Liverpool Ladies’ superior finishing proved the difference as Everton suffered a 4-1 Merseyside derby defeat at Marine on Tuesday.
Over 1,000 fans packed into the Arriva Stadium, but despite Jill Scott cancelling out Nicole Rosler’s opener, the home support left disappointed.
From 1-1, the Reds ran away with it, as goals from Louise Fors, Corina Schroder and former Blue Natasha Dowie gave the visitors all three points and the city’s bragging rights.
An even first 30 minutes saw both sides create few chances until a defensive mix-up involving Lindsay Johnson and Alex Greenwood allowed Rosler to pounce and poke past Everton keeper Lizzy Durack.
Everton improved after the restart however, and got their reward on 56 minutes as swiftly the Blues turned defence into attack. The Everton backline cleared a Liverpool corner into the path of Nikita Parris, who, having combined well with Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, saw her cross-cum-shot parried by Reds stopper Rachel Laws into the path of Scott, who side-footed into an empty net.
Parity though lasted mere minutes as yet another defensive mix-up allowed Fors to finish with a well-placed effort.
Durack prevented the gap growing wider, brilliantly tipping over a 20-yard free-kick from Fara Williams.
But the Blues custodian couldn’t prevent Schroder increasing the lead on 74 minute, her parry allowing the German left-back to tap home Liverpool’s third.
Everton’s response was brave, with manager Andy Spence making changes up front, MaGill replacing Boye-Hlorkah.
But it was still Durack who was the busier of the keepers, the youngster tipping over once again from Dowie, who had robbed Greenwood of possession on the edge of the area.
Dowie wasn’t to be denied against her former side though, and the striker tucked away goal number four when she latched on to a Vicky Jones error to confidently finish late on.
Speaking afterwards, boss Spence felt his young side had had ‘their nose bloodied’ but insisted they would learn valuable lessons from such a painful defeat.
“It was a big disappointment in terms of the scoreline,” he reflected. “I didn’t think it was a 4-1 game because for large spells I thought we did really well. I thought we started really well but conceded and lost a little bit of focus.
“But we got ourselves back in it, only to concede again. We normally kick on again and respond after going behind but I felt we didn’t have that today and, as we were chasing things, a lack of discipline has seen us concede a couple.
“All the goals were cheap. It wasn’t a case of what Liverpool did well, it was more what we did poorly. They have just been clinical with their chances.
“We have to now go into the game with Chelsea on Sunday knowing we can compete with them. We have got to go again and try and get three points on the board.”