LADIES REPORT: CHELSEA 2 LIVERPOOL 1
Chelsea Ladies stormed to the top of the FA WSL table after coming from behind to defeat in-form Liverpool Ladies 2-1 at Wheatsheaf Park.
Reds boss Matt Beard, who left Chelsea last summer, endured an unhappy return as goals from Sofia Jakobsson and Eniola Aluko allowed the Blues to continue our unbeaten start to the season.
Liverpool enjoyed success in the capital earlier this week when they hammered Arsenal 4-0 and they looked to be on course for more of the same when they look the lead after just six minutes.
A short corner was played to Corina Schroder on the right-hand side and her flighted cross was headed beyond Shannon Lynn by the unmarked Whitney Engen.
They continued to dominate for the next 20 minutes but couldn't turn their superiority into goals, with the lively duo of Amanda Da Costa and Nicole Rolser unable to find the back of the net with their efforts.
Emma Hayes' side drew confidence from Liverpool's failure to add to their lead, and Aluko gave a glimpse of her threat when she burst into the box, only to see her low shot smothered by Sarah Quantrill.
However, we were level just before the half-hour mark when Jakobsson skilfully evaded a couple of challenges on the edge of the box and planted a superb left-footed shot into the top left-hand corner.
Suddenly it was Liverpool who were on the back foot, although we couldn't press home our advantage before the interval.
Eleven minutes after the restart, however, we took the lead.
Engen did well to thwart Helen Ward, who was bearing down on goal, but the ball broke to Aluko, who lashed it past Quantrill from eight yards out.
Liverpool failed to replicate the momentum they had exhibited in the opening 20 minutes but had chances to equalise.
Goalkeeper Lynn came to Chelsea's rescue in the final stages, first denying Da Costa with an acrobatic save, before showing terrific reflexes to keep out substitute Lillie Fenlon-Billson's poked shot from inside the six-yard box.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Shannon Lynn; Dunia Susi, Kylie Davies, Katie Holtham, Olina Vidarsdottir; Ester, Edda Gardarsdottir, Danielle Buet; Eniola Aluko (Kate Longhurst 90 mins), Helen Ward, Sofia Jakobsson.
Subs not used: Jess Myers, Naomi Cole, Karin Muya, Helen Bleazard.
Attendance - 540