Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal: Women’s Super League – as it happened

The Guardian
The Guardian

9.47pm GMT

Here’s Suzanne Wrack’s report from the Academy Stadium.

Related: Tobin Heath’s late strike gives Arsenal crucial point at Manchester City

8.42pm GMT

Full-time: Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal

What a stunner from Tobin Heath. Arsenal looked buried, City in control and may rue not putting away the league leaders to pull themselves into the WSL title race. Khadija Shaw looked to have won it on a night Leah Williamson, sadly, came off with an injury. Arsenal stay two points clear at the top.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Arsenal Women 11 25 26
2 Man Utd Women 12 14 24
3 Chelsea Women 10 21 22
4 Tottenham Hotspur Women 12 2 21
5 Man City Women 12 10 20
6 Reading Women 11 1 19
7 West Ham Women 11 4 17
8 Brighton & Hove Albion Women 12 -4 16
9 Aston Villa Women 12 -18 13
10 Everton Women 11 -10 11
11 Leicester Women 13 -19 6
12 Birmingham City Women 13 -26 4

8.39pm GMT

90+6 min: City’s Keira Walsh commits a tactical foul on Kym Little to stop an Arsenal attack, to rage on the Gunners bench. City hold firm for Arsenal’s attack and then go down the other end, only for the ball to be cleared, and that’s it. All done.

8.37pm GMT

90+4 min: Such an important goal for Arsenal, and City stopped in their tracks. Surely one more chance will come but who will it fall to?

8.36pm GMT

Goal! Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal (Heath, 90+2)

Chaos descends in the City area. Mead tries to force the issue, and the ball falls to Tobin Heath, who crashes the shot under Keating, the 17-year-old keeper will be disappointed.

Arsenal’s Tobin Heath (right) scores. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA
Heath celebrates. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

Updated at 8.52pm GMT

8.34pm GMT

90+1 min: Six minutes added on, though not sure quite where those came from.

8.33pm GMT

90 min: Arsenal get a free-kick when Little is barged over. They can launch it into the area. Weir booked for kicking the ball away. Heath gets on the ball, and it drops to Miedema who turns and shoots, the ball bouncing behind for a throw.

8.30pm GMT

88 min: Mead attempts a solo attack but gets crowded out, and City have time to make a change. Off goes Stanway, and on comes Laura Coombs.

8.29pm GMT

87 min: Hemp’s performance has Arsenal pinned back down their right-hand side. Then Little is robbed by Stanway down that same channel. Weir shoots from the edge of the box and the ball comes off Zinsberger. Arsenal cannot get out.

8.27pm GMT

85 min: Hemp down the wing, plays in Stanway who goes down. Penalty? Not given but that looked a foul.

8.26pm GMT

83 min: Yellow card for Miedema in fouling the effervescent Lauren Hemp. Yes, Arsenal are getting frustrated.

8.24pm GMT

81 min: Tobin Heath has not been able to get involved, and is penalised for a foul. Arsenal getting frustrated.

8.22pm GMT

79 min: Some big names on the field now, this is high-level stuff and City look the stronger, on course for five league wins in a row.

8.20pm GMT

77 min: City could have made it two. Stanway plays the ball through to an open Hemp, with time but taking too much time. Zinsberger comes out to make a fine block.

8.19pm GMT

75 min: City are slowing the game down, taking time over throw-ins and the like. This would be a big win for Gareth Taylor, who is shouting from the sidelines. Some of us are old enough to remember him playing for City; he was OK, better than Bob Taylor.

8.16pm GMT

74 min: And here comes Ellen White, on for Bonnie Shaw the goalscorer.

8.14pm GMT

72 min: Arsenal sub. Nobbs goes off and on comes Blackstenius, the big signing.

8.12pm GMT

69 min: Penalty claim for Arsenal. No, Hemp made a fine tackle though Mead took a whack by kicking the ground where the ball was supposed to be. She’s limping badly, the night going from bad to worse for Arsenal? No, Mead makes a quick recovery.

8.10pm GMT

67 min: That’s a huge goal in the title race. Arsenal’s slide is in danger of continuing.

8.09pm GMT

Goal! Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal (Shaw, 65)

The ball comes off the referee and eventually makes its way to Hemp, and Shaw slots home, just before she was due to be subbed off. There’s an Arsenal protest about the ball changing direction, but they didn’t defend that well enough. There’s a booking wielded to Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall.
Khadija Shaw scores. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters
Shaw celebrates scoring their first goal. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters

Updated at 8.29pm GMT

8.07pm GMT

64 min: City stepping it up now, with Alex Park, perhaps their most dangerous attacker, again to the fore.

8.06pm GMT

63 min: Arsenal make a double change. Walti on for Maanum, and Heath on for Parris.

8.04pm GMT

62 min: Panic at both ends. Bronze is beaten down the left, Houghton misses the ball and Keating can only claim the ball at the second time of asking. Then Jess Park speeds away on the break, and there’s panic in the City area.

8.03pm GMT

60 min: Arsenal stepping it up? Looks that way. Perhaps Losada’s departure has opened up a gap in midfield. Keating has been by far the busier keeper.

8.01pm GMT

58 min: Jordan Nobbs escapes down the left from a fine Arsenal passing move, but Keating makes a save. Miedema is yet to get much of the ball in dangerous areas.

7.59pm GMT

57 min: Caroline Weir comes on for City, Losada going off.

7.58pm GMT

55 min: Hemp comes back to win the ball from old teammate Parris, and then gets a kick for her troubles. Parris gets a booking.

7.55pm GMT

52 min: City a bit more exercised in this half but suddenly Beth Mead escapes, and has her shot blocked by Keating. Chances at both ends.

7.52pm GMT

49 min: The closest we’ve come! Vicky Losada finds space, and whips a shot just wide of goal.

7.49pm GMT

47 min: More injuries? Lucy Bronze and Beth Mead collide, Mead coming off worse but OK to come back on.

7.48pm GMT

46 min: The bad news for Arsenal is that Leah Williamson is off, the good news is that new signing Rafaelle Souza comes on, the Brazilian making her debut.

7.32pm GMT

Half-time: Manchester City 0-0 Arsenal

Very even stuff, with both teams working hard but also lacking the quality in attack to find a way through. And both defending well, too. All to play for.

7.31pm GMT

45+1 min: Two minutes added on and Katie McCabe, who has been very active, is on the deck after a knock. She doesn’t stay there for long, being Katie McCabe.

7.30pm GMT

45 min: Bronze forces a corner as McCabe comes across, the ball whipped in by, of course Alex Greenwood, after it is taken short, and Houghton can’t get enough purchase on her header.

7.27pm GMT

43 min: Some very calm play at the back from City. Too calm? Probably but they got the job done.

7.26pm GMT

41 min: The good news is that Leah Williamson seems to be doing OK after that scare.

7.23pm GMT

39 min: Free-kick for City, off the left, Greenwood chips in and Bronze heads behind.

7.22pm GMT

38 min: City try to calm things down with some passing. It’s been lively, and both teams seem happy with a slight breather.

7.21pm GMT

36 min: Hemp tries to win a header but it comes off the top of her head and loops over.

7.19pm GMT

34 min: McCabe will be out of the next Arsenal game with suspension, and will miss the Brighton game. Worse news: Leah Williamson is hurt, and is receiving treatment. She is stretching her quad, ominous considering her muscle problems but tries to get back out there soon enough.
Arsenal’s Leah Williamson receives treatment. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

Updated at 8.13pm GMT

7.17pm GMT

32 min: The ref has the book out, and McCabe, who escaped a booking not long since, gets a yellow, as does Lauren Hemp. They got a bit heated after a foul. Hemp really not happy.

7.16pm GMT

30 min: Arsenal pushing on with far more pressure right now. But City do seem to have their measure in defence. Parris and Miedema almost link up but the ball is played a little too hard.

7.12pm GMT

26 min: Kym Little does some Kym Little things, and Stokes has to come across to stop Miedema getting a clear hit on the ball. Keating, the youngster, is being well protected in City’s goal.

7.10pm GMT

24 min: Park is looking lively down that right flank, and she drifts a cross into the middle and Arsenal have to close down the danger. No Ellen White to step in and slot that in.

7.07pm GMT

22 min: The best attack of the game so far, Jess Park seizes on a pass from Hemp and has space to shoot having warded off Mead but the shot flies miles wide.

7.05pm GMT

19 min: Keating again involved as Miedema threatens, Arsenal then win a throw in City territory but choose to play the ball back. Their usual dynamism has been a bit lacking here.

7.03pm GMT

16 min: The book is out now, and it’s Stanway has a yellow for a high tackle. Can’t really argue with the decision.

6.59pm GMT

14 min: City, looking to relieve some pressure, and McCabe is lucky to not get booked for a mid-air foul on Georgia Stanway as they attack. Greenwood’s free-kick into the box is cleared. McCabe gets back to clear. Eventually, it comes back in and Lauren Hemp’s low header is easily saved.

6.57pm GMT

12 min: Keating again involved as she speeds out to leather the ball out of danger, coming across Bronze to do so. City’s defence, despite all their experience, do seem a tad lacking in communication.

6.55pm GMT

10 min: Keating redeems herself by clawing the ball away from a Mead effort.

6.54pm GMT

9 min: Chaos as City goalkeeper Keating comes out and misses the ball, leaving Steph Houghton confused, and having to smash away with Arsenal players hacking away at the loose ball. A full-on communication breakdown but they get away with it.

6.51pm GMT

7 min: Zinsberger very cool in possession as she is hunted down by City’s forwards. They are pushing on now, and Arsenal will not be having it all their own way.

6.50pm GMT

5 min: There was a brief lull in play while the referee checked the ball was sufficiently pumped up. It appears it was, as City begin to come into it, playing some nice passing football.

6.49pm GMT

3 min: McCabe 0n the overlaps balloons the ball out, in an attacking start from Arsenal.

6.47pm GMT

2 min: Zinsberger, the Arsenal goalie, seems to have begun the game as an auxiliary sweeper, with Williamson ahead of her such a controlling player from defence. Both teams like to play from the back.

6.45pm GMT

1 min: And away we go in East Manchester, as the players take the knee and the visitors kick off.

6.43pm GMT

The teams take to the field , with blue flags waving in the corner. Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton in that City defence make this such a tough assignment for Arsenal.

A stat from Opta.

  • Manchester City have won their last four home WSL matches against Arsenal, scoring 11 goals across these victories. Their last home defeat against the Gunners was back in May 2017, a 1-0 defeat.

6.38pm GMT

Charles Antaki gets in touch, with some firm but fair analysis. “It feels like both Arsenal teams have been firing on minus one cylinders for the last month or so, but with Leah Williamson back for the women there’s the chance for a bit of redemption. Being top of the WSL is the only thing going for the club at the moment; win this one and the team pushes away from the following pack and the light brightens. Miedema might even decide to stay.”

A few of the issues Charles touches on can be found in this piece.

Related: Problems mount for Eidevall as WSL leaders Arsenal hit the wall

Updated at 6.40pm GMT

6.36pm GMT

Those teams again.

Man City Women: Keating, Bronze, Houghton, Greenwood, Stokes, Losada, Walsh, Stanway, Park, Shaw, Hemp. Subs: Coombs, Scott, Beckie, Angeldal, White, Weir, Mace, Pilling.

Arsenal Women: Zinsberger, Maritz, Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe, Maanum, Nobbs, Little, Mead, Miedema, Parris. Subs: Rafaelle, Beattie, Walti, Boye Sorensen, Schnaderbeck, Stenson, Blackstenius, Wienroither, Heath.

6.34pm GMT

The hardest-working woman in show business , having hotfooted it from Eastlands, is in Leigh, and will be filing a report. Keep warm, Suzy.

6.31pm GMT

It looks icy in East Manchester tonight , and Leah Williamson, back in the Arsenal team, is going through her paces in the warmup. A big player to have back, and in defence from where she led England in October.

6.15pm GMT

Big result from Manchester United earlier, with Suzy Wrack reporting.

Having been unable to string together back-to-back victories since the team’s opening two games of the season, taking in all competitions, United are now six games without a defeat. It’s a feat they have not achieved since a run of six wins completed their 2018-19 season in the women’s Championship, in what was the team’s first season after it was relaunched by the club.

Related: Leah Galton seals emphatic WSL win for Manchester United against Spurs

6.04pm GMT

Jonas Eidevall, the Arsenal manager, spoke to the Guardian ahead of this game.

I wouldn’t say that I would experience any problem with the spirit. We know what we need to do better, we know what we need to develop and I feel we’re all very committed to carrying on with that.”

We only got to see a glimpse of Tobin [Heath] before she was injured. The way we played at home at Hoffenheim was our best performance [of the season] and she was a big part of that.”

Viv Miedema is perfect with her movement. She has real moments of high quality on the left. However, we are playing the ball towards her where there is no space or numerical superiority. On those occasions, we need a much better support structure.

6.00pm GMT

Some pre-match quotes from Lucy Bronze, per Sky Sports.

I think we’re all excited that we’re playing at home against Arsenal. We know that we play well at home with the style that we like to play. We’ve got a lot of players back fit and the team’s ticking well at the minute. Arsenal are probably struggling compared to the form they had the last time we played each other - they were flying and were the team to beat and were doing so well.

We’re quite confident and we know we just need to keep picking up three points and pulling ourselves up the league table slowly but Arsenal are going to be desperate to get points out of the game because they’ll want to keep that top spot.

5.55pm GMT

The teams

Updated at 5.58pm GMT

5.45pm GMT


Arsenal, the league leaders, have had a poor 2022 so far, having lost both their games so far this year, a shock loss to battling Birmingham and then an FA Cup final loss to Manchester United. Last week, Covid struck and Reading were unable to field a team, and so it’s back to Manchester to get the ship righted. City, having retained the services of Gareth Taylor when speculation he could be sacked during an early-season slump, have had a rare old January, scoring 17 goals and letting in just one in four matches played, part of 25 goals in six consecutive wins, which is one hell of a revival. Arsenal are still a point clear at the top of the table, but second-placed United have played two games more. Chelsea’s draw with Brighton has come in handy, too, and also for City, who can draw level with Emma Hayes’ team by completing a seventh successive win. Big game this one.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Arsenal Women 10 25 25
2 Man Utd Women 12 14 24
3 Chelsea Women 10 21 22
4 Tottenham Hotspur Women 12 2 21
5 Man City Women 11 10 19
6 Reading Women 11 1 19
7 West Ham Women 11 4 17
8 Brighton & Hove Albion Women 12 -4 16
9 Aston Villa Women 12 -18 13
10 Everton Women 11 -10 11
11 Leicester Women 13 -19 6
12 Birmingham City Women 13 -26 4

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