Liverpool 2-0 Bristol Academy
The FA WSL
2pm, Sunday 29 September 2013
Liverpool are the new FA WSL champions after a deserved win over second-placed Bristol Academy.
The Merseysiders had led the way for most of the season and only a victory for the away side would have seen them overtake the Reds.
That never looked likely as goals from Louise Fors and Katrin Omarsdottir in each half confirmed victory for the home team.
Liverpool boss Matt Beard said: “Our plan was always to challenge at the top end of the table.
“We recruited good players with the right character and that has shown throughout the year. They’ve put in a tremendous shift and deserve their success.”
The away team began the title showdown hesitantly. That suited Liverpool’s high pressing game and the hosts enjoyed the majority of possession during the opening 45 minutes.
German winger Nicole Rolser was the chief threat for the Reds throughout. She combined well with Louise Fors on nine minutes only to see the latter drag her shot across goal.
Rolser herself went close on a number of occasions; the best of those requiring a fine fingertip save from Siobhan Chamberlain.
And it was the little German who was fouled by Alex Windell to earn a 36th-minute penalty which Fors converted to make it 1-0.
The Liverpool supporters were still celebrating their lead when Bristol almost levelled, Laura Del Rio lobbing a great long-range shot over goalkeeper Rachael Laws only to see it just clear the crossbar.
Bristol’s half-time team talk lasted longer than Liverpool’s and Mark Sampson was surely emphasising the need for his players to up the tempo.
They did exactly that and probably should have made it 1-1 when Del Rio found herself unmarked 10 yards out but miskicked.
Bristol, knowing only a win was good enough to become champions, pushed four players in to forward positions.
That inevitably created extra space for Liverpool and Amanda Da Costa and Rolser combined well to exploit it only to see the move break down when Natasha Dowie scuffed her shot.
Da Costa was becoming more influential and she got on the end of a Lucy Bronze cross but was unable to direct her header on target. She also delivered a dangerous ball along the six-yard line which Chamberlain parried before Jasmine Matthews hacked away.
A second Liverpool goal seemed inevitable and it finally arrived 11 minutes from the end. Dowie showed good control to tee up Omarsdottir and she rammed a powerful shot in to the corner of the net to start the title celebrations.
Bristol manager Mark Sampson said: “Huge congratulations to Liverpool.
“They have been the best team in the division. For us, we’ve done well overall and now have Champions League football to look forward to.”
Laws, Bronze, Bonner (C), Engen, Schroder (Easton 82), Rolser, Omarsdottir, Williams (Holbrook 88), Fors (Gregorius 81), Da Costa, Dowie.
Substitutes not used Quantrill, Chappell, Longhurst, Zelem.
Chamberlain, McCatty, Rose, Matthews (Leandro 82), Yorston (C), James (Curson 82), Del Rio, Windell, Harding, Heatherson (Watts 82), Sanchon.
Substitutes not used Leek, Cleverley, Haynes, Walkley.
Referee R. Wigglesworth
Liverpool captain Gemma Bonner lifts The FA WSL title at Halton Stadium
Matt Beard's side beat Bristol Academy 2-0 in League decider