Thursday , April 18 2024

Report: Aston Villa 1-3 Arsenal Women

We secured a dramatic 3-1 victory over Aston Villa in the Barclays Women’s Super League on Sunday night.

After falling behind against the run of play, we created a host of chances in the second half to turn the game around and score three late goals to get back to winning ways. 

We made four changes to the starting XI that suffered defeat at Chelsea last week, but perhaps the biggest story was Laura Wienroither returning to our matchday squad for the first time since suffering an ACL injury 328 days ago. 

The majority of the first-half played out in Villa’s defensive third as we tried to stretch the play and pull their back-five out of shape, sitting compact around the edge of the area with the support of a narrow midfield. 

Beth Mead’s whipped deliveries were causing problems early on from open play and set pieces with both Kim Little and Alessia Russo coming close, but after committing forward in numbers, we were punished on the break with Villa’s first shot on target. 

Jordan Nobbs played an incisive pass behind our defence to find Adriana Leon and she cut the ball back for Ebony Salmon to fire back across goal and into the bottom left corner. 

We had a shout for a penalty turned down shortly after the restart when Rachel Daly fouled Mead by clipping her boot, but contact was made just outside the area. 

We kept pushing forward with urgency and eventually got back on level terms through Victoria Pelova, who fired home after Russo’s shot was parried out by Anna Leat. 

Frida Maanum then came agonisingly close to giving us the lead from the edge of the area, opening up her body and whipping a left-footed effort back off the post. 

The chances kept on coming and next up Lotte Wubben-Moy’s header was tipped over by Leat, before Maanum fired over with a golden chance and Little’s driven effort was held. 

Leat was in fine form in the Villa goal and she went on to make her two best saves in quick succession, first denying Foord’s volley from close range before before tipping Pelova’s strike over the bar at full stretch. 

But we finally and deservedly made our pressure count in the 85th minute as Wubben-Moy climbed high inside the area to send a powerful header into the back of the net from Russo’s delivery.

After such a long wait to take the lead, we doubled our advantage less than two minutes later through substitute Stina Blackstenius, who found space inside the area to take her tally up to 14 for the season in all competitions. 

We remain third in the WSL table on 37 points, six points behind Manchester City and Chelsea. 

Arsenal XI: Zinsberger, Fox, Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe (Catley 66), Little (c), Pelova (Cooney-Cross 81), Maanum (Blackstenius 71), Mead, Russo, Lacasse (Foord 66)

Substitutes (not used): D’Angelo, Williams, Wienroither, Codina, Reid

Aston Villa XI: Leat, Mayling, Maritz, Patten, Turner, Pachecho (Corsie 64), Dali, Nobbs, Leon (Taylor 90+2), Daly, Salmon (Mullett 81),

Substitutions (not used): Poor, Lehmann, Gregory, Magill, Machpail, Sallaway

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