Arsenal Women Weekly Round-Up: 1 Small Step

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GUNNERS GO WITHIN ONE WIN OF THE TITLE WITH VICTORY OVER EVERTON

Arsenal moved within one win of the title with a 2-1 victory over Everton on Sunday. The scoring was opened in the 5th minute when Abbey Leigh Stringer bundled into her own net under pressure from Louise Quinn. Vivianne Miedema doubled the score on 28 minutes after fine combination work with Beth Mead.

The second half was slightly nervier than anticipated when Sari van Veenendaal picked up Leah Williamson’s back pass and Chantelle Boyle-Hlorkah smashed home the resulting indirect free-kick. But Arsenal held out for the three points and now need to beat Brighton away next Sunday to confirm their first WSL title in seven years.

‘IT WAS MORE INTERESTING THAN WE WANTED’ ADMITS LOUISE QUINN

I spoke with Gunners defender Louise Quinn post-match and the Ireland international admitted that the second half was tighter than it should have been. “We gave away a silly goal out of nothing, just by being a bit lackadaisical. One of us really should have given Sari a bit of a signal,” she explained.

It made the game tighter and more interesting than we wanted and this is where we need to put games away. We had chances to score more before their goal too, but it’s one of those games where even if it’s not all going your way, we can still grind it out.”

‘WE NEEDED INDIVIDUAL MOMENTS TO SOLVE SOME PROBLEMS’ SAYS MONTEMURRO

Manager Joe Montemurro told Arsenal.com, “I just think the general movements off the ball needed a little work. We’re very fluid in our movement, but today we were a little more individual in terms of our movement. We had one going, but usually we’d have a few others working off the ball too. We like to have three or four players working off the positioning, but today was more individual. We needed individual moments to solve some of the problems today, so it wasn’t as fluid as our usual play.

MIEDEMA HITS 30 GOALS FOR THE SEASON

Vivianne Miedema’s first half goal was her 30th of the season in all competitions. The Dutch striker combined excellently with Beth Mead, who notched her 11th and 12th assists of the WSL campaign yesterday, before dinking the ball over the Everton keeper on 28 minutes. That means Miedema has 30 goals in 24 starts for the season, an astonishing record. Though as I wrote last week, this is no one woman team.

MIEDEMA NOMINATED FOR PFA PLAYER OF THE YEAR AND PFA YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Viv’s performances have, predictably, been recognised by her peers as she has been nominated for both the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year (it’s easy to forget that she’s still 22!). The winners will be announced on Sunday evening.

U-21s WIN WSL ACADEMY CUP

Arsenal are one win away from WSL glory, but the U-21s were showing the way at Loughborough University yesterday, defeating Manchester United 5-0 in the WSL Academy Cup Final. Goals from Shauna Vassell, Lachante Paul (2) and Paige Bayley-Gayle (2) saw the youngsters earn an emphatic victory.

U-21 coach Lauren Phillips told Rich Laverty for She Kicks, “I’m very pleased for this group of players. It’s a group who have overcome a lot of hurdles this season and very much deserve to celebrate this success as a reward for their continued dedication to their individual development.”

TICKETS REMAINING FOR BRIGHTON AWAY

A victory for Arsenal at Brighton next Sunday will be enough to confirm the league title and tickets remain on sale for the game, which will take place at Brighton & Hove Albion’s AMEX Stadium on Sunday, with a 12.15pm kickoff. Details on how to purchase are all at the link below, the match will also be screened live on BT Sport 1. Very few tickets remain for the final game at home to Manchester City, a reminder that these won’t be sold on the turnstile on the day. The match is strictly all ticket and all of the tickets have nearly been sold, so get in there quickly!

‘THE WSL IS A LOT MORE PHYSICAL..I LIKE THE WAR’ SAYS PAULINE PEYRAUD-MAGNIN

Gunners goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin gave an interesting interview to the WSL website this week in which she spoke about the differences of playing in England compared to France. PPM has established herself as first choice since joining from Lyon last summer and she says she likes the more physical side of football in England.

I think the [FA WSL] is much more muscular and more physical. I love that. I like the war and for that, I’m here. I love living in London. I feel in my real home and I’m very happy.” Peyraud-Magnin is currently nursing a knee injury, but should be available for this summer’s World Cup on home soil with France.

‘PETR CECH SAID HE’D TAKE US OUT FOR A MEAL IF WE BEAT CHELSEA…WE WON 5-0’ BETH MEAD

Arsenal forward Beth Mead revealed that Petr Cech took the team out for a meal back in February due to a friendly bet. Cech took the squad to Sushisamba restaurant in Bishopsgate. Mead revealed to the Telegraph’s Katie Whyatt that Cech had promised to take the squad for dinner if they beat Chelsea in October, a game they duly won 5-0.

He said if we beat Chelsea he’d take us out for food, anywhere we want. We won 5-0. He booked us out a private room for the night, paid for it all. He stuck to his word. He actually said, ‘Don’t take anything from me right now because you’re doing better than the men’. He’s in the gym a lot and he speaks to all of us.

COMING UP

We’ll have a full match preview for the Brighton game on the site on Friday and we will also have exclusive player reaction from the match on the site on Sunday evening. Next Monday we will be releasing the Arsenal Women Arsecast for April, featuring a couple of Arsenal legends (I don’t use the term lightly).

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Chris Humphrey
Chris Humphrey

Came away from Meadow Park yesterday feeling elated which was further enhanced when news of the U21’s victory came to light later in the day (down a notch with the men’s result!).
In truth, the second half v Everton became a bit “Squeaky Bum” partly due to the hot weather and plastic seats but mainly due to the rather low key performance which Louise Quinn elequently referred to as “grinding out the result”. Three points over elegance and free flowing football is what yesterday was about although that second half did have its moments of interest, notably the Stringer demolition attempt on Beth Mead , DvD’s reaction and the subsequent debate over red cards & reffing (yes ,Reffing!) standards
in the WSL. Sari certainly added to the interest with her decision not to recognise Leah’s knock back as a back pass!!! Hey ho, 3 points by the seaside next Sunday and we can get less squeaky bummed.