Chelsea stunned as City thwart title bid and Liverpool pounce

 
Frank Dalleres
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CHELSEA suffered heartbreak on a dramatic final day of the Women’s Super League yesterday when their defeat at Manchester City allowed Liverpool to snatch the title.

The Blues began the day top of the table but lost 2-1 at Manchester City, while defending champions Liverpool beat Bristol 3-0 to make up the three-point gap and take the trophy on goal difference.

In a further twist, Birmingham could have pipped both of their title rivals but only drew 2-2 against Notts County and finished just one point adrift in third place.

“I’m over the moon,” said Liverpool manager Matt Beard. “The players deserve so much credit. They have dug deep. Our second-half performance, we dominated to get three goals. The other scores put pressure on us.”

Chelsea only needed a point to clinch the championship and were handed an early boost by Manchester City’s decision to field a weakened side in anticipation of their Continental Cup final against Arsenal on Thursday.

Yet they went behind on 24 minutes to Jill Scott’s effort and their grip on the title loosened further before half-time when Toni Duggan added City’s second. Gilly Flaherty pulled one back for the Blues, whose consolation is that second place ensures their place in next term’s Champions League.

Liverpool needed 55 minutes to get off the mark against Bristol, but once Natasha Dowie had put them in front further strikes from Lucy Bronze and Fara Williams, from the penalty spot, secured three points and gave their goal difference a timely lift.

Birmingham started the day just one point behind Chelsea but were never ahead against Notts County and missed a penalty that might have earned them a crucial win.