- Miri Taylor scores early in second half
- Russo fires blank on Arsenal WSL debut
- Liverpool hold out for 1-0 win at Emirates
TELL ME MORE: Miri Taylor scored the only goal of the game as Liverpool earned a surprise 1-0 win against Arsenal on the opening day of the 2023-24 WSL season. A new competition record was set as over 54,000 fans packed into the Emirates Stadium, with Jonas Eidevall's side having been in dire need of a bounce-back performance following their shock elimination from the Champions League qualifying stages last month. The hosts started well and looked to pile on the pressure, with Caitlin Foord and Frida Maanum both spurning early chances. Eidevall opted to hand England star Alessia Russo her WSL debut for the Gunners, with the forward having joined the club as a free agent after leaving Manchester United. However, the 24-year-old only managed one shot on goal before being replaced by Stina Blackstenius after 73 minutes. Before that Liverpool silenced the Emirates with a wholly unexpected opener just after half-time. Taylor - formally of Arsenal - found the bottom left corner of Manuela Zinzberger's goal with an effort from inside the area, assisted by Missy Bo Kearns' cut-back. Arsenal continued to hammer away but just couldn't find a way past the stubborn visitors, who recorded their first WSL win against Arsenal since 2016.
THE MVP: Rachael Laws had a superb afternoon in the Liverpool goal, repelling everything the hosts threw at her to preserve her side's advantage. Honourable mentions should go to Arsenal's Foord, who gave everything to try and get her name on the scoresheet, and Liverpool's all-action midfielder and assist-provider Kearns.
THE BIG LOSER: While Russo made a flying start to her Arsenal career - she scored a brace in the 3-3 draw with Paris FC last month - both of her appearances for the club so far have ended in disappointment. Against Liverpool, she did not have the impact she or manager Eidevall would have hoped for, given the faith he has put in her over Blackstenius.
WHAT NEXT? Things don't get any easier for Arsenal, with a trip to Russo's former club Manchester United coming up on Friday. Liverpool, meanwhile, will take on Aston Villa in their home opener on Sunday.
MATCH RATING: ⭐⭐⭐