Images taken by Tia Thorne - Twitter handle: @tiathornee
On Saturday 19th, Arsenal were back at the Emirates Stadium, as they looked to continue their unbeaten run in the WSL, and maintain their top of the table position.
Opposition came in the form of the team who were sitting in third place in the WSL, Manchester United.
Manchester United have started the season very brightly. Despite succumbing to Chelsea before the international break, Manchester United have been seen by many as a team who can challenge Arsenal and Chelsea for the WSL title this season. They not only have the iconic forward partnership of Alessia Russo and Ella Toone, but they also have England’s number 1 in Mary Earps.
The first half was a very cagey affair, with both teams limiting each other to minimal chances.
It was Parris who first came closest, but her chance unfortunately blazed well over the crossbar.
The visitors were the ones to eventually break the deadlock. Hayley Ladd’s cross went over Zinsberger and the Arsenal defence to find Ella Toone, who volleyed it into the back of the net.
Arsenal came back fighting after the break. Frida Maanum went on an incredible run and her long range shot deflected into the goal, off Maya Le Tissier, bringing the Gunners level less than a minute into the second half.
Photo: Tia Thorne
Arsenal grew into the game as the second half progressed, with Stina Blackstenius coming close to a quick second for Arsenal.
Frustrations got the better of United manager Mark Skinner, as he joined Nikita Parris in the referees book.
Miedema showed off her dribbling skills as she danced into the penalty box. It was cut out by Batlle but only as far as McCabe, who whipped it across the box and found the poaching run of Wienrother. It was the Austrian’s first goal for the club, and she made sure it was well beyond the reach of keeper Mary Earps.
Photo: Tia Thorne
Manchester United were not about to back down though. Zelem’s free kick found Milly Turner, and her header rattled off the crossbar, with Zinsberger unable to do anything to stop it.
Turner’s goal set up a nervy end to the game for both teams, as they both looked to take that next step towards the WSL title.
Both Caitlin Foord and Lucia Garcia came close, and Martha Thomas pulled out an incredible save from Zinsberger as the game entered seven minutes of injury time.
The save from Martha Thomas’ shot led to a corner for the visitors, and just like a couple of minutes earlier, United jumped the highest and Alessia Russo put the visitors back in front, with 5 minutes of the game left to play.
It was Russo’s header that was to be what won it for United for the end, earning herself the player of the match award.
Manchester United were the underdogs in this game but they proved to everyone that they are here to compete this season. The red devils have ended Arsenal’s long unbeaten run and have proved they are title contenders.
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Wienroither, Wubben-Moy, Catley, McCabe, Walti, Nobbs © (58), Maanum, Mead (98), Foord (94), Blackstenius
Subs: Marckese, Beattie (94), Maritz, Reid, Miedema (58), Iwabuchi, Earl, Agyemang (98)
Manchester United: Earps, O.Batlle, Blundell, Toone, Zelem ©, Galton (71), Ladd, Le Tissier, Turner, Parris (79), Russo
Subs: Baggaley, Thorisdottir, Tounkara, Boe Risa, Moore, Staniforth, L.Garcia (71), Thomas (79), Williams