Liverpool 4-3 Chelsea

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The Women’s Super League title slipped out of Chelsea’s hands as they were stunned by a late defeat at Liverpool.

Reds captain Gemma Bonner snatched an injury-time winner in a thrilling seven-goal spectacle.

While Chelsea still have a game in hand on leaders Manchester City, a six-point deficit means their rivals must slip up in their final two matches for Emma Hayes’ second-placed side to have any chance of winning a fifth league title in a row.

An 83rd-minute own-goal by Liverpool goalkeeper Teagan Micah meant the reigning champions thought they could at least leave Merseyside with a draw.

But Bonner’s header, on her 150th club appearance and her second goal of the game, provided a dramatic conclusion after the hosts had twice let leads slip.

Leanne Kiernan struck in the 81st minute to make it 3-2 to Liverpool, firing past Chelsea keeper Hannah Hampton and cancelling out an Aggie Beever-Jones equaliser just moments earlier.

Beever-Jones had put the visitors ahead after just nine minutes when she headed home a Catarina Macario cross, but Chelsea were made to pay for failing to extend their advantage.

Liverpool were patient and rewarded for their determination as Bonner and Sophie Roman Haug both scored from corners to give them a 2-1 lead.

Chelsea dug deep as they rallied to turn the scoreline around and revive their title hopes, but the late drama saw them suffer yet more heartbreak in their quest for another trophy.

Chelsea face trophyless season after quadruple bid

This wasn’t how things were meant to happen.

Having lost the League Cup final, Chelsea are out of the Champions League, out of the FA Cup and now the league title is out of their hands.

They’ve gone from a possible quadruple to being on a collision course with a trophyless campaign.

Hayes’ squad has had to deal with an intense fixture schedule and injuries have damaged their bid to make history.

But after their recent disappointments, they had hoped to finish on a high by winning the first of their two games in hand on City.

Beever-Jones and Macario tried to work openings with neat runs and passing sequences in the final third but Chelsea – without forwards Mayra Ramirez and Lauren James – lacked a much-needed end product.

Despite going behind early on, Liverpool fought tirelessly and looked increasingly inspired with every minute they managed to stay within reach.

Roman Haug and Mia Enderby combined to good effect as the Reds made the most of the wayward passing brought about by Chelsea’s frustration.

With her side’s final, and only, hope of silverware at stake, Hayes made all five substitutions before the 70th-minute mark, but Matt Beard’s side set themselves up perfectly to claim an upset.

Liverpool – who finished seventh in the WSL last year – have already climbed to fifth and level on points with fourth-placed Manchester United.

They owe much of their success to the consistently strong performances from their back three of Bonner, Jenna Clark and Grace Fisk and they were instrumental in keeping the visitors at bay.

It was frantic in the end as Chelsea threw everything they could at trying to save their season, attacking Liverpool with numbers and managing to draw level twice in the final 10 minutes.

But their forward focus came at a price as Liverpool proved a major threat on the counter-attack and used their set-piece quality again as Bonner struck in added time.

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