Well done to the 1000+ fans who went yesterday in that freezing weather. It was nice to watch the game at home.
The 1-1 result was a fair one as both side created chances and can say the refereeing decision could have gone their way.
Sian Massey was very much in control yesterday booking Duggan very early in the game for dissent after Dowie had kicked Jill Scott with the studs up. I guess it is another one of those where the referee saw the coming together.
Then the yellow/red card incident where Johnson pushed Rolser while they were both chasing the ball. Did she deny a clear goalscoring opportunity against a player running towards the goal ? Maybe not, stricto sensu I am not sure Rolser was running in an angle towards the goal but rather away.
Finally the penalty incident after a poor backpass by Greenwood when Brown took out Dowie. The big question is the ball was nowhere near the action and Dowie had no chance of catching it. I have seen many times those penalties not being given on this account. Credit to the assistant for spotting the foul and helping the referee making the decision.
I believe Liverpool played at a level below expectation and Everton a little above expectation.
Everton played some very good passing football. A lot of very good pass and move stuff that lead to creating many goalscoring chances. They have kept their usual high pressing signature defending but added maturity on the attacking side as well. Duggan and Parris the star attacking performer on the day. Rachel Finnis had a good game in term of shot stopping making 5 or 6 decisive saves to keep Everton in the game. To her debit, her usual “drop a cross” moment where she recovered well and a penalty given away where she could also have been booked.Everton defintely hit the ground running and it was great that they had so many homegrown players in the side yesterday.
Liverpool are a work in progress and it was obvious from yesterday that there is a fair bit of work to be done offensively and defensively to attack as a team. While Everton attacked with 6 or 7 players at time, Liverpool had up to 4 players in the attacking zone making it hard to score goals basically. Engen was really excellent in defense, quality player always show their strength in big games. Bonner was solid alongside her. Fara Williams carried on her form from last season really and did not show much. Da Costa started brightly then faded away and was replaced by Billson. Dowie was her usual self working hard and providing a focal point. The 2 forwards Fors and Rolser were underused in my opinion and could have created more danger. The main point yesterday was Liverpool team passing and movement is really a work in progress and they will need time to gel and be really a good attacking team. Once they will find their rhythm, they will be a headaches for the other WSL side.
So overall an entertaining game played on difficult conditions, credit to the 25 actors on the night.