Thursday evening marked the first ever competitive meeting between Arsenal and Southampton, and the two sides certainly delivered. The Saints hosted their Women’s Super League competitors on the south coast in the latest round of Continental Cup action.
Prior to this match, Southampton found themselves second in their group after a penalty shootout win against Bristol City. On match day two, they beat Reading 1-0 thanks to a later winner from Lexi Lloyd-Smith.
Arsenal found themselves in third, two points behind the Saints, with one less match played. They had previously beaten Bristol City 3-1.
It was good news for Arsenal fans to see Vivianne Miedema return to the bench after a small knock suffered against Leicester. However, Stina Blackstenius was absent this evening due to a knock picked up at the weekend.
Rendell; Mott, Parnell, Peake, Purfield, Kendall (Peplow, 70′), Griffiths (Primus, 70′), Morris, Pike, Wilkinson, Dean (Lloyd-Smith, 45′).
D’Angelo; Catley, Beattie, Codina (Ilestedt, 45′), Maritz, Walti (Cooney-Cross, 61′), Kuhl, Maanum, Hurtig (Miedema, 61′), Russo (Foord, 45′), Lacasse (McCabe, 77′).
How it went
In the sixth minute, Lina Hurtig had a chance which curled wide, and moments later Alessia Russo saw her attempt blocked by Paige Peake. Southampton also put in some dangerous crosses in the first 45, but overall, it was a half of little chances for both teams.
The Saints took a shock lead in the 55th minute following a stunning hit from Molly Pike, who has now scored in her last two matches. However, they were unable to maintain this lead as Arsenal scored four minutes later.Embed from Getty Images
The equaliser came after Huritg’s pass was deflected into the path of Frida Maanum, who finished calmly at the near post.
Chances were still few and far between for both teams in the second 45, until the 92nd minute. Arsenal won a corner, and Maanum picked out Amanda Ilestedt who headed home. This marks her first goal since joining the Gunners in the summer.
Southampton did have a chance to level the game again after Arsenal failed to clear the ball. It fell to Pike who took the shot but unfortunately for the Saints, it was an easy save for Sabrina D’Angelo.
Even though the result was not what they wanted, Southampton will be thrilled to have seen a record crowd of 13,438 in attendance.
Who is up next?
Arsenal will hope to continue putting pressure on league leaders Chelsea this Sunday as they take on West Ham United. This match can be watched on the FA Player with kick off at 2pm.
Similarly, Southampton will be looking to keep their hopes of promotion alive with a win over Durham on Sunday. The Saints currently sit in third and are only one point of the top spot.