For the FA WSL matchday 3 opener, league leaders Chelsea were at home to Liverpool, who currently sit in fifth place.

Having played in the midweek Champions League tie, Chelsea rotated a few players. For this game, there were nine former gunners on the teamsheet.

Chelsea went with their classic 3-4-2-1 formation with Spencer; Bright, Flaherty, Eriksson; Dunn, Mjelde, Chapman (c), Davison; Ji, Carney; Cuthbert.

Liverpool meanwhile chose their standard 4-3-3 system, which set them up defensively to counter Chelsea’s attacking threat, with Chamberlain; Murray, Bonner, Stoney, Greenwood; Longhurst, Ingle, Coombs; Charles, Clarke, Harding.

As expected, Liverpool set-up defensively as they had sacrificed an attacking midfielder – Caroline Weir – and put out an extra defensive midfielder in Kate Longhurst.

Liverpool set to counter-attack and leave the Blues with possession. Therefore, it was no surprise to see the home team create the first chance from Ji, who was found at the far post by ex-Arsenal winger, Gemma Davison. Her volley went really close.

Liverpool were clearly hoping to get a clean sheet as they barely attacked with more than three players at a time against at least five Chelsea defenders. A classic attack-versus-defence set-up with the Reds under pressure from the kick-off.

gemma davison chelsea v liverpool
KINGSTON UPON THAMES, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 07: Gemma Davison of Chelsea Ladies fouls Jess Clarke of Liverpool Ladies during the Wome’s Super League 1 match between Chelsea Ladies v Liverpool Ladies at The Cherry Red Records Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Kingston upon Thames, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images,)

Chelsea opened the score in the 13th minute with a cutback from Davison to Mjelde who finished well from 15 yards 1-0.

Despite conceding Liverpool stuck to their game-plan defending deep and leaving Clarke up front to fight for scraps.

Chelsea used mainly the left side of the attack with Davison and Carney as the main creative hubs with Ji and Dunn on the right side went underused in the first 20 minutes. Ji actually had to drop deep to get the ball .

With half an hour played, Liverpool were still struggling to win the ball high enough up the pitch and the rare times they managed to do to it, Ingle went backward and the counter-attacking chance went away.

Half-time came with Chelsea having dominated the game with a lot of possession but only one goal to show for it.

The second half started with no substitutions and Liverpool keeping on the same defensive stance with Chelsea pressing them.

Near the hour mark, Clarke managed to go behind the Chelsea defence but unfortunately was unable to control the ball and gone was Liverpool’s best chance of the game.

The second half saw Chelsea still comfortable in possession and creating a few chances including a long-range shot from Mjelde, which was well-saved by Chamberlain.

If you compare this game to the one played on Wednesday in the Champions League, the intensity was a lot higher against Bayern.

Chelsea sent on Kirby for Cuthbert and later Spence for Ji. While Liverpool made a double substitution to shake things up with Hodson and Weir or for Clarke and Charles. The Reds kept the same set-up, replacing a forward with an attacking midfielder.

In the end it was a very comfortable win for Chelsea with Liverpool showing little ambition on the day and being rewarded with a logical 1-0 defeat. A professional performance from the Blues and not particularly energy-sapping, which will help them in preparation for the Champions League second leg away to FC Bayern.