Leicester City 3-0 Brighton: Foxes earn first points of WSL season

Leicester City's Aileen Whelan in action
Leicester had scored just two goals in their opening nine Women’s Super League games

Leicester City picked up their first points of the Women’s Super League season with an impressive thrashing of Brighton at King Power Stadium.

Aileen Whelan slotted them into the lead against her former side just before half-time after some intricate play on the edge of the area.

Sam Tierney then bundled home a second three minutes into the second period.

Substitute Monique Robinson then ran on to a blocked cross, opened her body and found the corner from 16 yards.

Brighton remain 11th after Jens Scheuer’s first game in charge, four points clear of bottom side Leicester.

Leicester had only scored two WSL goals in their opening nine games this season, and these were their first at home since a 2-1 defeat to Spurs on the opening day in September.

The Foxes had started the campaign with nine successive defeats for the second season running, but avoid becoming the third WSL team to lose their first 10 games, after Doncaster in 2016 (15) and Yeovil Town in 2017-18 (12).

Impressive Foxes send warning

Based on this game it is hard to understand why the Foxes are bottom of the league and were yet to take a point this season.

They were full of energy and creativity going forward, with Hannah Cain dragging an effort wide before Missy Goodwin cut in from the left and curled just wide of the far post.

Willie Kirk’s side took a deserved lead when Whelan, who joined Leicester this summer after almost five years at Brighton, latched on to a Tierney lay-off and slotted into the corner from 16 yards out.

Tierney made Leicester’s position more dominant when she scrambled home in the six-yard box, after Jemma Purfield’s cross was twice flicked on.

Robinson scored the best goal of the lot, just moments after coming off the bench, with her side-footed finish a touch of class.

The win ends a run of 10 defeats in the WSL overall and earns a first league win since February, with 15 defeats and one draw in that time.

Defensive problems for Brighton

This defeat is likely to concern former Bayern Munich coach Scheuer, who was announced as Hope Powell’s permanent replacement during the WSL’s winter break.

He has spoken about wanting to bring defensive stability to Brighton, before playing high-intensity football. This performance brought neither.

They handed debuts to January signings Guro Bergsvand, Dejana Stefanovic and Zoe Morse, with Brianna Visalli also coming on to replace the injured Stefanovic in the first half.

It has been 13 games since they kept a clean sheet, and they have conceded 44 goals in that time.

They offered little going forward, apart from when Maisie Symonds was twice denied by new Leicester goalkeeper Janina Leitzig in the closing stages, and were regularly cut open defensively.

Line-ups

Leicester City Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Leitzig
  • 4Bottle
  • 15Howard
  • 22PlumptreSubstituted forSmithat 84′minutes
  • 23Purfield
  • 3TierneyBooked at 74mins
  • 8Pike
  • 21CainSubstituted forBakerat 74′minutes
  • 10Whelan
  • 16JonesSubstituted forRobinsonat 66′minutes
  • 20GoodwinSubstituted forSimonat 85′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Lambourne
  • 13Simon
  • 28Levell
  • 32Baker
  • 34Smith
  • 40Robinson
  • 41Reavill

Brighton Women

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Walsh
  • 2Fox
  • 5Bergsvand
  • 21Morse
  • 3Pattinson
  • 22Robinson
  • 6StefanovicSubstituted forVisalliat 38′minutes
  • 10Olme
  • 7SarriSubstituted forCarterat 58′minutes
  • 15GreenSubstituted forSymondsat 72′minutes
  • 9Lee

Substitutes

  • 4Visalli
  • 12banks
  • 13Stott
  • 14Park
  • 17Symonds
  • 18Carter
  • 20Williams
  • 40Startups

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