A furious Emma Hayes questioned whether the weekend match up at Liverpool should have been played at all, because of the state of the muddy pitch. In the end Chelsea’s winning streak came to a sudden and unexpected end with a 1-1 draw against lowly Liverpool… and Reds manager Vicky Jepson appeared to back up
A furious Emma Hayes questioned whether the weekend match up at Liverpool should have been played at all, because of the state of the muddy pitch.
In the end Chelsea’s winning streak came to a sudden and unexpected end with a 1-1 draw against lowly Liverpool… and Reds manager Vicky Jepson appeared to back up her rival’s comments by saying: “The pitch probably helped us more than it did them; they weren’t able to zip it around as much as if it were a carpet.”
Hayes went ballistic after the last WSL game of 2019 was played out at Tranmere Rovers’ home, Prenton Park. “This pitch shouldn’t be part of our league,” she stormed. “Liverpool should provide their women’s team with significantly more than they’re doing. This pitch is the worst in the league!”
With Liverpool starting the day at the bottom of the league, it was something of a shock when they took the lead with only five minutes on the clock; Niamh Charles sending a dribbling shot inching agonisingly over the line for 1-0.
But with a quarter of an hour gone, Beth England jumped to head another goal – this time from a Guro Reiten cross – to level.
England missed another chance to take the lead, and Sophie Ingle hit a post, but despite pressing right to the end, in the muddy, mucky conditions, Chelsea couldn’t get the winner that would have kept them up near the very top.
They have had to settle for third place at Christmas which – after the heroics of the comeback against Man City at Kingsmeadow – is a bitter blow to the title chances; though by no means fatal.
What it does guarantee is a nip-and-tuck, frantic, tense and thrilling second half to the season once hostilities resume in the first week of January.
There is expected to be a first opportunity for Blues fans to see new signings Sam Kerr and Jamie Lee-Napier in action against resurgent Reading on Sunday January 5. Hopefully the Kingsmeadow pitch will be its usual carpet of green.