Women's Champions League: Linkoping knock out Liverpool

Natasha Dowie
Natasha Dowie went close for Liverpool as they chased the game in vain

Liverpool were knocked out of the Women's Champions League by Swedish team Linkoping four days after winning the Women's Super League title.

The Reds went down 3-0 in Sweden and 4-2 on aggregate after winning the home leg 2-1 in their last-32 tie.

Striker Fridolina Rolfo, a substitute in the first leg, hit a hat-trick as Linkoping made home advantage pay.

Liverpool are assured of a place in next season's continental competition after Sunday's domestic title win.

They were on the back foot from the early stages of the second leg against the Swedes, goalkeeper Libby Stout having to make an excellent save from striker Pernille Harder after just five minutes.

Rolfo put Linkoping ahead with a 24th-minute shot that flew in off the crossbar.

Either side of the goal Liverpool had good possession but were unable to make any headway in the final third.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half Stout had to make saves from Harder, left-back Magdalena Ericsson and winger Jonna Andersson.

The hosts carried their momentum into the second half and doubled their lead when Rolfo collected Harder's 50th-minute pass to shoot home.

Rolfo struck the killer blow with her third goal six minutes later, the striker forcing the ball over the line after Stout had parried a Harder header.

Gemma Davison and Natasha Dowie, Liverpool's scorers in the first leg, sent efforts wide as the Reds attempted to salvage the tie.

But they never looked capable of forcing their way back into contention.

Linkoping will face Zvezda 2005 in the last 16, the Russian team having trounced Icelandic side Stjarnan 8-3 on aggregate.

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