 4-3 win over Manchester City.

Arsenal, who missed the title by one point last season, kicked off the season with a 4-0 thrashing against Brighton on Friday night.

Elsewhere, Manchester United beat Reading by the same scoreline, while West Ham and Tottenham picked up wins over Everton and Leicester respectively.

The WSL is back!

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The WSL is back!



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