Emma Hayes admits Chelsea couldn’t ‘hit a barn door’ in shock Liverpool defeat

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes rued her team’s attacking shortcomings in Sunday’s shock WSL defeat to newly promoted Liverpool.

The reigning champions took the lead almost straight away when ex-Chelsea defender Gill Flaherty conceded a penalty after just 58 seconds.

Fran Kirby confidently converted from the spot, but Chelsea struggled to create enough from open to extend that lead. A physical and defensively compact Liverpool were able to rally and got back into the game with a penalty of their own from Katie Stengel, before the same player won and also scored a second spot kick that ultimately proved decisive.

In the end, Chelsea only managed four shots on target across the full 90 minutes at Prenton Park, despite having almost 70% of the possession.

Assessing the game, Hayes pointed out afterwards that Liverpool hadn’t created much in open play and had rather ‘maximised the situations’ they found themselves in. But she had more issue with the way her own team struggled to make their dominance count.

“For us going forward, I didn’t think we could hit a barn door today,” she told Sky Sports.

“I don’t think we played poorly in the first half. I just think sometimes we want to win things by bigger margins when we should just follow the process and keep passing the football.

“I thought in the second half it got a little bit stretched for us. We’ve still got new players coming in and they’re still learning the system. There’s big responsibilities on them. But we just chalk it off and we go again. What’s to be worried about in losing a football match? I’m not emotional about it. I think we have to reflect, watch it back and next week’s a new week.”

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