Thursday, April 25, 2024

Report: Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa (inc. goals)

Arsenal: 1. Zinsberger; 2. Fox, 6. Williamson, 3. Wubben-Moy, 15. McCabe; 21. Pelova, 10. Little; 9. Mead, 12. Maanum, 24. Lacasse; 23. Russo

Substitutes: 14. D’Angelo (GK), 40. Williams (GK), 26. Wienroither, 7. Catley, 27. Codina, 62. Reid, 32. Cooney-Cross, 19. Foord, 25. Blackstenius

Arsenal have returned to winning ways after coming from a goal behind to beat Aston Villa 3-1.

Jonas Eidevall made four changes to the team that lost so listlessly at Chelsea last Friday. Cloé Lacasse and Emily Fox returned to the starting lineup after missing several weeks due to the Gold Cup, while Alessia Russo returned upfront. Meanwhile, there was no Lia Wälti in the squad, with Jonas Eidevall telling Sky Sports pre-match that she suffered a knee injury in training. Frida Maanum came into the #10 position, with Kim Little dropping deeper to partner Victoria Pelova. Finally, there was a return to the matchday squad for Laura Wienroither for the first time since the Austrian ruptured her ACL last May.

First Half

Arsenal started sharply, smarting from last week’s defeat. Within a minute, Arsenal worked a good chance. Fox combined with Beth Mead, who slipped the ball on for Maanum, whof rom the edge of the box dragged her shot wide of Anna Leat’s far post.

Arsenal continued to control the game, and from a corner, there was a half-chance for Little. The ball came out, and her shot took a deflection as it went through the penalty box.

Patient build up play then saw Fox, underlapping, playing in Mead wide. She beat Pacheco, but then had her left shot blocked after delaying taking the hit.

Arsenal created another decent half-chance when Williamson’s long pass set Fox down the right. Her cutback was directed to Russo, but was deflected to Maanum behind her, but the Norwegian’s shot was blocked. Thirty seconds later, Mead’s cross found Russo, but her header was straight at Leat.

Aston Villa then took the lead on 36 minutes. A long ball for Leon was dealt with by Wubben-Moy, but Villa retained possession. Nobbs played Leon in, who had drifted away from Wubben-Moy. Leon cut the ball back to Ebony Salmon, who was unmarked, and tucked the ball past Zinsberger. It was, putting it lightly, awful from Arsenal, with too much space afforded to Villa.

Arsenal couldn’t muster much of a response. Fox, from the edge of the area, took a shot, but it was always rising.

Second Half

Arsenal started the second half with far more purpose (which wasn’t difficult in the circumstances) and got into the Villa box far more frequently in the opening minutes of the half. Mead should have had a free-kick on the edge of the area when Daly clipped her ankles, the referee gave Villa a free kick for a dive.

From the free-kick, Villa once again looked sloppy playing out from the back and Russo forced a turnover, she then had a clear run to the area. Leat parried her shot but only as far as Pelova, who stuck the rebound away with her right foot. Arsenal should have taken the lead on 63 minutes when Beth Mead turned on the edge of the area and found Frida Maanum and the Norwegian’s left footed shot cannoned off the inside of the post and Russo stretched and toed the rebound just over.

The Gunners went close again on 66 minutes as Williamson found Pelova on the edge of the area, shuffled the ball to Maanum who found substitute Caitlin Foord on the overlap, her cut back fell to Fox whose shot was blocked. From the resulting corner, Leat turned over a Wubben-Moy header from close range.

A minute later Arsenal missed an even more presentable opportunity as they piled on the pressure. Mead charged down a clearance, the ball found Russo in the area and her cut back found Maanum who steered a presentable chance over the crossbar. From the resulting roll out from the keeper, Arsenal won the ball back straight away and Mead’s drive from the edge of the area was saved by Leat.

The shots rained down on the Villa goal, it was barely 30 seconds later that a Foord cut back was collected by Russo, she tucked the ball back to Little and her drive was saved by Leat. With 20 minutes remaining, Arsenal threw on Stina Blackstenius for Frida Maanum.

Arsenal forced another big chance as Leat’s clearance was intercepted by Mead, Mead floated a great cross to the back post and Foord connected but Leat made amends by pushing the ball over. From the resulting corner, Pelova’s half volley was then turned over by Leat.

On 77 minutes, Russo’s cross found Blackstenius in the area and her glancing header was just held by Leat. Villa’s luck continued when Fox crossed into the area and Russo’s header hit the underside of the bar. But Villa’s luck finally ran out on 83 minutes when Russo’s lofted cross to the back post was headed home by Lotte Wubben-Moy.

Arsenal got a deserved third goal on 86 minutes when Mead found Blackstenius in the channel, the Swede ran into the area, slipped on the ball but then still clambered to her feet and smashed the ball past Leat via a deflection.

Arsenal nearly added a fourth when a neat touch from Mead set Arsenal away on another break, Fox found Foord over on the left and Foord curled a shot just over.

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Real tale of 2 halves. We were dreadul in the first. Ponderous and not sharp. You wonder what Jonas wanted them to do. And then after the half time team talk almost absolutely in total control. Bags of chances but not scoring; goal keep making great savings. Fortunately the 2nd goal did come. But the first half worries me.


goalkeeper making great saves!!

Al M

The 1st half as ponderous and uninventive.
Maanum was poor through out
Pelova has the quickest and most creative feet and should be number 10 till Viv returns. Whilst McCabe should no longer be a starter and certainly no where near mf.
Leah should be in mf against the weaker teams. One of the few who can pass accurately.
This is a poor Villa team and to struggle against them is damning.


Katie freakin McCabe should not be starting ?!?

Enough said I suppose….

Kinda getting tired of the entitlement attitude of some on here.



100% agree.
I would have Pelova as pur player of the season, but after that Katie would be up there as one of our best performers, along with Lott imo

Peter Story Teller

Katie always performs providing she is not at right back! Not sure who Al M has been watching all season!

Bill Hall

Glad we won, a deserved win but my god we do make it hard for ourselves. Villa score from their only shot on target typical. One way traffic in the second half but with the talent we have and the amount of shots we should be winning that game 7:1. The great Arsenal teams of old would have been in double figures with those chances!
Until we figure out why we struggle to put the ball in the net and rectify it we are never going to win another Premier league title.


First half the girls played like they had just got out of bed, slow build up passing backwards and sideways. Much better in the second half , can’t understand why Blackstenius is not in the starting lineup, 15 goals and very direct.

Peter Story Teller

Join the club mate! Leah ball over the top and let Stina chase it. Do that 2 or 3 times a game and you are pretty much guaranteed at least one goal. It seems at times we have this obsession for the perfect team goal ideology where we need 12 passes from the goalkeeper at one end to the net at the other. Sometimes football can be more simple than that! See an opportunity take it!


Get in!
And looking at the clip for our third goa: is it me or are the complaints between players and referee in the WSL much more civilized than the mens teams?

Gunner H

Our 3rd goal was most certainly dubious, but we had so many more near misses that the final result would have been fairer at around 6 – Nil.

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