Chelsea's Fran Kirby reflects on "important" win over Liverpool

The England attacker played an important role as the Blues fought to victory at the Select Security Stadium to maintain their perfect start

Chelsea's Fran Kirby reflects on "important" win over Liverpool
Kirby's build-up play was too much for Liverpool to handle at times | Photo: Sky Sports

Chelsea Ladies continued their perfect start to the new Women's Super League season with a hard-fought 2-1 win away to Liverpool Ladies, who suffered defeat for the first time this campaign.

Ji So-Yun and Gilly Flaherty scored in each half to give the visiting Blues a commanding lead which they never surrendered, despite a late fightback from Liverpool after Caroline Weir's goal.

Chelsea are defending champions after winning the 2015 WSL 1, and one of their stars Fran Kirby noted after the game that a good start to their title defence can set the team up for a successful season.

Liverpool provided stern challenge

Speaking with VAVEL UK, Kirby said, "I think it was really important. I think when we came [to Liverpool] we knew it was going to be a difficult game, but I don't think we expected it to be as difficult as it was.

"Liverpool came out really pushing us, especially in the last ten minutes, so we needed to make sure that we saw out the game.

"The three points are so important, I think you could tell by the final whistle how important they were."

Kirby was one of the best performers on the day, with her link-up play with fellow attackers Ji and Eni Aluko in particular causing the Liverpool defence problems throughout the game before she was substituted just after the hour mark.

Ji So-Yun was on the scoresheet for the first time this season | Photo: Sky Sports
Ji So-Yun was on the scoresheet for the first time this season | Photo: Sky Sports

Self-belief sees Chelsea through

The 22-year-old could only watch as Liverpool went close to levelling the scores in around ten minutes of added-on time at the end of the game, but claimed that she and the team were always confident of holding onto the result.

"We always have that confidence that we're going to hold on and win the game," she said.

"I think obviously we were a bit nervous, but I don't think anyone had any doubts that we were going to win the game because we have that self-belief in our players and I think our back four were exceptional today.

"We were trying to end strongly but with the momentum going into the last ten minutes with Liverpool scoring, we always knew that they would try and come out on top but we held on, which was the most important thing."

Blues on song ahead of FA Cup Final

The result means that the Blues are level on points with Manchester City Ladies at the top of the table early on in the season, and are looking worthy of their tags as pre-season favourites for the title.

Next up for Chelsea is another clash with Liverpool in around a week and a half's time, before they prepare for their FA Cup Final with Arsenal Ladies

Emma Hayes' side will also be defending their crown in that encounter, having won the league and cup double in 2015.