Liverpool claimed their first win since the opening day of the Women’s Super League season as Ceri Holland and Katie Stengel gave the Reds victory at home to West Ham.
Holland capitalised on defensive uncertainty to prod in the opener before Stengel’s expert finish doubled the hosts’ lead after 20 minutes.
West Ham struggled to escape their own territory at times, with Liverpool dominating possession and chances to mark captain Niamh Fahey’s 100th appearance for the club in style.
The Reds could have gone further ahead when Holland and Stengel went close in quick succession following a mistake by West Ham goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.
Australia international Arnold atoned for her error with an acrobatic save to deny Holland a second and an alert stop to push Yana Daniels’ late header over the crossbar.
Dagny Brynjarsdottir went closest for West Ham as her deflected strike was beaten away by home keeper Rachael Laws in the closing stages.
The victory moved Liverpool into ninth, a point above Brighton and Reading and eight clear of bottom side Leicester.
West Ham’s second successive away defeat meant they remained below fifth-placed Aston Villa on goal difference.
Stengel strikes again in Reds’ resurgence
Despite losing five times on their seven-match winless run since shocking Chelsea in September, there was a sense this victory had been coming during Liverpool’s recent performances.
The return to fitness of Shanice van de Sanden has proved pivotal in her second spell after rejoining the club in the summer, starting when the Netherlands legend scored one and set up another to rescue a 3-3 draw at Brighton two weeks ago.
Liverpool were twice ahead after Van de Sanden’s first start of the season at Reading four days later, and the three-time Women’s Champions League winner was highly influential again in an assured team display here.
Forward Stengel was equally important, producing a precise low finish to take her tally to six of Liverpool’s 11 goals in the WSL this season.
With bottom side Leicester the visitors for their final game before the end of the year, the Reds will now be confident of successive wins and targeting the top half of the table.
- 28CampbellSubstituted forDanielsat 80′minutes
- 12HindsSubstituted forRobertsat 87′minutes
- 19van de SandenSubstituted forKearnsat 62′minutes
West Ham Women
- 2SmithSubstituted forKyvagat 65′minutes
- 11AtkinsonSubstituted forCissokoat 32′minutes
Match ends, Liverpool Women 2, West Ham United Women 0.
Second Half ends, Liverpool Women 2, West Ham United Women 0.
Honoka Hayashi (West Ham United Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Missy Bo Kearns (Liverpool Women).
Attempt missed. Yana Daniels (Liverpool Women) right footed shot from long range on the right is just a bit too high. Assisted by Katie Stengel.
Foul by Yana Daniels (Liverpool Women).
Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham United Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Liverpool Women. Rhiannon Roberts replaces Taylor Hinds.
Corner, Liverpool Women. Conceded by Mackenzie Arnold.
Attempt saved. Yana Daniels (Liverpool Women) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Melissa Lawley with a cross.
Corner, Liverpool Women. Conceded by Kate Longhurst.
Attempt blocked. Emma Koivisto (Liverpool Women) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Melissa Lawley.
Attempt saved. Ceri Holland (Liverpool Women) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Emma Koivisto.
Corner, Liverpool Women. Conceded by Thea Kyvag.
Yana Daniels (Liverpool Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Lisa Evans (West Ham United Women).
Substitution, Liverpool Women. Yana Daniels replaces Megan Campbell.
Foul by Viviane Asseyi (West Ham United Women).
Rachael Laws (Liverpool Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Dagny Brynjarsdóttir (West Ham United Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.