Thursday, May 23, 2024

Liverpool 4-3 Chelsea: Blues´ title hopes suffer huge hit as Bonner decides seven-goal thriller

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 May 2024

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Chelsea’s hopes of a fifth straight Women’s Super League title are hanging by a thread after a dramatic 4-3 defeat to Liverpool, with Gemma Bonner scoring a stoppage-time winner for the Reds.

Arriving at Prenton Park six points behind leaders Manchester City with two games in hand, Chelsea had no margin for error but finished on the wrong end of a remarkable contest.

The Blues started brightly and went ahead through Agnes Beever-Jones’ header, with Catarina Macario being denied a second by a marginal offside call. However, Liverpool hit back early in the second half as Sophie Haug looped a header in from Marie-Therese Hobinger’s corner.

Matt Beard’s Reds went ahead for the first time when another Hobinger corner was flicked in by Bonner at the near post, though Chelsea made it 2-2 with 10 minutes to play as Beever-Jones rifled into an empty net after Niamh Charles drew Teagan Micah off her line.

Emma Hayes would have been expecting them to kick on from there, but Liverpool were back ahead within 59 seconds as Leanne Kiernan latched onto Ceri Holland’s pass to slot home.

Chelsea drew level for a second time when Macario’s shot deflected in off Micah, but they were caught with a sucker punch as they chased a winner, Bonner glancing yet another Hobinger corner home to leave Hayes needing a miracle to deliver a farewell title.

Data Debrief: Hayes’ hopes fading

Future United States boss Hayes was furious with the officials after Chelsea exited the Women’s Champions League against Barcelona on Saturday, but a fast start to Wednesday’s game would have given her hope of a response.

However, Chelsea let a chaotic game get away from them after the break, losing a league match in which they led at half-time for the first time since September 2022 – a 2-1 loss at Liverpool.

Having been eyeing a quadruple just a few weeks ago, Chelsea now need an incredible collapse from City if they are to retain their title – given the Citizens’ superior goal difference, just one more win may get them over the line.

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