Vicky Jepson’s Reds
Liverpool FC Women are on their fourth consecutive loss in a row and will need to pull out something special against Bristol.
“Mad March,” as Jepson described the month, was perhaps one of Liverpool’s worst this season.
The Reds were faced with four very difficult fixtures in the form of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and then City again.
Despite Liverpool’s best efforts, they were torn apart in their first three March games. Their first was a 4-0 masterclass from Chelsea who made easy work of grabbing the win at Prenton Park.
Man City then hosted the Reds at the Academy Stadium just four days later. The WSL title contenders sailed through a comfortable 3-0 win and knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup.
Current league leaders Arsenal were next to visit Prenton Park and completely ran the show. It was a tough break to take for the Liverpool girls, who slumped on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline.
Heartbreak on the road
The most recent fixture however was another level of painful for Jepson and her side. Facing City away from home yet again, the Reds threw everything they had onto the line. http://gty.im/1132707576
An opening goal from Claire Emslie rocked the boat slightly as the home side went into the break ahead. Liverpool were determined not to drop their heads. The visitors shook the fanbase when they managed to find an equaliser just eight minutes after the restart.
Courtney Sweetman-Kirk stepped up to the spot and buried the penalty kick. Her 12th goal in her debut season for the Reds.
Heartbreaking stoppage time antics put a dampener on the travelling Kop’s day out, though. With seconds to go, Jen Beattie popped up and nodded home City’s second and closed the game off.
An agonising end to a seriously tough streak of games. The girls have now lost four games on the bounce and desperately need to regain form.
The final stretch
Liverpool Women have just three matches left before the 2018/19 season comes to a close. First in line to face the Reds is Bristol City who will travel to Prenton Park
Following Bristol, the girls will tackle Birmingham on the road before hosting their final game of the season – the Merseyside derby.
Liverpool can definitely challenge for nine points out of nine in this group of fixtures. The team have been hit hard by their recent losses and showed their fight in their most recent game against Man City.
Sweetman-Kirk is on fantastic form, scoring 12 goals in 19 games across all competitions. The 28-year-old is in the top six of this year’s WSL highest scorers with nine goals.
Rinsola Babajide is also on great attacking form. Despite not contributing directly to any goals lately, her work ethic has been doing all the talking. A goal or an assist is right around the corner for the young starlet.
Before “Mad March”, Liverpool won all of their fixtures across January and February. Anke Preuss kept three clean sheets in a row and players including Jemma Purfield, Laura Coombs and Sweetman-Kirk shone in
The Reds certainly have the firepower in them to grab all three points against upcoming Bristol. Their morale, however, will be at an all time low.
Can Jepson and her squad pull it out of the bag and end this campaign on the high they so desperately want?