Liverpool LFC has clinched their first major honour as they won the FA Women's Super League with a 2-0 defeat of Bristol Academy WFC.
Going into the title decider in Widnes, Liverpool led Bristol by two points so knew a draw would be enough for the championship. In the event Louise Fors put them ahead from the penalty spot on 35 minutes and Katrin Ómarsdóttir doubled the lead in the second half, Liverpool ending Arsenal LFC's nine-season reign.
Swedish international Fors and Iceland midfielder Ómarsdóttir were two of a large number of winter arrivals as new Liverpool manager Matt Beard revamped a squad that had finished bottom in both previous FA WSL seasons. Winning their last seven games proved to be the key with 12-goal Natalie Dowie and Nicole Rolser, on ten, ending as the league's top two scorers. They can now look forward to a UEFA Women’s Champions League debut in 2014/15.
Fors said: "It's an amazing feeling. We worked hard all season and we deserve it." Beard added: "The players have been fantastic and they deserve it. They have done this themselves by spending time together off the pitch and creating a great team spirit."
Bristol have also earned a European berth, as although Arsenal won 2-1 at Everton LFC, they missed out on second place due to three points deducted for fielding an ineligible player in their 3-0 victory at Liverpool last month. To maintain their record of playing in Europe every season since 2003/04, Arsenal must claim a second continental crown this time around, starting in the round of 32 where they play WFC CSHVSM-Kairat on 9 and 17 October.
England's other 2013/14 UEFA Women's Champions League contenders, Birmingham City LFC, ended fourth after a 3-0 win at bottom side Doncaster Belles LFC, who will be departing the top division for the first time to be replaced by Manchester City LFC. Birmingham's European opponents PK-35 Vantaa today won their third straight Finnish Cup, overcoming HJK Helsinki 2-0.