WSL: Arsenal round off Women’s Football Weekend with Villa win

Lotte Wubben-Moy of Arsenal celebrates scoring a goal
Lotte Wubben-Moy of Arsenal celebrates scoring with teammates during the Barclays Women's Super League match vs Aston Villa (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

A thrilling game under the lights at Villa Park ended Women’s Football Weekend with a bang. Arsenal defeated Aston Villa 3-1 in what was a competitive battle from both teams.

The Gunners remain six points behind Women’s Super League title chasers Chelsea and Manchester City.

Starting XIs

Aston Villa

Leat; Mayling, Patten, Nobbs, Daly (c), Dali, Turner, Salmon, Leon, Maritz, Pacheco

Arsenal

Zinsberger; Fox, Wubben-Moy, Williamson, Mead, Little (c), Maanum, McCabe, Pelova, Russo, Lacasse

How it went

It was a quiet opening 20 minutes at Villa Park. Arsenal started off on the front foot, putting pressure on the Villa defence, but neither team managed to create any real chances. Claims for hand ball against Lotte Wubben-Moy in the 25th minute were quickly shut down by the ref. After 30 minutes, the score remained 0-0.

Arsenal continued their pressure but with Aston Villa set up in a 5-3-2, Carla Ward’s side were able to keep the Gunners out. Despite Arsenal’s aggressive attack, it was Villa who broke the deadlock. Great link-up play between Jordan Nobbs and Adriana Leon eventually found Ebony Salmon unmarked in the box, who slotted it past Manuela Zinsberger.

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The game opened up in the final 10 minutes of the first half, with both teams pushing for a goal. A late chance for Arsenal’s Emily Fox was put over the bar, meaning Villa ended the half 1-0 up.

Being a goal down at half-time, Arsenal had to step up their game. A mistake in the 54th minute from Villa’s midfield was pounced on by Alessia Russo. Anna Leat pulled off a brilliant save but Victoria Pelova was on the rebound and her first time strike was too powerful for the Villa goalkeeper. Arsenal had their goal.

The Gunners turned up the heat following their equaliser. Villa’s defence struggled to deal with their constant attacking threat. With chances from Fox, Wubben-Moy and Beth Mead, it was Arsenal who looked more likely to take the lead.

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Only six minutes remained on the clock but Arsenal weren’t happy settling for a draw. A great header from Wubben-Moy found the back of the net to make it 2-1 to the Gunners. Just two minutes later, Arsenal had a third. Despite a slip in the box and a missed handball, substitute Stina Blackstenius was able to slide the ball past Leat making it 3-1.

Arsenal were looking fourth but the game ended 3-1. After an impressive second half performance, it deemed too much for CWard’s side.

Up next

Arsenal face Chelsea in the Continental Cup next weekend at Molineux Stadium, while Aston Villa host Leicester City in the WSL.

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