Manchester City confirmed their position as WSL Spring Series Runners-Up with a comfortable 3-1 win over Liverpool at Widnes Halton Stadium thanks to goals from Jill Scott, Mel Lawley and Megan Campbell.
The game started in naturally cagey fashion with both sides still capable of lifting the Spring Series trophy and it wasn’t until the 12th minute that the first chance was fashioned when Georgia Stanway saw her hard 25 yard effort strongly palmed away by Siobhan Chamberlain in the Liverpool goal.
As Chelsea took the lead at Birmingham through a Karen Carney penalton 22 y minutes, City almost went ahead when Carli Lloyd did well down the left before pulling back to Toni Duggan, who held off her marker, before turning and firing an effort just wide of the right of the post with Chamberlain beaten. Liverpool’s first threat came moments later when Jess Clarke robbed Jen Beattie of the ball with Marie Hourihan called into saving her low cross into the box.
City took the lead on 29 minutes when a Toni Duggan corner was flicked towards goal by Beattie and Jill Scott diverted away from Chamberlain into the City goal. City now needed a goal from Birmingham to give them hope of claiming the Spring Series Title. Meanwhile Liverpool created their first chance on 34 minutes when a low corner from the right found Captain Gemma Bonner who turned her effort just wide at the near post.
Liverpool went close again on 38 minutes when Shanice Van De Sanden broke down the left from a City corner, squaring to an unmarked Caroline Weir in the penalty area but her first touch let her down allowing Steph Houghton to clear.
City went into the break with a two goal cushion when Melissa Lawley twisted and turned at the edge of the penalty area before curling a superb lofted effort over Chamberlain into the Liverpool goal.
Liverpool started the second half determined to ensure that they didn’t end up on the receiving end of a thrashing two weeks on the bounce as Laura Coombs fired just over before her corner was headed over by Gemma Bonner at the far post. Elsewhere Chelsea doubled their lead just before the hour mark through Fran Kirby to ensure that the Spring Series title would be heading to London.
City weren’t going to surrender the Spring Series without a fight as substitute Megan Campbell curled an effort into the top corner at the near post after Bronze had been fouled by Niamh Charles to make it 3-0 on 62 minutes. On 71 minutes Liverpool had their best chance of the game from a free kick of their own as Coombs pulled her free kick back across goal before Bonner saw her header bounce inches wide of the post.
Liverpool had two chances last on as Tash Harding did superbly to skip past Jen Beattie before her shot was blocked away for a corner by Houghton. Jess Clarke followed that up by doing well to cut inside on the left but her right footed effort was fired comfortably into Hourihan’s hands. Liverpool’s attacking efforts were finally rewarded in stoppage time when Caroline Weir’s long range effort curled off the inside of the post to make it 3-1. The goal did nothing to affect either sides standing in the final table with Chelsea having been confirmed winners with a 2-0 win at Birmingham as City were confirmed runners up.
Liverpool: Chamberlain, Hodson, Bonnber, Ingle, Coombs, Zelem, Weir, Clarke, Van De Sanden, Charles, Harding. Subs: Longhurst, Johnson, Rodgers. Subs Not Used: Gibbons.
Goalscorer: Weir (90)
Manchester City: Hourihan, Bronze, Stokes, Houghton, Beattie, Scott, Walsh, Lloyd, Stanway, Lawley, Duggan. Subs: Parris, Campbell, Toone. Subs Not Used: Roebuck, Christiansen, Ross, McManus.
Goalscorer(s): Scott (29), Lawley (45), Campbell (62).