Match report: Liverpool Ladies 2 Chelsea Ladies 0

Liverpool moved to within two points of second-placed Chelsea as they beat the Blues 2-0 at the Select Security Stadium.

Goals from Gemma Davison and Lucy Bronze gave the home side their fifth win in six games and kept alive their hopes of back-to-back league titles.

The Reds took an early lead when Davison was fouled in the box and converted the resulting penalty, before Bronze’s brilliant solo effort doubled their advantage on 24 minutes.

The introduction of Rosella Ayane led to a more balanced second half, but it was ultimately not enough to affect the outcome.

With six minutes played Davison turned Laura Bassett in the Chelsea box and was bundled over by the recovering defender for a penalty, which Davison converted for her fifth goal of the season.

In the 24th minute Bronze picked up possession 35 yards out before jinking her way through a chaotic Chelsea defence to strike beyond Hourihan and off the underside to make it 2-0.

It should have been 3-0 on 44 minutes as Corina Schroder threaded Natasha Dowie through on goal, but Hourihan did well to smother her shot.

Three minutes from time Davison skipped through, but was denied her second by a good save from Marie Hourihan.

Ater the loss, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes ruled out the Blues’ chances of lifting the title, admitting the performance on show against Liverpool was not good enough.

'We’re not title contenders, I’ve said that all along and on today’s evidence it proves that we’re nowhere near with a shout this year,' she said.

'Liverpool have confirmed why they are champions and why they are contending with Birmingham.

'As long as we finish in the top four I’m happy, and it will be interesting to watch Liverpool go neck-to-neck with Birmingham in the run-in.'

Chelsea (4-3-3): Hourihan; Borges, Bassett, Wilhelmsson (Ayane 45, Meiwald 92), Flaherty; Chapman, Spence (Coombs 71), So-Yun; Groenen, Aluko, Ogimi.
Subs not used: Moreira, Buet, Rafferty, Dear

Booked: Spence

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Stout; Easton, Bonner, Pederson, Schroder; Omarsdottir, Williams (Da Costa 57); Bronze, Longhurst (Walker 70), Davison; Dowie.
Subs not used: Gibbons, Dale, Hodson.

Booked: Dowie

Crowd 568