The WSL is back after a (rather long) winter break. Its grand return was at the on a Friday night at Pirelli Stadium for Leicester vs Aston Villa in just above freezing temperatures.
There were only 2 short sleeved shirts in sight on a pitch which was fighting for its place on the podium for the worst pitches to grace the WSL.
Despite the weather and the pitch, the game was actually quite a good (and slightly stressful) watch.
After an extremely underwhelming first half of the season Aston Villa actually looked like they’d started to turn a corner in the first half. They looked energised and quite cohesive, going 1-0 up through Rachel Daly volleying home the rebound of her initial shot after just 17 minutes.
Leicester, on the other hand, were really not great. They didn’t offer much of anything in the first half, the pitch didn’t look like it was helping but neither was very poor decision making.
It could’ve been two for Villa but for Janina Leitzig making a good save from Alisha Lehmann. Daphne Van Domselaar also made a decent save from a Shannon O’Brien, a chance which was the best that Leicester had to show in the first 45.
Josie Green and Deanne Rose were on for Leicester at half time, Willie Kirk was understandably not bowled over by the first half showing.
Leicester had the first chance of the second half after a real quality touch from Momiki but Van Domselaar saved her shot well, although it was a good height for her. Leicester were improved overall in the second half but didn’t force Van Domselaar into anything groundbreaking.
Leitzig made another save from Adriana Leon after great work from Laura Blindkilde Brown who played her in 1 on 1. Leon should’ve scored, to put it simply.
Deanne Rose followed her fellow Canadians lead shortly after, firing well over in time and space after Maz Pacheco got a bit of a push and subsequently went flying in the 6 yard box which resembled a frozen mud bath.
Leicester continued to push in the closing minutes, tempers were flaring and there was absolute carnage in the Villa box as Van Domselaar saved from Rose then Ava Baker’s shot was blocked on the line by Sarah Mayling. If she would’ve hit it anywhere else it would’ve been a goal.
A competitive and very spirited affair but Villa’s first half was enough. They move up to a more comfortable 7th - having played a game more than the likes of Everton and Brighton of course.
Leicester remain 9th and if Bristol City or a bolstered West Ham get a win this weekend they may just start to look over their shoulder.