Stunning finale gives Liverpool the WSL title

Liverpool LFC retained the English title on an afternoon they begun in third place behind Chelsea LFC, who will have to be content with a European debut next season.

Liverpool celebrate their unlikely title success
Liverpool celebrate their unlikely title success ©The FA via Getty Images

Liverpool LFC retained the FA Women's Super League title in dramatic style on an afternoon which they began in third place.

As last year, when they won their first championship, Liverpool ended the season at home to Bristol Academy WFC. But whereas that was a straight decider, this time Liverpool trailed Chelsea LFC by three points and 2013/14 UEFA Women's Champions League semi-finalists Birmingham City LFC by one having only stayed in the hunt with an added-time equaliser at Arsenal LFC last week.

However, at half-time, Chelsea trailed 2-0 at Manchester City WFC and Birmingham were 2-1 down to Notts County LFC, giving Liverpool hope. Though Birmingham soon equalised, on 53 minutes Natasha Dowie put Liverpool in front and Lucy Bronze added another to ensure Chelsea would need to draw level due to the swing in goal difference.

Chelsea pulled one back with 19 minutes to go, just after Fara Williams' penalty had extended the Reds' lead to 3-0. Liverpool's game ended and there was a nervous wait before it was confirmed that neither Chelsea nor Birmingham had got the goal which would have denied Matthew Beard's team the title.

Beard, whose players have little time to celebrate as they defend a 2-1 UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 lead at Linköpings FC on Thursday in their debut European tie, said: "Honestly, I didn't think we'd win it, I thought it was Chelsea's."

 

Bristol, England's other European representatives this season, defend a 5-0 lead at home to Raheny United at Ashton Gate on Thursday. Chelsea will make a UEFA Women's Champions League debut alongside Liverpool in 2015/16.

As for Linköping, their hopes of a top-two Damallsvenskan finish behind champions FC Rosengård were ended with a game to go by a 1-1 draw at AIK Solna on Saturday. European debut-chasing KIF Örebro DFF are second, three points ahead of Göteborg FC, who lost on Sunday.

Elsewhere VfL Wolfsburg are now two points clear in Germany after beating SC Sand 4-0 while FC Bayern München took over second place from 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam with a 1-0 win. Wolfsburg's fellow European entrants 1. FFC Frankfurt are up to third, winning 3-1 at SGS Essen.

In France, Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain both made it six wins from six games. Stabæk FK, who attempt to overturn a 1-0 deficit at Wolfsburg on Thursday, won 5-1 at Kolbotn IL but are still two points behind LSK Kvinner FK at the Norwegian summit with two games to go, including a concluding 1 November trip to Lillestrom.

 The UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 second legs are on Wednesday & Thursday: FULL FIXTURES

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