Liverpool produced a stunning display to beat Bristol Academy and retain their FA Women’s Super League 1 crown on a day of twists and turns.
Natasha Dowie, Lucy Bronze and Fara Williams all struck in the second half as the Reds capitalised on Chelsea and Birmingham slip-ups to defy the odds and clinch the title.
Liverpool Ladies 3-0 Bristol Academy
FA WSL 1
Sunday 12 October
Select Security Stadium
Matt Beard’s side started with intent as Katrin Omarsdottir had a header cleared off the line in the second minute.
The influential Williams also came close in the 10th minute when her 20-yard free-kick sailed just over.
Mary Earps then superbly denied Omarsdottir and Gemma Davison from point-blank range as the score somehow remained 0-0 at the break.
But the opener came on 53 minutes when Davison raced down the left and picked out Dowie – the striker calmly slotting home from just inside the box.
The hosts doubled their lead just moments later as Bronze surged down the right wing before unleashing a fierce effort past Earps.
On 69 minutes, Dowie again threatened in the box and was brought down by captain Jemma Rose. Williams stepped up to calmly dispatch the resulting penalty as Liverpool’s job was done.
Bristol finally came close minutes later after Sophie Ingle whipped a ball in to Natasha Harding, though her header went wide of Libby Stout’s post.
Liverpool Ladies: (4-4-2): Stout; Bronze, Pedersen (Easton 77); Bonner, Schroder, Da Costa, Omarsdottir, Williams, Rolser (Harris 45), Davison (Longhurst 77), Dowie.
Bristol Academy: (4-4-1-1): Earps; McCatty, Rose, Matthews, Dykes, James, Yorston (Evans 58); Ingle, Watts, Sanchon (Garcia 58), Hardin (Bird 82).
Referee: D Street