Liverpool fall to defeat yet again as Conti Cup starts with loss

Vicky Jepson’s Liverpool side have yet again lost a football match.┬áThis time to a side from the WSL 2.

Things aren’t boding well for this season if the team cannot even beat a Sheffield United side that currently sit sixth in the second tier.

Sheffield United beat Liverpool 3-2 this Sunday afternoon at Prenton Park. The Reds have now lost all three of their games this season following two 1-0 losses in the league to Reading and Spurs.

First half

Liverpool started the game better than Sheffield United but the first half was very tight.

The first half was largely end-to-end stuff but Liverpool took the lead through an Ashley Hodson strike. Hodson came into the side for Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, who took advantage of a well-earned rest.

Hodson finished off a move that began with Jemma Purfield pinging a fantastic ball down the left-hand side to start the counter-attack.

Melissa Lawley picked up the ball and worked her way into the box. Her shot was well saved by Becky Flaherty but only into the path of Hodson.

Liverpool came very close to doubling their lead just before the break with Rinsola Babajide challenging Flaherty to make a top-level save.

On the Sheffield United side of things, Sam Tierney made herself a nuisance all afternoon and that began with a rugged performance in the first half from the Englishwoman playing in midfield this afternoon.

Second half

After the break came most of the drama.

Sheffield United equalised with a controversial Katie Wilkinson goal. Sheffield United’s number nine got on the end of a corner and smacked the ball against the crossbar. The ball bounced off the bar and supposedly over the line.

From where we were sat it decidedly looked as if the ball had not crossed the line. Play continued for at least 20 seconds before the referee blew to award the goal. Proper weird one.

Liverpool then managed to regain their lead through Niamh Charles. Less than five minutes after coming on, Charles managed to get on the end of a Jemma Purfield cross in order to head the ball past Flaherty.

That’s pretty much when everything went wrong for Liverpool. With less than three minutes left of normal time, Maddy Cusack scored an equaliser for Sheffield United.

Her long-range effort hit the bar on its way into the back of the net.

Moments later, Jade Bailey was sent off for a second bookable offence. Bailey has been one of the biggest disappointments so far this season, her inability to connect with passes in midfield leaving fans confused as to her continued involvement. She will now miss out on Liverpool’s trip to Manchester to face United next weekend.

Then, right at the death, Sheffield United scored a winner. It was Leandra Little that got the goal to give United the win. Her looping shot went right over Anke Pruess and into the back of the net. On Anke’s birthday no less.

Liverpool have now lost three games in three to start the season and things don’t look great heading into the next game.

However, United have also lost both of their WSL games to start the season and Liverpool will hope to tell advantage of that.

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