10-woman Arsenal fight back to claim point off Man United

Spoils shared but Arsenal fight is ever present!

Another fight back against another team from Manchester sees Arsenal remain unbeaten in the league at home this season!

A sunny yet chilly and windy afternoon set the tone for this game and both teams rose to the occasion. The game was a rollercoaster full of fight, tackles, chances, two goals and a sending off!

But it was Manchester United who took the lead, yet again after an early goal on the 10th minute by Alessia Russo, whose goal chucked Arsenal out of the WSL cup only a few weeks ago and it seemed as though history would repeat itself.

It was an equal game at times but United seemed to have wanted it more and pressurised Arsenal during most points in the game. They clearly had a game plan which was to kill us off in midfield and stop the players getting anywhere near their goal.

And the plan worked as United would find themselves ahead with just 10 minutes on the clock, a Katie Zelem’s corner was whipped in and Alessia Russo leaped highest to head in for 1-0.

United had chances as did Arsenal but in they would go leading 1-0.

Arsenal came out in the second half and continued to pressurise and dominate at times without reward, and luck seemed on their side as they could have been 2-0 down when Ella Toone was through on goal and fired slightly wide with only Manuela Zinsberger to beat. No doubt everyone expected the net to bulge but it didn’t and Arsenal were off the hook.

It seemed like it wasn’t going to be our day though when Katie McCabe was sent off for a second yellow on the 75th minute but it was the 58th minute sub Stina Blackstenius who won the point for us, and after making her debut in the 1-0 loss to United in the cup, she repaid the faith in her boss this time around.

She ran on to a sublime Vivianne Miedema defence splitting pass from inside her own half, and had only the keeper to beat and didn’t disappoint to make it 1-1 with over 10 minutes to play, for her first Arsenal goal, hopefully first of many!

And that is how it ended.

So being down to 10 players and claiming a point against a tough United side, Jonas Eidevalls side will no doubt be pleased with the point and the character and fight shown, but will need to be at their very best to even claim one point from a tougher Chelsea side on Friday and with just five points separating us and them, it will be Chelsea’s to lose as they have two games in hand.

Anything other than a win will not be the end of the world, but will not be the best result but if Arsenal keep up this character and fight then anything is possible!

Shenel Osman

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