By Connor Armstrong
Arsenal Ladies were held to a goalless draw by Birmingham City on Wednesday night after keenly-contested encounter at Solihull Moors.
After a fast-paced opening, the Gunners went close as Vicky Losada and Natalia threatened to call Birmingham goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger into action.
The best chance of the game came in the opening three minutes of the second period, when Asisat Oshoala raced through on goal before being denied by a sprawling save from Berger.
Fara Williams forced a save out of the hosts’ goalkeeper with a powerful free-kick, before efforts from Williams and Emma Mitchell went wide of the target.
The game ended goalless, as both sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Setting the Scene
Jemma Rose dropped to the bench in the only change from the side that beat Sunderland 5-1 on Saturday.
Pedro Martinez Losa opted to call upon Josephine Henning to replace Rose at the back.
Oshoala was passed fit to start again despite limping off at the weekend, while Marta Corredera and Natalia Pablos Sanchon also lined up in attack.
Meanwhile, Birmingham named two former Gunners in their starting XI, with Freda Ayisi and Melissa Lawley both lining up against their old club.
In a frenetic opening spell, the first chance of the game fell to Lawley, but she could only drag a low effort wide of the foot of the far post.
Arsenal’s first effort came in the 13th minute, when Losada lashed over after a corner from Corredera had been punched away by Birmingham stopper Berger.
Losada again threatened again soon after, but this time fired over with an audacious effort from 25 yards.
Lawley then got in behind the Gunners' backline but, as she looked to combine with Ayisi, Casey Stoney stepped in to clear the danger.
Three minutes before the interval Natalia latched on to a loose ball, but her looping effort dropped wide of the target.
The Gunners started the second half in the ascendancy, coming close to making the breakthrough when Oshoala raced through on goal before being denied by the onrushing Berger.
The Birmingham goalkeeper then pulled off another vital save soon after, palming away a fierce free-kick from Williams, before Mitchell sent a drive wide of goal from long distance.
Andrine Hegerberg then gave Arsenal a scare after she was left unmarked, but her headed effort sailed over the Sari van Veenendaal’s crossbar.
With the game entering the final 20 minutes, Williams tried her luck again but could only drag an effort wide of goal from 20 yards.
With time ebbing away, two of Losa’s second-half substitutes combined when Jordan Nobbs saw an inviting cross headed just over the far side of the goal by Dominique Janssen.
That was the final chance of note, and the Gunners had to settle for a point from a hard-fought clash.
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.