Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool: Stunning Caroline Weir free-kick condemns Gunners to defeat

Caroline Weir scored a free-kick late on to win the game for Liverpool as they beat Arsenal 2-1 in WSL 1 at Borehamwood.

Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool: Stunning Caroline Weir free-kick condemns Gunners to defeat
Caroline Weir was on target as Liverpool beat Arsenal | Photo: FA WSL
Arsenal Ladies
1 2
Liverpool Ladies
Arsenal Ladies: Van Veenendaal, Scott (Corredera, min. 85), Stoney, Rose, Janssen, Nobbs, Losada, Williams, Carter (Oshoala, min. 70), van de Donk, Natalia (McCabe, min. 70).
Liverpool Ladies: Chamberlain, Murray, Bonner, Ingle, Van den Berg, Longhurst, Coombs, Zelem (Lundh, min. 74), Van de Sanden, Harding (Charles, min. 90), Weir.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 9, Williams. 1-1, min. 21, Van De Sanden. 1-2, min. 77, Weir.
REFEREE: Antony Coggins. Yellow Cards: Laura Coombs (min. 21).

Arsenal suffered their first defeat since April as two stunning Liverpool goals from Shanice van de Sanden and Caroline Weir sealed an incredibly impressive win for the visitors at Boreham Wood FC.

Fara Williams opened the scoring early on for Arsenal from a long range deflected effort but it was van de Sanden and Weir who gave the Merseyside club all three points on Sunday afternoon with goals in each half. 

Weir returns to haunt former side

Caroline Weir came back to haunt her former side Arsenal as she put in an excellent display which was capped with a goal worthy of winning any game. She had been faultless all match and then with 77 minutes on the clock the Scot stepped up and curled a brilliant free-kick into the top far corner, giving Sari Van Veenendaal no chance in the Gunners goal.

Weir was the spearhead in attack for Liverpool, and she was also keen to test Van Veenendaal in the first half in an overall performance that was displayed her eagerness to impress on her return to the club where she failed to really get going.

It was a hugely impressive away performance from the Reds, who playing in an unfamiliar lime green strip, were able to keep the Gunners at bay despite the numerous chances they created in the second half.

Williams scores against old club

Fara Williams has been excellent since her winter move to Arsenal, but today she had the look of a frustrated figure against her former team despite opening the scoring. 

The goal came rather fortuitously after just nine minutes, as her long range effort took a huge deflection off Gemma Bonner and looped up over Siobhan Chamberlain and into the back of the net.

Williams only joined Arsenal from Liverpool at the beginning of the season, and after netting for the away side in the same fixture last year, she is beginning to pick up a habit of scoring when the two sides meet.

That goal was as good as it got though for Arsenal though who failed to take advantage of the chances they had despite looking promising in the first half. Once again, the Gunners really struggled to score goals, and that has been the story for a couple of years now.

Danielle van de Donk was isolated and Danielle Carter never got the freedom to get at the defence, which ultimately meant Pedro Martinez Losa's team never really looked like winning, or even getting the equaliser after Weir's late set-piece.

Fara Williams' deflected effort found the net early on | Photo: Arsenal
Fara Williams' deflected effort found the net early on | Photo: Arsenal

Van De Sanden provides counter attacking threat for Liverpool

Liverpool were keen to play on the counter attack and soak up the pressure, and it worked brilliantly, especially with the pace of van de Sanden out-wide. She caused Dominique Janssen all sorts of problems, and that was evident in the quality of her goal.

The ball was played into van de Sanden, and then she was able to turn before firing a brilliant shot into the far corner of the goal. It was a terrific strike which had the crowd of 1,206 people in awe of her quick feet and finish.

However van Veenendaal was able to prevent her Dutch compatriot from adding her second of the game, as she made a world class stop to keep the scores level just after the hour mark. Weir squared the ball for van de Sanden but the Arsenal keeper made a brilliant save from almost point black range.

Liverpool's goals were exceptional, but the Gunners also seemed lacklustre at the back, with lapses in concentration that could have made the score-line worse.

Katie Zelem pulled an effort wide in the first half after a mis-communication following a goal-kick, and then Satara Murray got forward early in the second half but a combination of Jemma Rose and van Veenendaal were able to keep the visitors at bay on that occasion. 

A tale of missed chances for Arsenal

Arsenal had chances in both halves to get a result from the game, but the ball just wouldn't find the net. Jordan Nobbs fired wide from distance just before the half hour mark, before Natalia tested Chamberlain and then Vicky Losada curled one past the far post also in the first half.

It was chances like that though that went begging for Arsenal as with defeat they missed the chance to go second on a weekend Chelsea weren't playing. Nobbs had an effort finely saved midway through the second half, before late pressure was piled on the Liverpool defence in the final ten minutes.

Alex Scott's ball across the area couldn't quite reach Asisat Oshoala, whilst Losada fired over and then Casey Stoney had a tough chance at the back post to rescue a point but headed wide under pressure.