Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal seemed to have built momentum following their dismal start to the season, but their return to Meadow Park would see them face Manchester City – who finished level on points with the Gunners last term.
ARS: Zinsberger; Catley, Wubben-Moy, Ilestedt, McCabe; Wälti, Pelova; Foord, Little, Lacasse; Russo
MCI: Keating; Ouahabi, Aleixandri, Kennedy, Morgan; Hasegawa, Roord; Hemp, Fowler, Kelly; Shaw
It took just fourteen minutes for Arsenal to take the lead through Steph Catley, driving a thunderous effort into the far corner to bring a free-flowing attacking move to an end – and dampen City’s spirits as they arrived in North London as a side unbeaten.Embed from Getty Images
The goal would prove to be the catalyst for Arsenal throughout the first half, and the Gunners could have doubled their lead from the penalty spot moments later when Cloé Lacasse was felled inside the area by Khiara Keating. The young goalkeeper made amends for her error though, pushing Kim Little’s effort from the spot onto the post.
Lauren Hemp could have restored parity at a sold-out Meadow Park before the break as her headed effort hit the crossbar before being cleared by Amanda Ilestedt – and the visitors would continue their search for an equaliser after the break.
It looked destined to arrive as Khadija Shaw found herself through on goal on numerous occasions, though the best opportunity saw her thump a header against the woodwork after being played in by Hemp’s curling cross.
The Jamaican international would play a key role as City eventually drew level in the 72nd minute though, teeing up Chloe Kelly inside the area as she dispatched a low effort past the despairing Manuela Zinsberger.
But the action was far from over, and when Stina Blackstenius darted through on goal to capitalise on another Keating mistake, the match looked to be swinging in Arsenal’s favour with just three minutes of regulation time remaining.Embed from Getty Images
A medical incident, since confirmed to be a seizure, in the stands forced a lengthy pause before Jonas Eidevall’s side could officially confirm their victory. The Gunners now sit level on points with Manchester City, boasting ten points from their opening five games.
Both sides will be in Continental Tyres Cup action in midweek. Manchester City will be travelling to Liverpool, with Arsenal hosting Bristol City the following day. The Citizens will then return to Joie Stadium on Sunday to face Brighton, while Arsenal travel to Leicester City’s King Power Stadium.