The first round of Continental Cup group fixtures took place on Sunday, with Sheffield United pulling off the shock of the round with a memorable victory over WSL side Liverpool. Elsewhere, there were big wins for Manchester City and Arsenal over lower league opposition.
In a thrilling game at Prenton Park, Championship outfit Sheffield United came from behind twice before scoring an injury-time winner to condemn Liverpool to yet another defeat.
This was no second string cup side on the field for Liverpool either; Sophie Bradley-Aukland, Jess Clarke and Mel Lawley have all been capped multiple times for England, and all three started on Sunday. But they had no answer to the steely determination of Sheffield United, who will savour this most famous of victories.
Sheffield United Women have just beaten Liverpool away from home.— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) September 22, 2019
What a result for Carla Ward’s side pic.twitter.com/LNpWKpLAKG
Substitute Niamh Charles helped Liverpool regain their lead a mere two minutes after entering the fray. However, the hosts were pegged back once more by Maddy Cusack's long range effort with just three minutes left on the clock.
Still time for more drama. Liverpool's Jade Bailey saw red for a second bookable offence, before Jade Pennock popped up with a 94th minute winner for Sheffield United.
Elsewhere, Championship outfit Leicester City gave a good account of themselves against holders Manchester City, trailing to a singular Caroline Weir strike at the break.
However, the gulf in fitness levels eventually took their toll as City showed their class, easing to a 5-0 victory. Pauline Bremmer and Caroline Weir each grabbed a brace, and Tessa Wullaert completed the scoring with a fine finish.
A Beth Mead hat-trick saw last season's runners up Arsenal mirror Manchester City's result. Jill Roord and Emma Mitchell were also on the scoresheet for the Gunners as they made light work of London City Lionesses.
In one of three all-WSL clashes, Birmingham recorded a narrow 1-0 victory over highflying Everton, a Rachel Williams header settling proceedings.
Chelsea needed two second-half goals to overcome West Ham, with Beth England and Guro Reiten netting for the Blues, while Reading sent out a real statement of intent against their fellow WSL counterparts Tottenham. Brooke Chaplen hit a double as the Royals recorded an emphatic 4-0 win.
Bristol City and Brighton both comfortably overcame Championship opponents, the former beating London Bees 3-0, and the the latter equalling their scoreline with victory over Charlton.
Durham came out on top in one of three the all second tier encounters, dispatching early Championship leaders Aston Villa 3-0. Mollie Sharpe netted twice for the hosts.
Crystal Palace beat Lewes 3-2, and Coventry versus Blackburn was the only tie to be settled by a shootout. Coventry took the bonus point after the game had finished 1-1.