Liverpool dealt lesson in front of 12,802 as World Cup runner-up nets hat-trick

Womens Super League, Stamford Bridge
Saturday, November 18

Goals: James 11 56 64, Beever-Jones 24, Nusken 78; Carter OG 13

Liverpool are the most improved team in the league, was Chelsea manager Emma Hayes assessment before the game.

Four games unbeaten but the way they play, their physicality, their press makes it difficult for you to buildup.

Hayes, who is leading Chelsea in her final season before taking over the United States national team, insisted her side were under no illusions about their visitors.

But in front of 12,802 fans at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, the difference between the champions and the leagues rising force was laid clear.

Liverpool were made to pay for costly mistakes, not least in the buildup to the opener, when Jenna Clark stepped out of defence only to play a bizarre infield pass which led to a Chelsea counter.

Lauren James made light work of her finish, but was then cancelled out two minutes later as Shanice van de Sanden forced an own goal from Jess Carter.

From there, it was an onslaught from Chelsea, with James scoring twice more along with goals from Aggie Beever-Jones and Sjoeke Nusken to ensure a 5-1 win for the hosts.

It was not without controversy, with the Reds denied what could have been a penalty when Ceri Holland was brought down on the edge of the box.

Sophie Roman Haug also looked to have headed the ball in, but after initially suggesting a goal, the referee judged it not to have crossed the line before being cleared away.

Liverpool had not played poorly, but were outclassed by a Chelsea side who are not only reigning champions, but also top the table this season.

Defeat leaves Matt Beards side fifth, though they could drop to sixth on Sunday depending on the result of the Manchester derby.

Victory over Chelsea would have meant going up to second, at least briefly, having taken 11 points from their first six league games.

LFC Women: Laws; Fisk, Bonner, Clark; Koivisto (Parry 74), Hobinger (Kearns 46), Nagano, Holland, Hinds; Roman Haug (Lawley 86), Van de Sanden (Kiernan 74)

Subs not used: Micah, Taylor, Lundgaard, Flint, Enderby

Next match: Man United (H) WSL Cup Wednesday, November 22, 7pm (GMT)