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Liverpool’s Leighanne Robe was disallowed in thrilling WSL Merseyside derby tie | Soccer

The Merseyside derby drew a record crowd of 22,161 for a WSL match at Goodison Park, plus a touch of controversy, as Everton and Liverpool battled out a highly entertaining draw. Liverpool wanted revenge for their 3-0 humiliation at Anfield earlier in the season and thought they had it when Leighanne Robe converted early in the second half, only to have the strike severely denied for a slight push at the inside the surface.

Everton led through captain Gabby George before Katie Stengel equalized for Liverpool shortly before the interval. Both teams had their chances in an open and frenetic second half, but the excellence of Everton keeper Courtney Brosnan and the referee’s intervention of Robe’s effort secured part of the game. booty.

George provided the spark the derby and the crowd desperately needed in his 100th appearance for the club. The match lasted 27 minutes, with both teams taking a safety-focused approach and creating little. Liverpool’s Missy Bo Kearns had an early shot blocked after a long throw from Megan Campbell caused chaos in Everton’s penalty area, but the incident was otherwise lacking until a patient move from the home team produce an eye-catching breakthrough.

Katrine Veje, the vivacious Jess Park and Clare Wheeler combined to find their captain in the space left. George checked inside Robe as the Liverpool defender closed in, looked up and curled a powerful shot from a tight angle past goalkeeper Rachael Laws into the far corner . A cross or a deliberate and breathtaking blow? Everton striker Katja Snoeijs had made a run towards the near post in anticipation of the first, but the power and trajectory of George’s effort favored the second. Either way, Laws was crestfallen at being caught off guard as the Everton players, bench and crowd celebrated the header with unrestrained glee.

Everton almost doubled their advantage moments later. George was again involved, sending a wide left-wing cross into the path of incoming Everton defender Megan Finnigan. The right-back connected perfectly with an early drive that flew past Laws to the bottom corner only for Liverpool centre-back Gemma Bonner to produce a vital block in front of the goal line.

The breakthrough and release also served as a spark for Liverpool. The most notable feature of their night before falling behind was their manager, Matt Beard, interviewed by Sky as Everton went on the attack in the 20th minute. Try trying that with the manager of the Liverpool men’s team. Energy and adventure ran through the visitors after George’s goal, however, and they took control of the contest for the rest of the first half.

Gabby George (second from left) celebrates after putting Everton ahead.
Gabby George (second from left) celebrates after putting Everton ahead. Photo: Tony McArdle/Everton FC/Getty Images

Top scorer Stengel moved closer to the edge of the box after cutting inside Finnigan. Kearns trailed a decent opener when released behind Everton’s full-back by Yana Daniels while poor defending allowed Emma Koivisto to break free in the box seconds later. The full-back’s first shot went just wide of Brosnan’s left post. An equalizer was on the way, however, and the Everton keeper was finally beaten when Taylor Hinds’ long shot was deflected into Stengel’s path. The American striker controlled sharply, sent two Everton defenders the wrong way and placed a measured finish in the far corner.

Liverpool continued to threaten throughout an entertaining second half and thought they had taken the lead when Robe converted from a well-worked corner routine. Almost everyone inside Goodison thought so too, only for the referee, Lauren Impey, to disallow the close range strike for Ceri Holland’s push on the Everton keeper as Kearns’ corner came in at the first post. Contact seemed minimal at best. It was a tough call and a huge reprieve for the hosts.

Park was inches away from restoring Everton’s lead when she launched in on a Nicoline Sørensen cross. His back post header sailed just wide. The dangerous midfielder beat Laws with an exquisite finish 25 yards out late, but the effort was properly denied for a Park handball in the build-up.

The second half was played from start to finish as the local rivals refused to settle for a point. Holland fired a straight shot at Brosnan when he was well placed in the box and Finnigan produced a superb block to stop Stengel a second after Liverpool’s Shanice van de Sanden escaped on the right. Brosnan made a vital stoppage-time intervention to stop Stengel from pouncing on Miri Taylor’s head through the goalmouth. The Everton keeper also denied Holland in the dying seconds to ensure Merseyside honors were equal.


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