Ryan Byrne/INPHO Ireland's Leanne Kiernan.
# Round-Up
Kiernan suffers injury in Liverpool win over Chelsea as Ziu grabs assist for West Ham winner
Kiernan was helped off the pitch after shipping a heavy tackle.

KATIE STENGEL CONVERTED two penalties on her Women’s Super League debut to lift newly-promoted Liverpool to a 2-1 victory over defending champions Chelsea.

But there was some disappointment in the result for Matt Beard’s side when Republic of Ireland’s Leanne Kiernan was forced off, supported by two staff, after she was brought down by Chelsea debutant Kadeisha Buchanan.

Ireland’s Niamh Fahey also featured for the Reds and played the full game.

That could be a blow for Ireland ahead of their historic 2023 World Cup play-off next month.

The Blues got on the scoresheet early when Fran Kirby converted from the spot after Gilly Flaherty collided with Guro Reiten.

Sam Kerr saw an effort ruled offside while Liverpool capitalised on their second-half chances.

The Reds’ win ended the Blues’ 13-game unbeaten streak, while Liverpool celebrated their return to the top-flight in front of a record 3,006 fans at Prenton Park.

Former Blues defender Flaherty got her new side off to an unfortunate start, mistiming her clearance and instead making contact with Reiten to concede a penalty inside the first minute.

Kirby stepped up to the spot and sent Rachael Laws the wrong way to convert inside three minutes, her 29th goal in her last 31 starts for the Blues.

Emma Koivisto had a chance to level soon after when Chelsea keeper Zecira Musovic failed to hold onto a Ceri Holland effort and the Finnish defender pounced on the rebound but sent her effort over the bar.

The defending champions dominated throughout the opening exchanges with Lauren James, who earned her first England cap earlier this month, looking especially bright down the right wing.

They looked to double their advantage at the 20-minute mark when Kirby sent a long ball over the top to Kerr, who easily fired past Laws from 18 yards but her volleyed effort was immediately ruled offside.

But Liverpool got the breakthrough they were looking for when Flaherty’s flick-on from a throw-in caught Millie Bright’s arm and was called for handball and Stengel coolly converted for her first WSL goal.

Five minutes before time, Stengel broke down the right and into the area, pursued by Buchanan who brought her down with a sliding tackle to set up Stengel for her game-winning brace.

Meanwhile, Lisa Evans helped West Ham off to a winning start in this season’s Women’s Super League with the only goal of the game as they overcame Everton 1-0, with Ireland’s Jess Ziu providing the assist.

Ireland goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan played the full game for Everton.

Chances were at a premium at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Sunday afternoon but Evans headed home on the stroke of half-time after Everton had only half-cleared a corner.

Everton forward Katja Snoeijs had a couple of opportunities after the interval but was denied by Mackenzie Arnold as the Hammers held on in Paul Konchesky’s first competitive match in charge of the club.

The former England full-back made 12 signings over the summer and handed debuts to defenders Kirsty Smith and Risa Shimizu, midfielder Ziu and forward pair Honoka Hayashi and Viviane Asseyi.

The hosts started brightly but it was Lucy Graham who had the first real threat as the Toffees captain tested Arnold while at the other end Evans was thwarted from close range by Courtney Brosnan.

Hayashi watched her effort from distance fly over the crossbar but just as it seemed the sides would go in at the break all level, Evans capitalised after a scramble in the Everton box.

Brosnan could only punch the ball to the edge of the area, where Ziu sent a looping header back towards goal before Evans applied the finishing touch on the six-yard area.

Everton saw plenty of the ball after the interval as they pushed for an equaliser, with Snoeijs pressing Arnold into action twice but the Hammers goalkeeper kept out both shots.

In fact the only time the Australian came close to conceding was when Shimizu flicked past her towards the conclusion but West Ham were able to avert trouble as they comfortably clung on.

Everton therefore started their season with a loss under new manager Brian Sorensen, stretching their winless run in the WSL to eight matches after a forgettable end to the 2021-22 campaign.

Elsewhere, Rachel Daly scored twice on her debut as Aston Villa made a stunning start to the new season with a 4-3 win over Manchester City.

Daly, employed as a full-back during the Lionesses’ victorious European Championship campaign, was in clinical form up front as she inspired Villa to claim their first ever top-flight points against the visitors.

City looked to have ridden the storm when they fought back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 at the start of the second half, only for Villa to rally with Daly poking home the winner 14 minutes from time.

And Tottenham were 2-1 winners at Leicester.

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