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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow Stadium

Kerr scores again as Chelsea come from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1

By Paul Lagan at Kingsmeadow

Chelsea 2 v Liverpool 1


Sam Kerr is a beast of a footballer. Almost on her own, she produces a goal that changes the game, and in this instance could very well change the destination of the WSL title as the west Londoners came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1.

Last season it was the late winner against Aston Villa when all looked lost.

The Blues won the league

With four minutes to go, it looked as if Chelsea’s title challenge was taking a dive as they were being held 1-1 after the Scousers took an early lead through Emma Koivisto.

Niamh Charles levelled just before half time with a bullet header straight from the training ground - then came Kerr and that lethal weapon of a right foot.

Before that, Manchester was cheering, the red half of north London were licking their lips.

But a byline cross on the left by Guro Reiten saw Jessie Fleming lash a venomous shot that crashed off the bar. The ball fell to, who else, Kerr who chested the ball down before tucking home the winner.

This was no vintage display and on Sunday they face the blue half of Liverpool as Everton come to town.

A significant improvement in play is required, but when Kerr is on the pitch, the seeming impossible becomes possible.

It took just three minutes for Liverpool to take the lead when defender Koivisto tucked home from close range.

Chelsea haven’t even got into the Liverpool half at that point, such was the press from the Scousers and a deceptively strong wind.

Desperate to pull themselves into the game, the Blues opted for a series of low-risk passing, hoping to pull Liverpool out of their deep block.

Erin Cuthbert tried a long-range effort on eight minutes, but the ball sailed over the crossbar.

Kerr broke free on 15 minutes but her shot was well blocked by Gemma Bonner.

Guro Reiten latched onto a defence-splitter pass by Eve Perisset two minutes later, but the Norway winger’s shot was parried away for a corner by Faye Kirby.

Kirby then produced an acrobatic save to her left to tip way a glancing goal-bound header from Kerr on 23 minutes as the Blues ramped up the pressure on the visitors’ defence.

Jessie Fleming was next up to try her luck, this time her side-footer from a Reiten pass went inches wide of Kirby’s left post.

Five minutes from the break and the leveller was secured. A Cuthbert corner was powerfully headed into the far corner of the net by Charles.

There were no changes by either side at half-time.

James should have scored on 53 minutes but her volley was a weak right-footer that drifted into Kirby’s gleeful hands.

Head coach Emma Hayes opted to increase her side’s fire power with the introduction of Pernille Harder and Jelena Cankovic for James and Cuthbert on 54 minutes.

But the half was fairly sterile in terms of action.

Several Liverpool players hit the deck with a variety of injuries only adding to the sense of tension from the fans.

Melanie Leupolz lasted until the 80th minute when she was replaced by Johanna Rytting Kaneryd.

With the clock ticking - up popped Kerr - nuff said.

Teams: Chelsea, Berger, Carter, Leupolz, James, Reiten, Perisset, Eriksson, Fleming, Kerr, Charles, Cuthbert

Subs: Musovic, Ingle, Rytting Kaneryd, Harder, Abdullina, Cankovic

Liverpool, Kirby, Koivisto, Roberts, Matthews, Kearns, Hinds, Holland, Van de Sanden, Bonner, Dowie, Taylor

Subs, Laws, Cummings, Robe, Lundgaard, Humphrey, Stengel

Referee: Abi Byrne


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