Ajax Women v Arsenal Preview – A tough night in store for the Gunners

It was great to see the Arsenal Women destroy Tottenham 4-0 in the Womens North London Derby at the weekend, and that game made a new record of 8 clean sheets in a row in the WSL. The Gunners may be nearly invincible at home in the WSL despite the undoubted quality of opposition, having not lost at home since Feb 2021, but last week in the Champions League Qualifier against Ajax they got a shock.

A very quick and physical Ajax bullied Arsenal from the start and quickly took the lead and we were lucky to get an equaliser against the run of play ten minutes later. At half time Ajax easily looked the better side, but Jonas Eidevall rallied his players and they took control of the second half. A Kim Little penalty gave us a deserved lead, but as the clock ticked down, Ajax upped the pressure and Leuchter got a scrappy second goal to give Arsenal a mountain to climb tonight in Amsterdam.

This game is of the ultimate importance as the winners goes into the lucrative Group Stages of the Champions League, and the hope of winning this prestige trophy, so we will be gutted if we don’t go through, but it doesn’t bode well that when it comes to the Champions League Arsenal haven’t won any of their last 5 games in Europe.

Coach Jonas Eidevall refuses to contemplate defeat and he said in the pre-game presser: “In Champions League, it’s about playing against the best. It’s about being challenged. Of course, it’s so nice of the club that they want to play that in the best stadium as well, the Emirates. So we will do our very best tomorrow in order to go through.

“I just want to win the game. I don’t spend much time thinking about other things and I don’t think I should do either. I went into this game to prepare for us to get the best possibilities to win. I believe that we will win. I don’t think about anything else.”

I think Arsenal improved in the second half last week, and that must give them the confidence to believe they can win in Amsterdam. I’ll be cheering them on from home too, as it is live on Arsenal.com, with Kick-Off at 6pm UK.


Michelle Maxwell

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