WSL: Leicester City v Liverpool
Willie Kirk's Leicester stun with a 4-0 statement win over Liverpool but will it be enough to keep them in the top flight?
2 May 2023
Josie Green, Carrie Jones, Ashleigh Plumptre and Missy Goodwin scored the goals as Leicester beat Liverpool 4-0 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. The three points saw the Foxes move off the bottom of the WSL.
Willie Kirk’s Leicester hadn’t played for four weeks since they beat Reading at home 2-1 but they started well and won a corner in the first minute. Their first effort on goal came in the 7th minute when the superb Ruby Mace sent a shot into the side netting.
The home sides good start was rewarded when they took the lead in the 15th minute. After a corner, the ball found Green just inside the area and her shot went into the net via a deflection off Missy Bo Kearns.
Leicester did a variety of different things from corners, especially during the first half. Some were cleverly played into space in the area, some were played further out towards the edge of it, and some were more standard crosses. All impressive though.
The Foxes made it 2-0 in the 21st minute. They attacked quickly from inside their own half with the ball reaching Jones just outside the area whose shot took a slight deflection which made the ball loop over Rachel Laws and down off the crossbar into the net.
Leicester came close to extending their lead in the 34th minute when Remy Siemsen saw her effort from six-yards saved by Laws onto the post before the ball was cleared behind for a corner.
Liverpool’s Leighanne Robe made a vital tackle to stop Hannah Cain just as the Leicester player was about to shoot at goal just before half time.
The away side hadn’t threatened the Leicester goal at all during the first half, and at half time Matt Beard made a triple substitution and changed to what looked like a 3-4-1-2 formation.
These changes didn’t make an early difference as the Foxes made it 3-0 in the 48th minute when Plumptre headed in a corner.
The visitors first effort at goal in the match came in the 54th minute but it was easily saved by Janina Leitzig. Katie Stengel then headed into the keepers hands a minute later.
Leicester were almost causing themselves some problems when trying to play out from the back, but on the whole were defending well and were full of commitment, restricting Liverpool to mainly half chances.
Liverpool did come close to getting a goal back in the 83rd minute but were denied by Leitzig when she pushed Rhiannon Roberts header up and onto the crossbar. From the rebound, Jasmine Matthews saw an effort blocked before a scramble that finished with Gemma Bonner’s shot being saved.
Leitzig made another good save five minutes later when she tipped wide Emma Koivisto’s shot. Carla Humphrey had Liverpool’s final effort of the match but this too was stopped by Leitzig.
Deep into the six minutes of stoppage time, Leicester scored a fourth goal. Courtney Nevin’s cross from the left side was headed into the net by second half substitute Goodwin.
This proved to be the final touch of the game as the referee blew the final whistle straight after this to signal the end of a convincing and impressive win for the Foxes. Leicester now sit in tenth place in the league after the weekend’s results whilst Liverpool remain in seventh.
Leicester’s next match is on Friday evening then they travel to Meadow Park to take on Arsenal, whilst Liverpool play Chelsea at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday in their next game.
Leicester City (4-1-4-1): Leitzig, Bott, Howard, Plumptre, Nevin, Green (Robinson 81’), Mace, Cain (Goodwin 78’), Jones (Pike 69’), Whelan (c), Siemsen
Unused substitutes: Lambourne, Purfield, Levell, Baker, Smith, Reavill
Goals – Green 15’, Jones 21’, Plumptre 48’, Goodwin 90’+6
Booked – Jones
Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Laws, Koivisto, Robe (Bonner 45’), Matthews, Hinds, Holland (Roberts 45’), Nagano, van de Sanden (Lundgaard 45’), Kearns (Humphrey 85’), Stengel, Dowie (Taylor 80’)
Unused substitutes: Cummings, Kirby
Referee – Emily Heaslip