Friday, June 21, 2024

Report: Arsenal 1-3 Chelsea (inc. goals)

Zinsberger; McCabe, Williamson, Wubben-Moy, Catley (Fox HT); Pelova (Maanum HT), Wälti (Cooney-Cross 72′); Mead, Little (c), Foord (Lacasse 57′); Blackstenius (Russo HT)
Substitutes: Bouhaddi (gk), D’Angelo (gk), Fox, Codina, Reid, Cooney-Cross, Maanum, Lacasse, Russo

Arsenal’s slim title hopes are now completely over after a harrowing 3-1 loss to Chelsea. A team that, because of a sock issue, ended up looking like Manchester United played very much like Manchester United Women, with Arsenal second best all over the pitch.

Jonas Eidevall made three changes to the team that beat Aston Villa in the Conti Cup semi-final. Victoria Pelova, Kim Little, and Caitlin Foord returned to the side, with Frida Maanum, Kyra Cooney-Cross, and Alessia Russo dropping to the bench, meaning that Stina Blackstenius kept her place.

Kickoff was delayed to a kit clash, with Arsenal’s home white socks proving an issue, with Arsenal eventually changing to Chelsea’s alternate socks. After Chelsea tried to ease their PSR woes by making Arsenal buy change socks, the match was ready to kickoff.

First Half

Chelsea started the better of the teams, with James, playing as Chelsea’s striker, having two shots in the opening 90 seconds–the first blocked by Wubben-Moy, the second going well over. Chelsea were starting Sjoeke Nüsken not at centre back, as many predicted before hand, but as the #10, indicating that Chelsea were looking to press Arsenal from the front.

Chelsea were on the front foot, but with Arsenal’s first real attack of the game, Wubben-Moy’s switch found Mead, who laid the ball back to Little whose shot was probably going wide, but Hampton pushed wide for a corner. From the corner, Arsenal eventually worked the ball to Leah Williamson, who slipped Catley down the right, with her shot saved comfortably by Hannah Hampton in goal.

Chelsea took the lead on 15 minutes. Arsenal gave the ball away in midfield, and the ball ran to James. James carried on, and while initially held up by Catley, she got her shot away. Zinsberger parried with her hands, and the ball looped up and over the line.

Chelsea got the second on 21 minutes. James was again central to the move, beating Wälti, and playing the ball wide to Reiten. Reiten dug out a chipped cross, and Catley allowed Kaneryd to get ahead of her and play the ball back to Cuthbert. Cuthbert shot, and Nüsken, lurking behind Williamson but onside, redirected the wayward shot into the net.

Arsenal won a free kick from a good position on 25 minutes, but Mead’s shot was miles over the bar.

Chelsea got the third on 32 minutes. Again, Arsenal gave the ball away. Williamson’s cross field pass from a free kick was intercepted by Kaneryd. With Catley forward for the free kick, Kaneryd ran and ran, and then took a shot, which Nüsken deflected into the goal, again. It was unbelievably unlucky, but also incredibly poor from Arsenal, who were completely disorganized playing the free kick.

McCabe was booked for fouling James on the edge of the area after Pelova was dispossessed in midfield, and from the free kick Reiten hit the top of the netting. At the other end, Arsenal could not get going. With the size of Chelsea’s lead, they could sit off in a mid block, and deny space in behind.

Mercifully, the half time whistle blew without the score getting worse, and while Chelsea’s goals were all rather average and flukes, they’d pulled Arsenal apart in the buildup, with the Gunners unable to handle James or the movement of Kaneryd on the Chelsea right.

Second Half

Eidevall made three subs at half-time. Frida Maanum, Emily Fox, and Alessia Russo replaced Pelova, Catley, and Blackstenius.

Arsenal had to start well, and McCabe, now playing left back had a sighter after 90 seconds.

It was Chelsea, though, who had the first real opportunity of the half. Neat interplay between Nüsken and Kaneryd saw Kaneryd streak through on goal, but Zinsberger was quick off her line to smother the shot and keep the scoreline down.

On 57 minutes, Eidevall made a fourth change, with Lacasse replacing Foord.

Zinsberger made another big stop, with James played beyond the ragged defence, but shooting straight at Zinsberger. Zinsberger then made another save from Kaneryd. Fox was beaten by Reiten, whose cutback found Kaneryd, who was wide open to shoot, but didn’t beat Zinsberger.

Eidevall made his final change on 72 minutes, with Cooney-Cross replacing Lia Wälti. But Arsenal just could not get going in any attacking sense. Even when Arsenal got a decent chance, like when Maanum collected a loose pass in the Chelsea midfield and could slip Russo in, Arsenal were technically deficient, with Maanum’s slack pass getting cut out.

On 86 minutes, Arsenal got a goal back. McCabe’s corner was cleared to Little, and her shot took a deflection off Macario and beat Hampton. 3-1.

Russo then had a chance from the edge of the area, but her shot was low, and Hampton was able to save. There would be time for a Maanum shot from range, and another Zinsberger save before the whistle blew.

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Not good enough. There is so much talent in this team yet Chelsea had so much space at times and we looked so toothless. Jonas needs to go. This team is too good to finish third with a nothing title challenge

Jonas out


Spot on he is a dreadful coach.


Oh well, here’s hoping City women win the league, now that we cannot do it ourselves. Tired of seeing Chelsea trudge away with it every year!


Honestly Abu Dhabi sponsered City are hardly better. Mainly because of the association with the men’s team as well. Honestly if we don’t win the league I don’t care who does. Hopefully Chelsea will be weaker next year when Hayes goes


Understand this. Guess I do not really detest City women’s teams as much as I do their men’s team and Chelsea.


second best all over the pitch is right. It was a dreadful and weak performance from the first minute to the last.

Peter Story Teller

I have tried to think of some positives but truly there weren’t any. If I had been at home I would have missed this game because it was on Sky in the UK but at the moment I am in Norway and it was shown live on the TV in my hotel room so I had to endure the whole match!
Onwards to the 31st but our players better shake themselves up for that game!

Salvador Berzunza

the positive here is, Emma shows us how to play when you don’t have a #9 like Sam Kerr ( our strikers are different both) she put a 442, with a double line of 4, overcrowding midfield and first third. But Guro and Kneryd fast enough to cover the wings also, the two strikers LJ and Nusken, attack using the interior channels, very effective against our defense, also keep our wingers neutralized, Jonas subbed off players but didn’t change tactics, very predictable for Emma. We need to try to play like that, we don’t have Bunny Shaw or Alesandra Popp,… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

As you say we have good players it is what they are being asked to do that is the problem together with my old chestnut of playing reputation instead of form. The Aussie duo on the left are both not performing at the moment for whatever reason so bench them. Meado is a favourite but 2 or 3 games now she’s been not performing. Has she tried to do too much too soon after the ACL? I don’t know rest her.I would have put Emily right back with Cloe in front of her, Katie left back with Lessi in front… Read more »

The Friends of Mr Cairo

Very very disappointing. I think our season was derailed from the start when we were knocked out of the CL in the qualifying round. That really affected the players who had gone so close to reaching the final last season. So we were left with the mundanity of the 3 local competitions. Losing at home to Liverpool on the opening day of the season was the first alarm bell, particularly when no team has lost more than 2 games in a season when winning the Title. Yes we had injuries to contend with, but so did City and Chelsea. We… Read more »


We have to win the Conti Cup, there is no other option. That’s our entire season resting on that game. Jonas has got to be out the door, the players we have and the performances he produces in a must win game? He has to be sacked. The only positive is we have secured top 3 as no way Liverpool or United catch us. Small wins but the CL next season is all some of these players have to look forward to and probably the dangling carrot that got them to sign for us in the first place. And get… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

As for your last point it is sad but true. Manu has improved considerably but she is far too flat-footed and is often rooted to the spot. If she dives and cannot reach the ball at least she made an effort but how many times do we have to watch her stand still as the ball flies past into the net. If she was ever going to get that sorted out she would have done it by now. I just do not see why Jonas trusts her so much. I would say if Bouhaddi was playing tonight 2 of those… Read more »


Not true: You can blame Zins on the first goal for a weak block on a hard shot, but the other two were certainly not on her.

Peter Story Teller

Her weight was on the wrong foot for both of the deflected goals so she didn’t dive. At least if you dive it might still go in but you have made an effort. Standing and watching it pass you by is not good enough and it happens time after time! I think Bouhaddi would have saved the first and she would have got something on the third. Not that it matters now as the whole team were awful but moving forward I cannot understand why Jonas thinks Manu is No 1.


In the second half she did save James’s effort when she was 1v1 as well as 2 or 3 other efforts from all the times Chelsea got through. But I do think she is more of a backup keeper if major trophies are the goal

Peter Story Teller

Going back to a discussion on here the other day, and I’m not sure if the commentary on the game was the same in the UK but there was quite clearly a shout from the bench of “Manu” at which point she immediately fell to the floor clutching her ankle while the ball was out of play on the half way line. If referees are going to allow time outs then we should make it official and write it into the rules otherwise feigning injury is tantamount to cheating regardless of the reason behind it.


Very difficult to take any positives from that match (did feel there was an improvement when Emily came on). But why did so many play so badly? When they came on for the warm-up – and I don’t think this is just hindsight – I felt there was a lack of focused energy which made me say to myself “this isn’t going to go well”. After the socks delay and the first moves of the match, my worst fears were realised. When you’re low behind the goal, it’s very difficult to follow what’s going on at the other end of… Read more »


Our team was so disjointed that the game was so painful to watch. When I saw the lineup, I was quite surprised that Emily didn’t start at right back. A couple of minutes into the game, I started to wonder why Leah started as she seemed to struggle for pace! I expected some changes at halftime with Leah being subbed but what do I know! I wondered why JE subbed Caitlin instead of Beth! Chelsea was quite physical and sharp; we were playing as if we were entitled to win without putting up ANY effort. So sad!!


Playing the left-footed McCabe at right back has never worked well, and I’m shocked a coach is still doing it. Perhaps with Fox just back from international duty, Eidevall felt he didn’t have a choice. But It’s a counter-productive move.

Peter Story Teller

Emily was probably our best player and only played half the game! She should have started with Katie on the left instead of Steph. Start with your best team and if we have to change later so be it but we might still have been in the game.


Comfortable win for Chelsea who had to play James as a striker because they had 3 strikers injured. No Millie Bright as well. Comfortable victory for them.

Barry Byrne

Poor night. Too easy to blame Jonas on this, he ain’t convincing but the effort from the players was dreadful. When you get Ian Wright posting his annoyance at lack of fight you know it was a bad one. On a positive note the occasion was great for WSL, fans especially Gooners in the Shed were brilliant, and refused to let the performance beat them, which was great to see. We move on but this summer we need changes both on and off the pitch.


The fight starts with the manager, Eidevall is soft and is making the team soft. He needs to go.


It seems to be the same story every season for Arsenal Ladies.
With this team and the quality throughout they should be better than just challengers.
Perhaps it is time for a new direction…


That’s the big question, how can Jonas not get a team with so many top class players, to perform at a better level. It was an awful start to the season going out of CL in qualifying but to come 3rd in the league and maybe without a trophy again…it’s not good enough and its time for Jonas to go.


Disappointed 😞


But not unexpected?

Gunner 1975

It seems to me that, on the one hand, the Arsenal club hierarchy and the fans are in a hurry to position the women’s team as a dominant force in the women’s game, while on the other hand, the manager and the majority of the girls are not ready. Hence the club has some big decisions to make in the summer. For me, I think we should go after the Barcelona women’s manager who is stepping down in the summer. At least he’s a proven winner and we are hungry for success. What could possibly go wrong?☺️

Peter Story Teller

I think the players are ready but I am beginning to have doubts in the coaching staff. The games where we have played well, the reverse fixture for example, are now looking like flukes as we have even been struggling against middle of the table downwards clubs.


Tim Stillman might be the biggest bore in Futbol. I can’t remember the last diatribe of his I finished reading. His screen grab explanations are total crap.

Tim Stillman

What is this even in reference to?

Peter Story Teller

Were you playing in the team on Friday night, Tim? It looks like all the nutters are out to get you this weekend!

Peter Story Teller

So don’t read them at all then! Simples. This blog is for discussing the women’s team and the matches not for making personal attacks on others especially when you are attacking the person who makes this blog what it is which is an enjoyable discussion platform for the fans


I have never been an advocate of the ‘Jonas out’ campaign but sadly l think lm moving that way (although who we could get to replace him is another problem) because l cant see how a squad with so much talent and strength in depth still can’t produce the goods when its needed against our biggest rivals or even against lower opposition. It doesn’t make sense. So it can only be down to the coach?

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