Thursday, June 13, 2024

Report: Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa (inc. goals)

Zinsberger; McCabe, Williamson (c) (Codina 63′), Wubben-Moy, Catley; Wälti (Little 80′), Cooney-Cross; Mead (Foord 63′), Maanum (Lia 90′), Russo (Pelova 80′); Blackstenius
Substitutes not used: Bouhaddi (GK), Williams (GK), Earl

Arsenal are through to the final of the Conti Cup after a comprehensive 4-0 win over Aston Villa at Meadow Park. Arsenal scored all four goals in the first half, with a goal from Frida Maanum and a hat trick from Stina Blackstenius.

Jonas Eidevall made four changes to the team that beat Tottenham, with Leah Williamson replacing Laia Codina, and Kyra Cooney-Cross, Frida Maanum, and Stina Blackstenius coming in for Victoria Pelova, Caitlin Foord, and Kim Little.

First Half

Arsenal started brightly and could’ve been ahead within a minute. The ball was played over the top by Katie McCabe for Blackstenius, whose cutback found Russo on the hand side of the penalty box, but she  was unable to finish.

The strong start would pay off, as Arsenal took the lead on 9 minutes. Mead played to Maanum, who prodded the ball thorugh for Blackstenius to run onto and then finish powerfully beyond Anna Leat. 1-0.

Two minutes later Arsenal doubled their lead. Mead’s cross to the backpost was headed back towards the penalty box by Russo, where Blackstenius met the ball and smashed the ball into the roof of Leat’s net. 2-0.

Two minutes later it was almost 3. Mead’s counterpressing won the ball back, and she slipped the ball to Maanum down the inside right channel. Maanum’s cutback was beyond Blackstenius, but Sarah Mayling cleared it before it could reach Russo.

Arsenal would make it three on eighteen minutes. A fast break saw Maanum set Mead away down the right, and she set the ball back to Maanum, whose first time shot from the edge of the box curled into the far corner beyond Leat. 3-0.

Arsenal were piling on the pressure, and only a save from Leat stopped the Gunners from making it 4-0 from a set piece. From another set piece, McCabe’s shot struck the crossbar, though Leat probably had it covered.

Villa did carry some threat, with Corsie’s deep cross requiring McCabe to clear ahead of Hanson. But Arsenal remained dominant and looked likely to score the fourth, and it would come shortly, with Blackstenius would finish off her hat trick. From a set piece, Corsie headed the ball but didn’t clear, and from the left, Wubben-Moy played the ball back in for Blackstenius, who headed home. 4-0.

Arsenal’s efficiency in the half paid off, with five shots leading to four goals.

Second Half

Villa, who had to replace Kirsty Hanson in the first half, made a second change at half time, with Simone Magill replacing Alisha Lehmann.

Arsenal thought they’d scored a fifth, when Catley, after being slipped in down the left by McCabe, set up Maanum for a tap-in, but the offside flag went up.

At the other end, McCabe’s intervention prevented Villa with a good chance, with her clearance just going over Zinsberger’s goal.

With 63 minutes gone, Eidevall made a double change. Laia Codina replaced Leah Williamson, making her first start after a hamstring injury, and Caitlin Foord replaced Beth Mead.

With Arsenal sitting off more in the second half, Villa began to have more of the ball, with Nobbs testing Zinsberger from range.

With 10 minutes to go, Arsenal made a double change, with Kim Little replacing Lia Wälti and Victoria Pelova replacing Russo.

Pelova almost made it five when she picked up a Villa clearance and sent a shot goalbound with her left foot, only for Patten to block it behind for a corner. Pelova then had another good chance. Foord beat Pacheco, and set Pelova up 10 yards from goal, but Pelova fired well over goal.

Eidvell made his final change on 90 minutes, with Vivianne Lia getting a couple of minutes of stoppage time as a substitute for Maanum.

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They did what they had to do. Enjoyed it.


It’s such a shame that it’s difficult to find a way to watch women’s matches, especially overseas. If the FA really wants to promote the women’s football, they need to facilitate the access to the streams…

Peter Story Teller

I thought they set up FA Player to do that but it seems daft to then geographically lock it!


Not all games are on the FA player… Sometimes it’s on sky (we’re screwed overseas), BBC channels (same)… The easiest way is when a game is streamed on the arsenal website. But it’s rare. So most of the time I’m searching through dubious sites to catch a game. If it’s too tedious, I just give up like today


Yeah, it sucks. The FA player used to be wonderful when I first started following circa 2021. Baffling that they would start to show less games there since viewership skyrocketed.

I have a dodgy site where I go to watch (don’t know if it is allowed to share here).

Tim Stillman

It comes down to rights, as the broadcast rights grow and mature, the FA Player has less agency. It has basically achieved its purpose now which was precisely to make the games easier to see and to create a broadcast market. But this one also complicated by the fact it’s a different competition and nobody has the rights to the Conti, so the semis go out to tender individually. Ultimately it has travelled in the same direction as the men’s game, which is very far from frictionless, with different channels and subscriptions.


I was able to watch via FA Player in Colorado, USA
for what that’s worth

Peter Story Teller

More enjoyable game than at the weekend not just for the result but for the speed and intensity of the play. Villa are not a team to stick two rows of five in front of goal and it cost them. Now our girls just need to create movement and momentum like that with teams that do simply try and block the goal rather than the ponderous play it around in front of them tactic for 80% possession and no shots on goal!

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