Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa: Rachel Daly penalty gives Villa win over Liverpool

Rachel DalyRachel Daly has scored six goals for Aston Villa this season since joining in the summer

Rachel Daly scored a second-half penalty to give Aston Villa victory over Liverpool at Prenton Park in the Women’s Super League.

England international Daly fired her cross from the spot after goalkeeper Rachael Laws brought down Kirsty Hanson in the box.

Villa had the best chances in a tight game as Alisha Lehmann was denied one-on-one by Laws in the first half.

The win moves Villa up to sixth, while Liverpool are without a win in five games.

There have been plenty of distractions around the goalkeeper this week Hannah Hampton’s non-involvement but Villa boss Carla Ward praised her side’s professionalism.

“There’s been a lot of noise off the pitch but you wouldn’t know it with these players. There’s been no talk in the dressing room or around the club,” Ward told BBC Sport.

“They’re professional, they show up and get the job done. We said all week it could be an ugly game and we had to make sure we came away with the points.”

The penalty decides the next encounter

It was a wet afternoon at Prenton Park and the two teams canceled each other out for the first half hour.

Liverpool full-back Emma Koivisto and Villa’s Lehmann were often able to get back down the right side of their teams as both teams were sloppy in possession.

Reds defender Gilly Flaherty was particularly strong in the first half, while striker Katie Stengel did well to hold onto the ball as Liverpool counter-attacked.

Stengel took the shirt off Koivisto when he almost dragged it inside the right post, while Megan Campbell’s long throws caused Villa problems – Stengel nodded one into the side-netting from a tight angle.

Liverpool were finishing the first half strongly when Jasmine Matthews’ header was cleared off the line, but when it came back to Koivisto on the edge of the box, he slipped and allowed Lehmann to slot home.

She had to carry the ball almost all the way up the pitch and as she approached the goal, keeper Laws balanced herself before brilliantly tipping her shot over the post.

That capped off a first half in which Villa’s front three had posed a threat and were able to get in behind, but Liverpool looked more likely to score.

“I think the better team won the day. We dominated the ball. They had a foothold in things for about 10-15 minutes at the end of the first half and we had to weather the storm,” he added Ward.

“In the first half we were in second gear and we needed to pick up the pace and take better care of the ball. In the second half we were much better. The goal obviously changed the game.”

Villa’s quality began to show more after the break as Hanson and Kenza Dali began to link up more effectively and Liverpool’s midfield tired.

Hanson was played in behind and got to the ball quicker than Laws to win Villa’s penalty, which Daly coolly slotted down the middle.

That goal meant Liverpool became more open as they pressed for an equaliser, manager Matt Beard bringing on substitutes Shanice van de Sanden and Missy Bo Kearns to try and find a way back into the game.

“It’s a game-changing decision by an official,” Liverpool boss Beard told BBC Sport.

“I saw it again. I respect the referee but it’s not a penalty. It’s frustrating because I don’t know what a penalty is anymore.

“Moments like this shouldn’t define games. But we can’t lose our discipline like we did afterwards.”

Ward added: “I need to see it again, but they feel pretty strongly, maybe they have a case. I don’t know. From where I was standing I would have been surprised if they hadn’t given it.”

However, Villa, now three wins from their first six games, looked comfortable at the back and did not seem to let up in the second half.

They host Reading in their next game after the international break in a strong position in the league.

“I thought [the back four] they were excellent. Dan Turner… find me a fitter centre-half in the league. There is not. He has to knock on the door [for an England call-up]” Ward said.

Liverpool, meanwhile, enter a spell Beard has previously described as “season-defining”, looking for their first win since the WSL’s opening weekend.

“At the end of the day, if you want to win football games you have to take your chances. If we had taken one or two today it could have been a completely different result,” Beard said.

“We have to change it and we have to do it quickly. Now we have an international break, so we are praying that everyone will be back in shape. It is four big games now.”


Liverpool Women’s

Formation 3-4-3





  • 1laws
  • 25Flaherty
  • 5FaheyBooked at 88 minutes
  • 28CampbellBooked at 56 minutes
  • 2KoivistoBooked at 59 minutes
  • 10furnaceReplaced byKearnsat 72′minutes
  • 6Matthews
  • 12HindsReplaced byHumphreyat 89′minutes
  • 20DanielsReplaced byof the Sandenat 72′minutes
  • 24Stengel
  • 11LawleyReplaced byRobertsat 89′minutes


  • 3tunic
  • 4Roberts
  • 7Kearns
  • 8Wardlaw
  • 17Humphrey
  • 19of the Sanden
  • 21Cummings
  • 22Kirby
  • 34Silcock

Aston Villa Women

Formation 4-3-3

21With you


19blind source6lanes10Dalí


  • 21With youBooked at 77 minutes
  • 2Mayling
  • 15Patten
  • 14Turner
  • 33PachecoBooked at 38 minutes
  • 19blind source
  • 6lanes
  • 10Dalí
  • 7LehmannReplaced byHardingat 60′minutes
  • 8DalyBooked at 67 minutes
  • 20HansonBooked 90 minutes


  • 13Draper
  • 16McLoughlin
  • 17Harding
  • 18Gregory
  • 26Goodwin

Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis

Live text

  1. End of match, Liverpool Women 0, Aston Villa Women 1.

  2. End of second half, Liverpool Women 0, Aston Villa Women 1.

  3. failed attempt Attempt missed. Emma Koivisto (Liverpool Women) right footed shot from the center of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Rhiannon Roberts with a cross into the box.

  4. Kirsty Hanson (Aston Villa Women) has been shown a yellow card.

  5. Foul by Kenza Daly (Aston Villa Women).

  6. Megan Campbell (Liverpool Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Corner, Aston Villa Women. Corner taken by Rhiannon Roberts.

  8. Kirsty Hanson (Aston Villa Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Foul by Gilly Flaherty (Liverpool Women).

  10. Change, Liverpool Women. Carla Humphrey replaces Taylor Hinds.

  11. Change, Liverpool Women. Rhiannon Roberts replaces Melissa Lawley.

  12. Niamh Fahey (Liverpool Women) has been shown the yellow card for dangerous play.

  13. Kirsty Hanson (Aston Villa Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Foul by Niamh Fahey (Liverpool Women).

  15. Attempt blocked. Emma Koivisto (Liverpool Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  16. failed attempt Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool Women) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Katie Stengel.

  17. failed attempt Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool Women) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  18. Aston Villa Women’s Mayumi Pacheco is awarded a free-kick.

  19. Gilly Flaherty (Liverpool Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Corner, Aston Villa Women. Corner taken by Jasmine Matthews.

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