Match Report

Arsenal Women showed grit to overturn Manchester City Women’s first half lead to win Alex Scott’s final home game 2-1.

The visitors had the better of the first-half and deserved to go ahead from Nadia Nadim.

Arsenal came out after the break with confidence as Daniellle van de Donk and Beth Mead secured the three points that put Arsenal a point behind 2nd placed City.

As it was her final home game before retiring, Scott was given this welcome to the pitch just before kick-off:

The first sight of goal came within ten minutes. Karen Bardsley had to go full stretch to tip Jordan Nobbs’ powerful left footed volley over the bar from the edge of the box.

Despite Arsenal going close, Manchester City capitalised on two Gunners errors to go ahead.

Dominique Janssen miss-controlled the ball in midfield to allow City to break on the Arsenal defence. On arrival in the box, Sari ven Veenendaal slipped and failed to make up the ground as Nadia Nadim slid the ball past her:

With the home side struggling to play out from the back, City pounced in an attack which saw a Nadim header loop just over the crossbar.

Around the half an hour mark Mead, who was playing off the right, began to come into the game with a few good dribbles to beat her marker. However, once the ball made it into the box the chances just weren’t converted.

This gave Arsenal confidence going forward which resulted in chances for Vivianne Miedema and Kim Little, but both shot straight at Bardsley.

Continuing to attack up the right, just before half-time, Nobbs surged into the box before letting off a cannon of a shot which flew just past the post thanks to another quality Bardsley save.

Arsenal continued to attack after half-time and their pressure paid off after five minutes.

Latching onto a loose ball just outside the City box, Nobbs then skipped past a challenge before laying off to van de Donk who caressed the ball into the bottom corner:

A great move then followed. Having kept the ball moving for a while, Arsenal then turned to intricate passes around the box with Nobbs’ dummy allowing Little to shoot. Unfortunately for her it was deflected just wide.

Putting another brilliant move Arsenal took the lead just after the hour mark.

Little broke centrally and played the ball to Miedema, who peeled off her defender, but the ball found Mead whose first-time strike across goal was too powerful for Bardsley:

Now in the lead, Arsenal were much more confident playing out the back and were able to control the game at their pace.

Late on in the game Miedema had a golden chance to give Arsenal a two-goal cushion but skied her shot. Mead came out to left and crossed deep into the box where van de Donk showed great skill to bring the ball down and backheel to her fellow Dutchwoman. But inside the six-yard box Miedema somehow missed the target.

Izzy Christiansen had a chance to make Miedema pay with a header from within six yards, but she could only guide her effort above the bar.

Even though there wasn’t another goal, the crowd volume increased again late on as it was time for Scott to come on.

Coming on up front the right back could’ve had the chance to end her final home game as an Arsenal player with a goal. But despite being free at the edge of the box, Danielle Carter opted to shoot rather than square the ball.

Now just a point behind 2nd placed City and level on points with 3rd placed Reading Women, Joe Montemurro’s side now have the chance to leapfrog the clubs into the 2nd Champions League spot with a win away at Sunderland on Wednesday. A game they should go into with more confidence than if they made it three straight losses.

For Manchester City, their title chances have taken a huge blow as Chelsea need just a point to lift the FASWL 1 on Tuesday at Bristol City Ladies. With an outside chance of silverware though, City should win their next game at home against Yeovil Town Ladies.