Liverpool Women notched their fifth victory of the season against Brighton on Sunday, a result that history suggests will almost certainly guarantee their top-flight status. It has been a topsy-turvy campaign for Matt Beard’s side, which included a 63-day wait for a victory earlier this year. However, in their last four fixtures, they have banked eight points which is 42 percent of their season tally after 17 games.
Their latest three-point haul came against Brighton on Sunday, with the Reds turning a one-goal half-time deficit into a valuable 2-1 victory at Prenton Park. Elisabeth Terland opened the scoring for 10th-placed Brighton with a sumptuous shot from distance that dipped under the crossbar, leaving Rachel Laws stranded in a timely blow before the break. The combination of Shanice Van de Sanden and Ceri Holland saw Liverpool notch the equaliser in the 54th minute, with Holland’s effort drifting perfectly into the back of the net. Holland secured a brace and the winner for Liverpool just 16 minutes later, with Brighton unable to defend the long ball to allow the midfielder to score from a tight angle.
Brighton continued to ask questions as they continue to fight for their WSL survival, but the result for the Reds all but confirms another season in the top flight. The average points haul for the sole relegation spot in the WSL over the last three seasons is 9.6 points, and Liverpool have effectively doubled that tally with five games remaining. It is not to say Liverpool can down tools, far from it, but they have a comfortable nine-point buffer between themselves and bottom-of-the-table Leicester. It is the Foxes Beard’s side face next on April 29 before tough tests against the league’s top three; a win at Leicester and the gap will be all but insurmountable for the cellar dwellers. In Liverpool’s first season back in the top flight, it is a welcome position to find themselves in but they must still look to finish the campaign strongly.