Saturday, May 25, 2024

Report: Arsenal 3-0 Leicester City (inc goals)

Arsenal: Zinsberger; Fox (Wienroither 90+4′), Williamson, Catley, McCabe (Codina 90+4′); Pelova, Little; Mead, Russo (Miedema 82′), Foord (Lacasse 82′); Blackstenius (Maanum 66′)
Substitutes: D’Angelo, Williams, Goldie, Reid

Arsenal have qualified for the UEFA Women’s Champions League, beating Leicester City 3-0 in front of a crowd of 42,820 at Emirates Stadium. Beth Mead got a brace for the second straight week, with Alessia Russo also scoring.

Jonas Eidevall made two changes to the team that beat Bristol City. Manuela Zinsberger came back into goal, while Katie McCabe replaced Lotte Wubben-Moy, with Steph Catley moving to left back.

First Half

Manchester United’s draw with Tottenham meant that Arsenal could seal Champions League qualification with a win, and the Gunners started in control. Arsenal were finding space in behind, and Beth Mead had two decent chances. The first came on a counter from a corner, with Blackstenius playing Mead into the box, only to see her delay her shot. The second came with Foord being played in behind, and checking back to find Mead at the edge of the box, with her shot being blocked for a corner.

Zinsberger was called into action on 19 minutes, saving well from Yuka Momiki’s long range shot. From the ensuing corner, Zinsberger claimed well and then sent Arsenal on the counter attack, with Foord finding Blackstenius but the Swede was unable to shoot.

Arsenal took the lead on 28 minutes, with Beth Mead finishing off a wonderful passing move. Leah Williamson played into Beth Mead, and then Arsenal clicked into gear. Mead played into Pelova, who played to Foord on the edge of the box, and then Foord found Mead, who had continued her run, and Mead, in on goal, clinically finished.

Leicester nearly leveled the score on 38 minutes. Rantala slipped Momiki in, and from the byline, the Japanese dinked the ball back into the box. Deanne Rose couldn’t collect to shoot, but Sam Tierney looked to chip Zinsberger, who scrambled back to parry the ball with an outstretched hand.

Second Half

From a throw in, Foord beat Thibaud and was able to get into the penalty box, but her strike was tame and straight at Kop, who saved.

McCabe ran onto a loose clearance and volleyed first-time from the edge of the box, but her shot went over the crossbar.

Foord should’ve made it 2-0. Pelova played Fox in down the right, and Fox’s cross eluded Russo but found Foord in the middle, but the Australian’s shot was straight at Kop. Fox had a chance herself: as Blackstenius drove through on the break, Fox continued her run. Blackstenius found Fox, but the pass went wider than she wanted, and from a wider angle, her shot was straight at Kop again.

Fox would have another effort minutes later. She chopped inside from the right, and from the edge of the box shot left footed, with Kop stretching to parry her effort behind for a corner.

On 66 minutes, Arsenal made their first change. Frida Maanum returned after collapsing in the Conti Cup final, with the Norweigian replacing Stina Blackstenius, with Russo pushing further forward. Arsenal continued to probe looking for a second goal. Fox found Foord in the box, and she laid the ball off for Pelova, whose shot was blocked behind for a corner.

On 75 minutes, Arsenal doubled the lead. Catley stepped forward to intercept a Leicester pass, carried, and then slipped the ball to Russo. Russo shot powerfully into the bottom corner, and beat Kop for her 9th goal of the season.

3 minutes later, Arsenal made it 3. Mead and Pelova combined on the right, and Pelova crossed. Russo met the cross, but from close range, Kop saved. The ball came back out to Russo, and her follow-up was blocked and the loose ball came to Mead, whose little dink from close range settled into goal for her second of the afternoon.

On 82 minutes, Arsenal made a double change, with Cloé Lacasse replacing Foord, and Vivianne Miedema replacing Russo.

On 90 minutes, Lacasse’s cross should’ve created a fourth goal but Miedema missed the cross. The ball came to Mead, who had a shot blocked, and then came back to Mead. She crossed for Miedema, but the cross was just over her head. It came through, though, to Maanum, who stuck out a leg but sent the ball just wide.

In stoppage time, Arsenal nearly conspired to give Leicester a goal back. Mead’s pass for Catley was short, and Catley had to hurried clear. O’Brien collected possession and struck hard, with Zinsberger parrying the shot.

In the 4th minute of stoppage time, Arsenal made their final changes, with Laura Wienroither replacing Fox, and Laia Codina replacing McCabe.

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Pahtotheworld

It had some odd moments. like when Leicester had a free kick in their half, the ball had gone to a part of pitch with no one near it, and a Leicester player ran over kicked the ball off behind our goal.

WayBackWhen

I think she assumed we were playing multi-ball.

Matthinc

Thanks for the detailed match report. Painted a good picture. Really appreciated as I don’t watch many of the games but like to keep track.

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