Coming into the game at the back of an important FA Cup win over Leicester, United rotated their squad for the clash against Matt Beard’s outfit. Geysa, Lucia Garcia, Rachel Williams, Lisa Naalsund, Gemma Evans, and Phallon Tullis-Joyce dropped to the bench as wholesale changes were made.
Hayley Ladd, Mary Earps, Jayde Riviere, Melvine Malard, Nikita Parris, and Leah Galton came in for United, with Marc Skinner bringing in the big guns.
United took an early lead and it came through a brilliant ball by Zelem from the middle of the park. Galton was through on goal but was denied a passage inside and as chaos ensued, the ball fell to an on-rushing Toone, who side-footed into the bottom corner to hand United the lead.
Liverpool had struggled to build from the back and had lost the ball twice to hand United a couple of chances.
That happened again and Riviere was right onto it in a flash. Her cross in for Toone was floated in perfectly but the England international couldn’t keep it down and soared just wide of goal.
A minute later, another chance fell United’s way. Liverpool couldn’t hold the ball in their own half again and Malard’s run down the left half-space saw her shot get skied over the post.
Another chance fell United’s way in the 28th minute. A quality Zelem corner met Turner well, but the defender smacked the woodwork.
United’s habit of missing chances cost them in the 31st minute. A well-worked Liverpool move saw them gain a numerical advantage on the United left and a cross took a touch off Turner and trickled in.
At the hour mark, Turner was in the thick of the action again. After a brilliant cross by Taylor Hinds from the left found Ceri Holland free in the middle, the Liverpool forward’s fierce attempt was blocked well by Turner at the near post. The pace of the game had picked up temporarily at that point, with Liverpool putting in a couple of dangerous crosses at the back post that weren’t properly cleared by United. But somehow, the home side survived.
Liverpool did take the lead in the 69th minute and Hinds was handed a reward for a sparkling performance. United completely missed a well-delivered corner and Hinds found herself free in the middle after mini-scuffles in the box to get her first ever WSL goal.
After their vital goal, Liverpool were happy to concede possession to United and sit deeper in their own half.
The 80th minute saw Galton fight off a challenge and lift in a beautiful cross into the centre that substitute Rachel Williams nearly met, but was denied by a brave challenge from Gemma Bonner.
Right after Bonner went off and the Liverpool defense saw a reshuffle, Blundell had a chance to equalise for United after being set up by the willing Galton, but her shot was right at Teagan Micah, who parried it away and Liverpool then cleared easily.
Despite a dominance of possession, United couldn’t create much and they survived a late scare as Earps’ goal kick hit Sophie Román Haug and came right at her instead of going in. That was the last bit of action in the game, as Liverpool grabbed their first-ever win over United in their entire history.
The loss meant that United are now level on points with Liverpool, with both sides at 18 points each. United’s three-game streak ended and with a game against Chelsea coming up, the loss comes at the wrong time.