Top of the League: Arsenal Women Weekly Round-Up

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TOP OF THE LEAGUE
Arsenal continued their perfect start to the season with victory at home to West Ham on Sunday. However, after a 5-0 win over Liverpool and a 7-0 victory at Yeovil, the Gunners were made to sweat this time. They trailed 1-0 and 2-1 before powering into a 4-2 lead thanks to a Danielle van de Donk hat trick and a Kim Little piledriver. But Claire Rafferty’s late free-kick set up a tense finale.

Likely title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City both conspired to drop presentable points. The Blues were held to a goalless draw for the third consecutive game at Everton, while City clawed their way back from 2 goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Bristol City. Birmingham City, however, have matched the Gunners for results with three wins, all of which have been won by a single goal to nil.

Highlights from Sunday’s game can be viewed here.

INTERNATIONAL BREAK
The Gunners do not play again until 14th October, when they travel to Chelsea for a decisive game in the title race. This coming weekend sees every other team in the WSL play, but with 11 teams in the division, one team sits out a couple of rounds a season and this weekend is Arsenal’s turn.

Having played three games in seven days with a small squad, it will be a welcome relief and ought to allow a few players carrying knocks to fully recover. Leah Williamson, Jess Samuelsson, Sari van Veenendaal and Lia Walti have all been managing their fitness to differing degrees. An international break follows this weekend, so most of the squad will then be away with their countries.

LITTLE SCORING STREAK
Kim Little has begun the season in inspired form. Her outstanding long range goal against West Ham on Sunday means the Scot has scored in six consecutive games for club and country. Having recovered from a cruciate ligament injury earlier this year, the Arsenal captain is again demonstrating the form that makes her one of the world’s finest players.

MITCH 100
Emma Mitchell made her 100th Gunners appearance on Sunday. The Scottish left-back joined the Gunners from Essen in Germany back in 2013 and she has made the left-back slot her own in that time. Emma was brought to the club by current Scotland manager Shelley Kerr.

OOOH TABEA
Arsenal had already agreed the signing of Tabea Kemme from Potsdam when she tore her knee cartilage back in February. As a result, the German’s debut has been delayed, but she remains on course to return at Christmas. Kemme announced last week that she has started doing some supervised ball work outdoors. It will be a couple of weeks before she can join in full contact training, but Kemme’s recovery seems to be going according to schedule.

BREAKDOWN
If you haven’t seen it already, Adrian Clarke filmed a Breakdown special with Gunners boss Joe Montemurro that is well worth your time. Joe opens up on his footballing philosophy and runs the rule over the three summer signings from Germany, as well as appraising the strengths of Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema.

I would also recommend this interview with Leah Williamson conducted by the Arsenal Women’s Supporters Club recently.

COMING UP
We’ll have another weekly round-up for you next Monday as the girls drift away from Colney to represent their countries and of course we will build up to the Chelsea match as it approaches. There will be player reaction from the Chelsea game and a special feature interview with a difference in October too.

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Onenil

I like it when Arsenal are good.

robeine

I love that there’s a greater focus on the women’s team! I actually watched their game against West Ham, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep it up!

Uplifted

Good timing

arseaddict

I watched the last half. West Ham’s third goal made it a lil bit nervous but our attack is a force to be reckoned with and we routinely counter- attacked with ease, especially when West Ham threw women forward to get the equaliser.

Onwards and upwards, COYG!!

Fun Gunner

Thanks, Tim. Ooh Tabea… I see what you did there. Seven-goal thriller! I followed on Twitter on the way to the Everton match and had three heart attacks, I reckon. No goals for Chelsea and grumpy Emma Hayes, delish. This league is turning out to be much more competitive than I expected and it’s showing in the Man City and Chelsea results. Joe said in his post-match interview that he wasn’t happy with our focus, but at least we didn’t slip up. So far we are doing what we need to be doing – winning well against teams we ought… Read more »

Stillberto

Birmingham winning all 3 games, West Ham have a good squad, Bristol held Chelsea and City in the same week, there is a strong middle rung developing in the league right now.