Joe Montemurro reacts to 3-0 victory over Birmingham City

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Arsenal moved up to 2nd in the WSL a point behind leaders Manchester United with a 3-0 win over Birmingham City at Meadow Park on Sunday. Kim Little missed a first half penalty but second half goals from Caitlin Foord, Jill Roord and a converted Kim Little penalty late on gave the Gunners the points.

On the similarity between Caitlin Foord’s goal and the two Birmingham conceded to West Ham recently….
Well we tried every other way to score in the first half so we thought we’d try something else! Birmingham are very well organised defensively, they sat very, very deep and their wide players came back and made it a 451. Once we broke the game open it was always going to be smoother sailing but all credit to Birmingham.

On Beth Mead’s 100th Arsenal appearance…
It’s fantastic for someone so young to hit 100 games for us, same for Leah Williamson on 150. It’s great to have players of that age really maturing. Beth has three or four great weapons, she’s very good at cutting inside, she’s very good at exploiting spaces in behind, her finishing and dead balls are very, very good. She’s got three or four ads of breaking deep blocks and breaking lines. Beth is a very, very good component for our team.

On tweaks made at half-time…
They ere very compact and we couldn’t play in between. What we did notice was that when we went out wide their full-backs or wide players were being exposed, their central players weren’t coming with them. We just fell one of our full-backs or a 10 could get into that space a little bit more and that was one of the main reasons we bought on Lisa Evans to jump into that space between their full-back and centre-back and it was good from that perspective.

On the impact of Caitlin Foord since her arrival…
I’ll leave it to you guys (journalists) to assess who the best imports are, I think it’s a good word you used to describe Caitlin- ‘impact.’ She’s forceful with the ball, she’s forceful running in behind and she’s forceful when she has to protect the ball. She’s a different type of attacker and wide player to some of the others we have. We’re very lucky to have her and she’s a great player and Caitlin is showing why we brought her over.

On the character the team showed in the first half…
I said in the huddle at full-time that it was a very good character test for us, because we had a lot of very, very good opportunities in the first half but you’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net. But we continued plying our way and continue finding the gaps. I actually felt that the first two goals were more difficult chances than some of the ones we didn’t score. These games are really important for the whole package of the year and what we’re trying to achieve.

On Lydia Williams…
Lyds is known for her commanding an vocal ways! It’s a big asset for us. A team that defends very deep is going to threaten you on the break because we’ve got a lot of the ball, that means you have to manage what happens without the ball and that’s where Lyds is perfect. We made sure that any chance they had to go forward was cut out and controlled.

On Malin Gut….
Malin is a player that we believe is going to be something special and in each game she is growing in belief in her ways and the game we play. Especially today when you play a very deep defence and they leave one upfront. Your centre backs can get pulled out and they need protection in front of them and she did that very, very well today.

 

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Daveo

Great win. Watched full 90 mins. Brilliant, well in ladies! Caitlin Ford is a heck of a player. And this team is so impressive!

And I watched zero mins of the Arsenal boys embarrassment once I saw we’d be lining up with Xhaka and Willian again. It’s not even a contest for which is the real Arsenal at the moment.

viegunner

thanks for putting context in, much appreciated

Tim Stillman

No worries, thanks for the constructive feedback, now I think about it I don’t know why I wasn’t doing it in the first place!

Dan F

At the match today. Never heard a goalkeeper as vocal as Williams! She was non-stop.

Thoroughly enjoyable watch and it was amazing how Birmingham probably got out of their half maybe 4 or 5 times in the entire match.

Xuan

Manuela has been quite erratic, so i would go for williams against city. We need to be solid and secure at the back.

Tim Stilllman

I’ve a feeling she will. Joe said he bought her because of her big game experience.

Fun Gunner

Very proud of us again today. We have had more perfect and more clinical performances, but we were really professional today and always had a firm grip on the game. And kept a clean sheet, yay.
I also thought Gut was terrific. She is an all-round CM already.
So happy to see so many of our previously injured players getting minutes. Well done girls and well done Joe for figuring out a way through.

Xuan

i thought Gut really grew into the game and advanced more, which was what we needed against such a deep-lying team. This match will give her confidence.

Peter Story Teller

Shout out for Malin today. Controlled mid-field like a veteran. Extend her contract already! Just one minor observation is that when she spreads the play out wide I wish she would push the ball a yard or so in front of the target player. On several occasions the wide receiver had to stop and wait and in some cases step backwards to collect the ball which interrupted the flow. But when all is said and done she had a good game and has shown hints of how good she can become. Also plaudits to Kim for burying the second penalty.… Read more »

Chrishgooner

Excellent day. Very professional performance from the team on the pitch and from the AWFC and Borehamwood FC staff for making Meadow Park “covid secure” for us fans to be back.
Despite the wayward first half finishing the result was never really in doubt although Brum never gave up and it is good that the competition is getting stronger.
Must echo the other comments that Malin Gut was my POTM and that between them Lydia Williams and Maria made more noise than the other 998 people combined!

Xuan

Birmingham always going to be tricky when you look at their defensive record. Think they will frustrate the other teams too.

Goonersince55

I logged in thinking that I might be the first person to comment on what a good game Malin Gut had – but you’ve all beaten me to it! What I particularly liked was how quickly she grew in confidence. She started off making rather safe passes but soon became much more forceful and enterprising. It’s something her compatriot in the men’s team needs to learn, but I don’t think there’s much hope.

Peter Story Teller

I think the difference is that Malin is considerably more mobile.
With a name like Granit(e) that’s what mountains are made from and the similarities are endless 🙂

Viv the 🐐

Yeah, I wanted to talk about how gut (good in german) Malin was. There was an Interception in the second half, which brought me close to tears, because it just understated how all-around her game is/was/will-be.
The finishing was the only thing letting us down in the first half, but it was clear, when the first one comes in, then it should be safe. I think this game was one of the few reasons, why I was so relaxed at the end of yesterday.
Up The Arsenal!

Marieke

I was happily surprised by Daan. She has this mentality that sometimes comes out where she’s frustrated with herself and lets her head down. The beginning of the season, she was nowhere to be seen, didn’t make an impact. The US game last camp was a disgrace. Duracell Daan was no more. Today, I thought I saw her on a mission. To show that she’s not written off and she’s not going to let Jill take her position and that she can bring a lot of energy, class and skill to the pitch. Let’s hope she’s got her groove back… Read more »

Armchair

A disgrace? Are you talking about DVD’s play in the U.S.-Netherlands match. Actually, I thought she was quite good in the first half. The team–everybody–was not good early in the season.