In their opening WSL game, Emma Hayes was upfront about her team’s shortcomings.
When former Chelsea defender Gill Flaherty gave up a penalty after just 58 seconds, the defending champions nearly immediately took the lead.
Fran Kirby successfully converted the penalty kick, but Chelsea struggled to generate enough offense in the open to increase their advantage.
With the help of a penalty of their own from Katie Stengel, a physical and defensively tight Liverpool team was able to regroup and regain control of the match. However, the same player went on to win and score two additional penalties, one of which was the game-winning one.
Despite controlling nearly 70% of the possession in the end, Chelsea only managed four shots on goal during the entire 90 minutes at Prenton Park.
When evaluating the game, Hayes noted that Liverpool had’maximized the positions’ they were in rather than making many open play creations. However, she took issue more with how her own squad struggled to make its domination meaningful.
“I didn’t think we could hit a barn door today for us moving on,” she told Sky Sports.
“We didn’t play poorly in the first half, in my opinion. Simply put, in my opinion, there are moments when we should just stick to the rules and keep passing the ball rather than trying to win by larger margins.
"It seemed to me that things for us became a little bit stretched in the second half. The system is currently being learned by the new players that are still joining us. They have a lot of obligations. But we simply brush it aside and carry on. What is there to worry about if you lose a football game? I don't feel anything for it. I believe we need to pause, review what happened, and start again the next week."