Tottenham Hotspur Women played out a fair draw with Liverpool at home. Neither team finished their chances at a winner, and in the dying stages of the game, Spurs lost standout midfielder Olga Ahtinen to an apparent knee injury.
Robert Vilahamn made a single change from the previous week’s draw at Everton, with Kit Graham coming in for Drew Spence in the number 10 role.
Spurs had a look on goal early after some neat passing play after a quick throw in. Angharad James almost finished off Ash Neville’s cross, but Liverpool put it out for a corner, which ultimately came to nothing despite Spurs’ best efforts to keep attacking. The two sides continued to trade blows, with Spurs creating chances out of possession, Liverpool dominating down Spurs’ left flank on the counter, and both sides strong in creating high turnovers.
Celin Bizet broke the deadlock with a brilliant solo effort at twenty-six minutes. Celin robbed a Liverpool defender in Spurs’ own half, and headed straight toward goal. Martha Thomas made a brilliant run to drag a defender out of the way, and Celin shot through traffic to complete the move. Let me interrupt this recap with a quick fun fact–Celin is engaged to a man named Aron Donnum who plays for Toulouse. Aron also scored a goal against Liverpool this week in the Europa League. What is it they say–the couple who scores against Liverpool together stays together? It doesn’t have much of a ring to it, but I buy it anyway.
Vilahamn brought Amy Turner on for Luana Bühler at halftime. Turner slotted in as a center back, which–despite where Skinner tended to play her last year–is her natural position. Vilahamn also introduced Jess Naz for Kit Graham in the 60th minute. Liverpool equalized on a super-direct bit of play from a freekick in their own half. Seemingly, Spurs still haven’t vanquished their set piece demons, though granted they don’t usually come from that far back. Spurs had several promising spells of play afterward, including one where Jess Naz forced a decent save out of Rachel Laws. Liverpool caused a bit of scramble around Spurs’ box on some corners, but were unable to convert from the chaos.
Ellie Brazil made her grand return after over a year off rehabbing an ACL injury. She looked fast, and made one nice pass to Jess Naz in her ten minutes on the pitch. We still don’t really know what kind of player is in there, but that cameo was enough to make me curious to see her again.
Unfortunately, potential disaster struck in stoppage time. Olga Ahtinen was struck by a falling Liverpool player in a real freak accident. She looked to be in a lot of pain. We’re basically just waiting on confirmation of how serious it was (in fact, by the time you read this, we may already have news... stay tuned).
Spurs end the weekend in a none-too-shabby fourth, still well above the basement-level standards set last season. Unfortunately, Vilahamn now has new problems to solve, with the potential losses of Ahtinen and Bühler. We’ll find out how he’s planning to do so when Spurs take on Leicester this weekend. In the meantime, ere’s hoping Olga’s knee is structurally intact, and Luana’s withdrawal was precautionary.