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Live: Arsenal Score Twice in Stoppage Time to Beat Aston Villa!

  • FT: Arsenal 2 - 1 Aston Villa

  • McCabe rocket draws Arsenal level in 92nd minute before Russo fires in winner deep into stoppage time!

  • Pacheco unmarked to head in opening goal for Villa.

  • Beth Mead comes on in 86th minute for her first appearance in 11 months.

That's it for our coverage from the Emirates Stadium this afternoon! Thank you for following along.


On managing Beth's recovery and returning for England;

"I can't comment on England, I don't see all of the players Sarina sees. For her recovery, she can't just do 15 minutes today and all of a sudden play 90 minutes. It's really important that we manage this process really carefully but that process is not over just because she did 15 minutes today."

On Mead's assist;

"It's huge! Against Liverpool, how many times did Liverpool block shots from us? Having that understanding, thinking about setting up another situation. Beth Mead is incredibly intuitive in that situation. Sometimes you don't have that straight away after an injury but she's Beth Mead! That's what makes special."

On the moment when Mead came on;

"It's special for us but also for her. She deserves that reception, she's had an incredibly difficult year with her injury and her mum passing away. It's so nice to see her back on the pitch being able to perform straight away."

On the quality of the goals;

"The first goal, our ability to press this season hasn't been good enough this season, but we were far better at that today. Victoria won the ball and made an excellent decision setting that situation up, then the quality of the finish is great."

On the substitutions;

"They made a big difference! When we lost Stina at half-time against Villa in May we had no attacking players on the bench. Today we can see in the second half with each change we became a bit more aggressive and were a bit more attacking."

Eidevall is first asked about what made the difference today;

"I think we were far better in our decision-making today. The number of counterpressures we did today far exceeds what we've done so far this season. I think the players were engaging with the crowd and it works two ways. There was a much better energy today than it was against Liverpool."

Jonas Eidevall is coming up and he'll likely be delighted with the late Arsenal comeback. The Gunners desperately needed the three points and dug deep to make the most of a ferocious atmosphere at the Emirates.


Carla Ward is up first. She's not happy with the added time;

"Can someone tell me where the 12 minutes came from? I said it against Liverpool last week where we had 10 minutes, nothing happened!"

On the atmosphere at the Emirates;

"There's always an argument for it, Arsenal fans are unbelievable anywhere. They always make it difficult but we were undone by two pieces of quality and that always makes it difficult."


It's a fantastic result for Arsenal this afternoon. After the pain of missing out on Champions League football and a poor start to their WSL season, they needed something special to get their season on track. Beth Mead was that something special.

The England winger provided a lift to the crowd and send Arsenal fans home happy. Both managers will be speaking to the media in the next few minutes.


FT' - FULL-TIME! What a comeback by Arsenal for their first WSL win of the season! It's a huge result for the Gunners as they look to keep pace with Chelsea and Manchester City. We'll bring you live updates and reaction from the Emirates after a breathless WSL game in North London!

90+14' - WHAT A TACKLE! With Salmon seemingly 1-on-1 with Zinsberger, Lotte Wubben-Moy makes a stunning sliding tackle to keep the Gunners in front!

90+12' - Almost 3 - 1! Foord drives at the Villa defence and finds Blackstenius who turns and shoots, beating van Domselaar but an outrageous block on the line from McLoughlin keeps the visitors in the game.

90+10' - There are still two minutes of added time to go without considering the Arsenal goals. Time for a Villa goal?

90+7' - Rachel Corsie whips a dangerous free-kick just wide for Aston Villa. The visitors aren't out of this yet! They're making a double change, with Mayling and Turner off to be replaced by Aleisha Lehmann and Danielle Turner.

90+5' - RUSSO SCORES FOR ARSENAL!!!!!! The ball rebounds to her on the edge of the Aston Villa penalty area and she hits a low, hard strike straight at van Domselaar but the Aston Villa goalkeeper spills the ball into the back of the net and Arsenal lead in stoppage time!

90+4' - Blackstenius hits the post! She's 1-on-1 with van Domselaar and rolls the ball past the Villa keeper put the woodwork denies her the winner.

90+2' - 1 - 1 KATIE MCCABE WITH A ROCKET!!!!!! McCabe fires across the box into the roof of the net from a ridiculous angle! Game on with plenty of added time to go!

90' - A minimum of TWELVE added minutes! Arsenal continue to pepper the Villa box with crosses but to no avail so far.

87' - Double change for Vill as well as McLoughlin and Salmon replace Blindkilde Brown and the goalscorer Pacheco.

86' - Lucy Parker is in the book for a foul and it's a free-kick for Arsenal about 40 yards out. Not before Beth Mead comes on for the Gunners though after 11 months on the sidelines with an ACL injury. Everyone at the Emirates is on their feet to welcome her back as she comes on for Noelle Maritz! If you heard the roar as she comes on you'd think Arsenal had scored!

84' - Daly is back on and Beth Mead has been called back by Jonas Eidevall. You can almost read the script already...

80' - Now Blackstenius misses a chance! Noelle Martiz delivers a glorious low cross but the Swede can't sort her feet out and fluffs the shot behind her. Rachel Daly then goes down after a collision with Lotte Wubben-Moy.

79' - Just wide! Steph Catley attempts an ambitious header from the edge of the penalty area and it's just wide of the post. The chances keep coming but Arsenal just can't seem to find the back of the net.

78' - Chaos in the Villa box! Katie McCabe fires two shots goalward from ten yards out but both are charged down and it's a corner for the Gunners. The noise inside the Emirates is fantastic!

76' - Jonas Eidevall is rolling the dice with 15 minutes to go; striker Stina Blackstenius is on for central midfielder Lia Walti.

73' - Jordan Nobbs is coming on for Simone Magill for Villa before they take a corner. She gets a round of applause from the Arsenal fans as she returns to the Emirates.

69' - Arsenal work another good move down the right-hand side but the cross from Lacasse is straight at van Domselaar. The quality in the final third has let the hosts down so far.

65' - HUGE CHANCE! Foord turns brilliantly and lashes a shot across goal, hitting the post! Russo then tries to scramble in the equaliser but van Domselaar gets a touch to send the ball away. Will the Gunners get a bigger chance than that this afternoon?

63' - It's a double change for the Gunners but Kim Little is staying on. Victoria Pelova and Cloe Lacasse are on, with Frida Maanum and Amanda Ilestedt replaced. Katie McCabe has swapped to left-back in what is now a back four for Arsenal. They need a big impact from Pelova and Lacasse.

59' - There's a stoppage in play for Kim Little to receive some treatment. She's called back on and immediately spins away from Magill, but Victoria Pelova has been called back from her warm-up. This might be bad news for Arsenal.

57' - Another nervy moment for Aston Villa as Simone Magill fails to clear a cross, knocking the ball to Russo. The England striker gets a shot away on the turn but Magill makes up for her error with a solid block.

53' - Magill floats a dangerous ball in towards Daly but Steph Catley is there to head clear for Arsenal. Villa aren't just going to sit in and protect their lead.

51' - Thankfully Corsie is back on her feet; Arsenal get the drop ball.

49' - Maanum swings a free-kick in from the right and it's cleared to Walti. The Swiss international swings her cross in towards Russo who lashes a venomous volley towards goal. It crashes into the head of Rachel Corsie who sinks to the turf and the physios are on.

46' - Arsenal get the second half underway, looking for a massive improvement from what was a sluggish first half display.

HT' - Half-time at the Emirates, with Arsenal trailing 1 - 0 to Aston Villa. It's been all Arsenal but the header from Maz Pacheco gives the visitors the lead going into the break.

45+2' - Arsenal give the ball away at the back and Rachel Daly thinks about lobbing Zinsberger but her shot skews away towards the edge of the box. Zinsberger wasn't on her goal line, that could've been a chance for the England striker.

45+1' - Four minutes of added time displayed but Rachel Corsie is down for Villa. Maz Pacheco has been shown a yellow card as well; she interfered with the taking of Arsenal's free-kick a couple of minutes ago.

44' - Off the line! Catley swings in a dangerous free-kick towards the back post, which Russo meets. Rachel Daly knocks her England teammate's header off the line and away for a corner. She can do it at both ends!

42' - Russo gets forward down the left wing this time, leaving Mayling and Blindkilde Brown in her dust, but with nobody in the penalty area, she has to shoot from a difficult angle, forcing a simple save from van Domselaar.

38' - Sarina Wiegman is in attendance today. From what she's seen of Arsenal today she might be reconsidering some of her regular picks...

35' - There's a break in play here with a head injury for Frida Maanum after a collision with Lucy Staniforth. Both managers call their players in for a make-shift time out whilst the Norweigan receives some treatment.

33' - Close for Arsenal! Van Domeslaar comes for a corner and punches thin air but the ball bounces wide off Lia Walti. It's not the first let-off of the day from a set piece for Aston Villa.

32' - Carla Ward will be delighted with her side but Arsenal aren't causing enough problems for Villa. The crosses are straight at defenders and sloppy passes are breaking up promising moves.

27' - The Villains are looking for a second straight away; Parker picks out a brilliant cross for Rachel Daly but the header is straight at Zinsberger from the England striker. There's a stunned silence around the Emirates and the Arsenal players seem just as shellshocked.

25' - GOAL FOR VILLA! The corner is swung into the penalty area and Maz Pacheco is completely unmarked to head in the opener! It's against the run of play but what a moment for those Aston Villa fans at the Emirates!

24' - Villa come forward again, this time Daly picks out Magill and Kim Little puts it behind for a corner. There was a loud shout from Zinsberger for the ball but the captain takes no chances.

22' - Arsenal have some defending to do for the first time in the game as Lucy Parker threads the ball wide to Sarah Mayling. Mayling's cross is well-struck but cut out by Wubben-Moy and Arsenal can play out once again.

19' - Penalty shout! Arsenal work a short corner and McCabe goes down under Magill's challenge, asking for a spot-kick, but it's a great tackle from the Villa forward.

16' - McCabe has another go from distance and the deflection forces a dive from Van Domselaar to prevent an Arsenal corner. Aston Villa have barely had a touch of the ball in the last five minutes.

15' - Maanum wins the first corner of the game as her cross is blocked by Sarah Mayling. It floats through the penalty area for a goal-kick.

13' - Beth Mead has come out for a warm-up and the Arsenal fans are on their feet to welcome back the England winger. Lovely moment for her.

11' - Almost 1 - 0! Arsenal spring forward from a goal-kick with Russo controlling the ball beautifully and finding Maanum. It's worked wide to Foord whose cross almost goes in off van Domselaar but Villa scramble the ball away. Let off the visitors!

8' - Kim Little makes a sliding interception to end Villa's first spell of possession in the game. Arsenal are getting the crowd behind them as they patiently look for a breakthrough.

4' - The first shot of the game comes from McCabe but rolls straight to van Domselaar. Villa try to counter but Wubben-Moy gets her foot in to restore control for Arsenal.

2' - Arsenal have started brightly, zipping the ball around the Aston Villa half. The Gunners dominant so far.

1' - Kick-off at the Emirates!

13:55 - Five minutes to go!

13:43 - Under 20 minutes until kick-off in North London and the Emirates is filling up nicely! Around the grounds Manchester City are cruising against Bristol City, leading 3 - 0 in the first half. It's not as comfortable for Manchester United who are being held by Leicester City at Leigh Sports Village. The Red Devils have rotated their squad ahead of their Champions League qualifier against Paris Saint Germain and look to be paying the price!

13:22 - Beth Mead is on the bench for the Gunners this afternoon. Will she make her return to the pitch in front of almost 40,000 thousand Arsenal fans?

Will Beth Mead come on for Arsenal today?

  • Yes

  • No

13:15 - It's a strong line-up from the Gunners, who will be desperate to get their first win on the board this afternoon.

Villa represent a strong opponent for whom Jonas Eidevall has a lot of respect, but he'll be relying on the link-ups between his wing-backs and wingers to break down this Aston Villa side who have already conceded four this season.


Three changes for the Villains from their 2 - 0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend, with Jordan Nobbs on the bench at the Emirates against her former club.


The Gunners make five changes from the side that drew 2 - 2 with Manchester United last Friday, and welcome Beth Mead back to the matchday squad!

12:58 - Aston Villa got the better of Arsenal at Meadow Park on the final day of last season. Can they cause an early-season upset at the Emirates this season?

12:55 - Good afternoon and welcome along to The Woodwork's live coverage of Arsenal's WSL game at home to Aston Villa. We're live from the Emirates Stadium as both sides look for their first league win of the season.

The Gunners started poorly with a shock 1 - 0 defeat here in North London to Liverpool, before a late rocket from Cloe Lacasse rescued a 2 - 2 draw away to Manchester United last Friday.

Villa are yet to record a point this season, also having played United and Liverpool in their opening two games. The Villains were beaten 2 - 1 at Villa Park by Manchester United before losing 2 - 0 away to Liverpool.

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