Everton Women boss Brian Sorensen admitted he had ‘no idea’ how his side lost against Leicester City as a second half Lena Petermann goal secured three points for former Toffees boss Willie Kirk’s team.
The Toffees created a host of chances, including Justine Vanhaevermaet’s saved penalty. The impressive Emma Bissell - making her first start for the Blues - twice had the ball in the net for the visitors, each time the assistant’s flag ruling both efforts out for offside, with the latter particularly questionable.
But the Dane praised his side, admitting that he was confused how his side came away with nothing, before turning his attention to Wednesday night’s League Cup tie with Manchester City.
“No idea how we lost that game! We should have scored three or four goals, but unfortunately it wasn’t supposed to be,” said the Blues boss.
“We did everything right in terms of getting the ball there, then we had one weak moment and they capitalise on it. Performance wise, I think we were better than we were last week but the ball did not want to go in.
“We have a few players coming back soon, we will take the positives and make sure that we are ready for Wednesday.”
Everton started brightly with Martina Piemonte keen to break her duck for the Blues. The Italian found space and unleashed a powerful drive which saw the excellent Janina Leitzig make a fine save.
The forward again found herself amongst the chances eight minutes later. The impressive Heather Payne - also making her first start for the Toffees - dispossessed the opposition in their box, allowing Piemonte to strike twice, with both efforts blocked by a resolute Foxes defence.
Piemonte then turned provider, the former AC Milan star’s excellent hold-up play afforded Bissell the time and space to meet the pass, but her smart finish was ruled out for offside.
Leicester’s defence will have been sick of the sight of Piemonte, who was involved in the game’s best chance so far. The 26-year-old was adjudged to have been unfairly bundled to the ground as the hosts defended Hanna Bennison’s free kick and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Up stepped Vanhaevermaet only to see her effort stopped by Leitzig. The German stopper, who is fast becoming a nemesis to Everton’s attack, was also alert to block the rebound.
Everton picked up where they had left off in the second half, but kept finding the Foxes’ number one in inspired form, with Leitzig denying both Bissell and Lucy Hope with fine saves. And then the old football adage of not pressing home your dominance with goals was to cruelly bite Everton as the game headed into the last 20.
Sam Tierney intercepted play, allowing Leicester to break on the counter, and the defender’s through ball found Petermann, who confidently finished past Emily Ramsey to give the host’s the lead.
The Blues continued to press and thought they had grabbed an equaliser with six minutes remaining. Katrine Veje found Bissell, and the midfielder’s shot clattered off Leitzig back onto herself and into the net.
But the assistant’s flag again denied Bissell as the goal was ruled out for an offside which looked questionable.
Everton kept pushing till the very end but brilliant goalkeeping and lady luck ensured that that it was Leicester who claimed all three points.
Sorensen will look to the positives, and probably won’t be requesting a reply, as a busy week awaits his side, beginning with a League Cup campaign at Walton Hall Park on Wednesday night against Manchester City, before travelling to Anfield to face Liverpool for in the season’s first Merseyside derby.