I don’t think there any more superlatives I can add to describe the Reds’ performance against Watford at the weekend as the hapless Hornets were hit for six by a jaw-dropping display of attacking football from Jürgen’s boys.
But instead of celebrating the Reds being top of the league with a post-match pint or two in the Sandon or Cabbage Hall, it was a quick dash to Wavertree to pick up my 10 year old niece Isha before heading off to Widnes for my second game of the day – Liverpool Ladies v Arsenal.
Isha first got interested in women’s footy after watching last year’s World Cup on the telly before pestering me to take her to a match, as kids do! So after taking her to a cup tie against Everton (which we won, of course!), my prediction that the novelty would soon wear off proved to be miles off the mark and she got hooked – as much to do with the fact the players happily sign autographs and pose for pictures after every game as the football itself! So this season I got her a season ticket (for a bargain £15) and with this being the last game of the season, we couldn’t miss it!
Liverpool won the league in both 2013 and 2014, but double title-winning manager Matt Beard departed for the USA last summer and there’s been a large turnover of players as the Reds struggle to compete with clubs with bigger budgets. Despite some promising results, such as holding champions Manchester City to two draws and winning the away game against Arsenal, the Reds have struggled to score goals and have finished mid-table for the second successive season. .
So less than 2 hours after being amongst 53,000 at Anfield, here I was sat alongside 1100 hardy, freezing souls in Widnes watching the WSL season draw to a close. Despite it being a Sunday night, this was comfortably the Reds’ biggest crowd of the season, and they were treated to a thriller albeit not the result the majority hoped for.
A crash on Edge Lane drive meant we missed the first 15 minutes of the game, but the score was 0-0 as we took our seats right next to the Arsenal dugout. The subsequent 75 minutes of action didn’t top what I’d seen at Anfield (what could?) but the two sides produced a goal-fest on Widnes’s artificial (with a capital A) pitch.
Marauding full back Satara Murray gave the Reds the lead with the type of cross-cum-shot that usually ends up on blooper videos, but Arsenal soon took control and found themselves 3-1 up mid way through the second half. Enter flying (with a capital F) Dutch winger Shanice Van de Sanden, who in a whirlwind cameo pulled a goal back and came within a whisker of equalising before seeming to run out of steam – all in the space of no more than ten minutes.
Arsenal re-established their two goal lead and were 4-2 up going into injury time, but there was still time for the Gunners to add a fifth through ex Red Asisat Oshoala. Then, amazingly, Liverpool’s player of the year Caroline Weir gave the score-line a bit more respectability with the last kick of the night and the eighth goal of the game.
It’s not often you get to go to two games in one day, and even less often you see fifteen goals live! Although with Klopp’s table toppers scoring for fun, I’m pretty confident there’ll be plenty more goal gluts (and post match celebratory bevvies) to enjoy this season!
Written by @Pilnick_Jimmy