Pre-Match Report

WCL: Gothenburg v Arsenal - Preview

By Joe Brewin

Laura Harvey has warned her players they must not rest on their laurels when Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg begins in Gothenburg.

Arsenal Ladies head to Sweden with a two-goal cushion after their 3-1 victory at Meadow Park last week, when late strikes from Kim Little and Ellen White secured the win.

But while the Ladies have a semi-final place in their own hands, Harvey insists they must remain professional to see the job through.

“We trained yesterday and that is what we have been putting across to the players - we cannot be complacent,” she told

“The biggest shock to the system is if you are complacent and they score early on. That way they would only need one more and they are through so we cannot rest on our laurels. We have to go out there to try and win the game.

“We have to be hard to beat, try to make things hard for them and make sure that when we have the ball we use it in the right way. I think if we can get another early goal then it pretty much puts the tie to bed.”

It was Gothenburg who grabbed an early goal in the first leg after just 10 minutes and Harvey is keen to ensure her side do not allow a repeat.

“It wasn't ideal to concede so early but it was a great reaction from the players,” she said. “I think they knew that we had done alright up until the first goal went in, we just needed to be a little bit more clinical in front of goal and thankfully we were. 

“It is hard because we have only just started our season but we got another game under our belts on Sunday where we looked a bit sharper. Now we are going to make sure that we pick up our tempo because we thought that at times we were a bit sloppy on the ball in the first leg. That is another aim.

“The biggest thing for us is that we constantly look a threat going forward. We can't just sit back and defend for 90 minutes because if you allow a team that luxury then you put the emphasis on them.”

The Ladies continued their strong start to the new campaign with a 3-0 win over Liverpool in the Continental Cup on Sunday and Harvey was pleased to give several players a run-out in the win.

“It has been a great start,” she said. “We know from previous years that the start of the season is always tough because you have some big games. Sunday was a good chance to use some players who haven't had minutes so far and to give a few people a bit of a breather.

“We are looking at a couple of things we think could have worked a little bit better from last week but it's basically the same squad we are bringing out. We managed to give Faye White and Rachel Yankey a few minutes, which has put them in a better position to have an impact in games.

“We are hoping the squad will be in a better position than it was last Wednesday.”

  • You can watch the Ladies' quarter-final second leg here at 6pm (UK time)
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