Post-Match Report

Report: Arsenal Women 3-1 West Ham United

AWFC celebrate Jordan Nobbs' equaliser

West Ham United Women -

Mangata Pay UK Stadium, Meadow Park
Barclays Women's Super League
Barclays Women's Super League
  Arsenal Women
Arsenal Women
3 1
  West Ham United Women
West Ham United Women

On a Sunday evening at Meadow Park, we became the first Women's Super League side to ever reach 13 consecutive wins after victory over West Ham United.

After falling behind for the first time all season, Jordan Nobbs showed up with her second wonder strike in as many games to equalise. Goals from Stina Blackstenius and Frida Maanum in the second half settled our nerves and helped us secure a difficult three points.

What happened

Boss Jonas Eidevall made five changes to the side that beat FC Zurich in the Champions League on Thursday, with Manuela Zinsberger, Lia Walti, Frida Maanum, Caitlin Foord, and Stina Blackstenius returning to our starting XI.

We made a slow start to proceedings but we weren't without some near misses. Katie McCabe, on her 100th WSL appearance, unleashed a powerful strike from outside the area but it narrowly missed the target and settled on knocking a spectator's coffee out of their hands. 

There were early warning signs that Dagny Brynjarsdottir's aerial ability would cause us problems in the box after her header on target warranted a quick save from Zinsberger. 

When the Icelandic international did pop up with her fourth goal of the WSL campaign, however, it was on solid ground. A mix-up at the back led to a goalmouth scramble and Brynjarsdottir was able to bundle the ball over the line to put the Hammers ahead on 35 minutes. This goal put an end to our record-breaking clean sheet run after we reached 10 consecutive WSL games without conceding a single goal. 

A nasty knock to captain Kim Little, who had been dominating the centre of midfield during the first half, forced us into an early change and Jordan Nobbs replaced her. It took no time at all for Nobbs to announce herself to the sell-out crowd at Meadow Park, with a rocket through a crowded West Ham penalty area to give us an equaliser just before half-time. 

Our Gunners shook off their shaky start and took the game to the visitors after the break. A classic long-range free-kick from Steph Catley was whipped into the penalty area in the 52nd minute, and Stina Blackstenius was there to volley it into the net and put us ahead for the first time. 

After settling into a more self-assured rhythm, we dominated possession and looked sharp going forward. Eventually, a lofted ball from McCabe found Frida Maanum waiting to pounce and the Norwegian's header past Sophie Hillyerd was her second WSL goal of the season.

West Ham United refused to let the game go completely, however, and would have scored in the final minute were it not for an impressive double save from Zinsberger. There was also a chance to get our fourth well into stoppage time but Maanum was cruelly denied her brace by a defiant crossbar. 

What it means

Our five wins from five in the WSL weren't quite enough to send us to the top of the table, as Manchester United lead purely on goal difference. 

The demanding playing schedule takes a hiatus this week and we're not back in action until next Sunday, when we travel to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. 

Team news

Starting XI: Zinsberger, Maritz ('71), Wubben-Moy, Catley, McCabe, Walti, Little ('40), Maanum, Mead, Blackstenius ('71), Foord ('71)

Substitutes: Marckese, Beattie, Wienroither ('71), Reid, Nobbs ('40), Miedema ('71), Iwabuchi, Hurtig ('71), Agyemang 

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