Marie Hobinger’s last-minute goal secured a triumphant conclusion to Matt Beard’s 150th game as a manager in the Women’s Super League, as Liverpool narrowly defeated Leicester 2-1 at Prenton Park. Melissa Lawley initiated the scoring for the home team just three minutes into the second half. However, Missy Goodwin equalized for the visitors nine minutes later. The decisive moment came in the 84th minute when Marie Hobinger delivered a sweet left-footed strike.
This victory brought Liverpool within striking distance of the top three in the league, trailing Chelsea by three points and holding a three-point lead over Leicester. Matt Beard, who guided Liverpool to WSL titles in 2013 and 2014 and also managed West Ham from 2018 to 2020, returned to the club in 2021 with the goal of building a team capable of contending for major honors once again.
The first 45 minutes of the match appeared to be a period of rust-shaking for both teams after a two-week break for Nations League international fixtures. Liverpool demonstrated greater attacking threat, often capitalizing on loose balls while Leicester attempted to play their way out of defense. Even when Leicester resorted to long passes, Liverpool’s back three consisting of Gemma Bonner, Jenna Clark, and Jasmine Matthews effectively neutralized any threats.
Leicester’s most promising opportunity came when right-back CJ Bott carried the ball a remarkable 80 yards from her own penalty area following a Liverpool corner. Unfortunately, she couldn’t connect with the return pass after exchanging passes with winger Hannah Cain, and the chance was cleared. Janina Leitzig played a crucial role in Leicester’s strong start to the season, highlighted by her outstanding save in the first half, as she tipped Sophie Roman Haug’s looping header away from the far corner.
The breakthrough in the game occurred shortly after the halftime break, as Melissa Lawley unleashed a powerful shot into the roof of the net after a well-placed pass from Grace Fisk. Nine minutes later, the visitors leveled the score when Missy Goodwin beat Liverpool’s goalkeeper, Rachael Laws, with an exceptional shot into the far corner. Liverpool had the better of the second-half opportunities, with Roman Haug coming close on several occasions. Despite late pressure from Leicester, the home team managed to hold on for the victory.