WSL: Arsenal’s Miedema scores first goal since ACL injury

Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal (obscured) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal
Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal (obscured) celebrates with teammates during the Barclays Women's Super League match vs Liverpool (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

Arsenal continue to chase down Women’s Super League leaders Chelsea after their 2-0 victory over Liverpool. Vivianne Miedema marked the occasion with her first goal since suffering an ACL injury in December 2022.

The Gunners are now third in the WSL, level on points with Manchester City, while Manchester United sit seven points behind in fourth place.

Arsenal were looking for revenge after they were defeated 1-0 against Liverpool at the Emirates on the opening day of the season. Their side remained unchanged from their win against Everton last weekend.

The line-ups: Liverpool vs Arsenal

Liverpool

Laws, Fisk, Bonner, Fahey, Matthews, Nagano, Holland, Lundgaard, Daniels, Van De Sanden, Lawley

Substitutes: Michah, Koivisto, Clark, Hobinger, Kearns, Enderby, Roman.H, Parry

Arsenal

Zinsberger, Fox, Wubben-Moy, Mead, Miedema, Walti, McCabe, Foord, Pelova, Russo, Ilestedt

Substitutions: D’Angelo, Williamson, Catley, Codina, Cooney-Cross, Little, Maanum, Lacasse, Blackstenius

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First half

Arsenal started strong in the first 45 minutes, but their dominant display of possession lacked any quality in the final third. The Liverpool defence dealt well with their opponents’ attacking threat and managed to keep the score level going into the half-time break.

Caitlin Foord and Katie McCabe linked up well throughout the half, along with Miedema, who looked a bright spark in the middle of the field. The best chance of the half came from a corner but the header from Lotte Wubben-Moy was comfortably saved by Rachel Laws. The half ended 0-0 with high expectations for the second 45.

Second half

It was Arsenal who looked more likely to score as the second half began. Hitting the 60 minute mark, a beautiful run from Emily Fox lead to a pass into Miedema, who struck the ball into the net for her first goal since suffering her ACL injury. Despite an unfortunate deflection, the wonder strike was too powerful for Laws to save.

Just nine minutes later, the floodgates had opened up for the Gunners and Foord doubled Arsenal’s lead. A lovely ball in from Russo made it easy for the Matilda to pass the ball past Laws.

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With a two-goal cushion, Arsenal looked to have sealed the game but Liverpool didn’t give up until the final whistle. In the 93rd minute, Mia Enderby drove forward with the ball but Manuela Zinsberger came out big and Enderby’s strike was saved.

The clock was ticking but the Gunners were still searching for a third. Substitute Stina Blackstenius came on looking to make an instant impact. The striker has been in form recently and she almost made it 3-0 but her effort went wide off the post.

The game ended 2-0 to the Gunners. A big three points for Arsenal as they continue their race for the WSL title. Both teams will return to the league next weekend. Liverpool host Tottenham whilst Arsenal make the short trip to West Ham, with coverage live on BBC Two.

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