Everton Women secured their first win of the WSL season with an emphatic 3-0 victory over neighbours Liverpool at Anfield, courtesy of goals from Megan Finnigan, Jess Park and second-half substitute Hanna Bennison.
A crowd of 27,574 – a new WSL record for Liverpool – witnessed only the third meeting between the two sides at Everton’s inaugural home, a fixture the Reds are still yet to register a goal in.
The Toffees set their stall out early as they looked to banish last week’s defeat to West Ham, Gabby George’s header forcing Liverpool’s Rachel Laws into an early save.
Megan Finnigan then tried her luck from distance and forced the corner which would give Everton the lead. Taylor Hynds failed to clear Katrina Veje’s centre, and Finnigan’s well-placed header gave Laws no chance.
With Brian Sorensen’s side firmly in the ascendency, Veje’s low drive was tipped around the post by Liverpool’s busiest player, Laws, as the visitors sought to extend their lead.
And minutes later they did. Park was played in by Natalie Bjorn’s defence-splitting pass, and the on-loan Manchester City forward was the most composed player on the field, rounding Laws before slotting home to double the Blues’ advantage.
Moments before half-time, it was nearly three. Katja Snoeijs so nearly connecting with Izzy Christianson’s inviting ball across the six-yard box.
The second half carried on in similar vein to the first, Laws at least winning a personal dual with Snoeijs by again denying her twice in quick succession.
Sorensen didn’t rest on his laurels and introduced Hanna Bennison and Gio Quieroz Costa into proceedings, the latter’s direct and tricky style causing a new headache for Liverpool’s backline.
And it was her persistence and willingness that led to Everton’s third. The Brazilian regained possession deep in opposition territory, before slipping in Park, whose composure was evident again as she slipped in Bennison, who made no mistake in front of the delighted away end with a clinical left-footed finish.
Liverpool searched for a consolation late on, Yana Daniels and Katie Stengel had chances in injury time, but Everton held firm for an emphatic first win and first clean sheet of the season.
Next up for The Blues is Leicester City at Walton Hall Park on Thursday evening, the Foxes having lost both their matches so far. After a misstep to start the season losing away at West Ham, Everton are now back on track having beaten the Reds who had upset defending champions Chelsea in Matchweek 1. The Toffees now sit fourth in the table behind the trio of Arsenal, Manchester United and Aston Villa who have won both of their games.