It was a game of mixed emotions in the FA Continental League Cup on Wednesday night, as we secured a dramatic 5-4 penalty win over Tottenham Hotspur after drawing 2-2 in 90 minutes.
The result saw us claim a bonus point and bragging rights over our north London rivals, but it also saw our journey in the competition come to a frustrating end.
Lia Walti and Leah Williamson impressed on their 50th and 150th games for the club respectively, while Lydia Williams produced a number of vital saves on her debut.
We’d beaten Tottenham twice already at Meadow Park this season - and once again, we wasted no time in asserting our dominance.
Pressing high up the field with Katie McCabe and Leonie Maier as attacking wing backs, we forced the visitors to retreat and duly opened the scoring inside 11 minutes.
Kim Little was surrounded, but kept her cool and played a scooped pass over Tottenham’s defence for Vivianne Miedema to find the bottom corner.
Danielle van de Donk then had a fine chance to double our advantage, heading Katie McCabe’s delivery wide at the far post, before a heavy touch from Caitlin Foord let her down inside the penalty area.
We dominated the opening 45 minutes, but with the introduction of Alex Morgan at half-time, Tottenham forced their way into the game and equalised on the hour mark.
Ria Percival was played through on goal and controlled the ball on her chest, before finishing coolly past Williams.
We fought back and eventually restored our lead through Caitlin Foord, who finished Leah Williamson’s inviting delivery at the far post, but there would be one last twist to the tale.
With less than two minutes remaining, we found ourselves under pressure and failed to clear our lines, creating a goalmouth scramble that saw Shelina Zadorsky send the game to penalties.
McCabe, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Jennifer Beattie and Caitlin Foord all scored from the spot for us, but Tottenham were also flawless, ensuring sudden death for the fifth round of penalties.
Lia Walti remained unphased, though, and made no mistake in finding the bottom corner, before Morgan fired high and wide, gifting us the bonus point.
WHAT IT MEANS
Our players will now head away on international duty, but open their return, we’ll face Birmingham City in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Sunday, December 6.
Copyright 2023 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.