Our hopes of retaining the Women’s Super League title took a hit on Sunday as we were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City.
This marks only our third defeat of the season across all competitions and sees us trail the now league leaders by three points, having played 14 games each.
Joe Montemurro made just one change from Wednesday’s 1-0 win over City in the Continental Cup, with Lia Walti being replaced by Jordan Nobbs in midfield - and it looked to be a calculated decision in the opening exchanges, as we pressed high up the field and carved open a number of chances.
First, Beth Mead’s ambitious volley trickled into the gloves of Ellie Roebuck, before Nobbs regained possession on the edge of the area and saw her snapshot deflected wide.
We were in complete control and continued to find ourselves in dangerous positions, but it was the hosts who opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time with Pauline Bremer firing home from close range.
City then went on to double their advantage five minutes after the restart through Lauren Hemp, who met Keira Walsh’s delivery and guided a looping header into the top corner.
This sparked us back into life and Danielle van de Donk swiftly pulled one back on a blistering counter, latching on to a parried save to convert from close range for her 11th goal of the season.
We pushed forward in search of an equaliser and came close once more through the Netherlands international, only to be denied by an outstanding save from Roebuck at point-blank range.
WHAT IT MEANS
We must now turn our attention to the north London derby on Sunday, February 9.
The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 2pm (UK time).
Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.