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FA WSL Recap: Everton 1-1 Birmingham City| Toffees fail to capitalize on golden opportunity

With three of the big four losing on Sunday, Everton could have gained ground with a win but didn’t take advantage 

Everton Women v Birmingham City Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Sunday’s match served as a timely reminder that statistics don’t always tell the full story. Everton and Birmingham tied 1–1, but it was the home team that looked like the winning side. Everton had 15 shots, 72-percent possession, 553 passes and nine corners. Meanwhile, the visitors had five shots, 233 passes and just two corners.

While Everton looked comfortable, both teams managed three goals on net, and the Toffees couldn’t find a way through Birmingham’s resolute defense.

A blistering Danielle Turner set piece just outside the 18 in the 22-minute had Everton celebrating an early lead.

Birmingham found a response in the 32’, after a handball inside the box led to a penalty. And while Everton goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela stopped the initial shot, Jamie-Lee Napier was the quickest to the loose ball. A momentary lapse saw the Toffees’ lead evaporate.

Everton Manager Willie Kirk made two changes the half — taking off Claire Emslie and Nicoline Sørensen in favor of Alisha Lehmann and Hayley Raso.

In the 58’, Lehmann linked up with her fellow substitute in Raso — the two ran a play that saw Lehmann pick out Raso’s run at the back post. Despite Raso failing to control the cross, the ball dropped to Ingrid Moe Wold, who fired a shot over the net.

Less than ten minutes later, Raso curled a marvelous attempt across the face of goal, but — as was a theme throughout the game — nobody in a blue jersey was there to knock it home.

With time winding down, Kirk made an offensive substitution with ten minutes remaining, replacing right back Moe Wold with midfielder Abbey-Leigh Stringer. As the last seconds were ticking off the clock, Megan Finnigan flicked a header onto the crossbar in the 89’. Despite late pressure from the Toffees, the game ended at one apiece.

On a day when Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all lost, Everton failed to make up ground that would have proven vital to the team’s top-four hopes. It was an overall disappointing afternoon on Merseyside.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Everton’s first goal came courtesy of a sumptuous strike from Danielle Turner on a set piece. After A quick glance up at the target, Turner curled a left-footed shot past Birmingham’s wall and into the back of the net.

LINEUPS

Everton (4-2-3-1): Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Ingrid Moe Wold, Rikke Sevecke, Megan Finnigan, Danielle Turner, Izzy Christiansen, Jill Scott, Grace Clinton, Nicoline Sørensen, Valérie Gauvin, Claire Emslie

Substitutes: Alisha Lehmann for Sørensen 45, Hayley Raso for Emslie 45, Simone Magill for Gauvin 65, Lucy Graham for Clinton 65, Abbey-Leigh Stringer for Moe Wold 90+4

Unused Substitutes: Sandy MacIver, Gabby George, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Maéva Clemaron

Goals: Danielle Turner 22

Birmingham City (5-4-1): Hannah Hampton, Sarah Mayling, Chloe McCarron, Harriet Scott, Rebecca Holloway, Ruby Mace, Jamie-Lee Napier, Emily Murphy, Ruesha Littlejohn, Lucy Whipp, Claudia Walker.

Substitutes: Emma Kelly for Murphy 76, Mollie Green for McCarron 76

Unused Substitutes: Abbi Grant, Sophie Whitehouse, Gemma Lawley

Goals: Jamie-Lee Napier 34

Bookings: Chloe McCarron, Rebecca Holloway