By Connor Armstrong at Wheatsheaf Park
Arsenal Ladies came from a goal behind to secure a dramatic win over Chelsea in the Women’s Super League on Sunday.
The victory sees Pedro Martinez Losa’s side move back into third, closing the gap on second-placed Chelsea to just two points in the race for Champions League qualification.
It was not the best of starts for Arsenal though, with the hosts taking the lead in the 10th minute when Alex Scott misplaced a back pass beyond Sari van Veenendaal and into the net.
But, after Jordan Nobbs had twice gone close, Losa’s side levelled one minute before half-time, with Vicky Losada heading past Hedvig Lindahl from a corner.
The victory was wrapped up in the 84th minute, when Danielle van de Donk fired home from a tight angle to earn Arsenal the win and momentum going into next week’s game at Sunderland.
SETTING THE SCENE
Losa made two changes from the side that ran out 2-0 winners against Notts County at Meadow Park last weekend.
Emma Mitchell return to the starting line-up, with Casey Stoney returning to a more familiar role in the centre of defence alongside Josephine Henning.
Dan Carter was also handed a start, with Kelly Smith dropping to the bench.
Former Gunners Jade Bailey, Gemma Davison, Gilly Flaherty, Niamh Fahey and Drew Spence all started for Chelsea, while Rebecca Spencer and Karen Carney were named on the bench for the Blues.
The Gunners endured a nightmare start to the encounter, when captain Alex Scott misjudged her backpass and watched on as the ball rolled over the line to give Chelsea an early lead.
Arsenal responded in stern fashion, though, with Losada and Nobbs combining before the latter saw her effort held by Lindahl in the Chelsea goal.
Sari van Veenedaal reacted superbly to thwart Spence after the Blues forward broke through on goal, before Nobbs once again threatened Lindahl’s goal with an attempt from range.
Arsenal pulled level just moments before half-time, as Losada rose highest at the near post to head home a corner.
The Gunners started on the front foot after the break, causing problems inside the opening two minutes of the second half when Van de Donk fired over after Lindahl failed to keep hold of Losada’s rasping drive.
Van Veenendaal reacted quickly to cut-out a dangerous looking corner from Ji, before moments later denying a thumping effort from the South Korean.
After Aluko smashed a powerful effort against the crossbar, Chelsea looked certain to take the lead when Ana Borges’ cross found Claire Rafferty, but Van Veenendaal came to the rescue once more to deny the England defender at the far post.
Arsenal then punished their opponents when a swift counter-attack culminated in Van de Donk scoring with an expertly-placed finish from a tight angle.
Losa’s side had to endure some late pressure, but held on to secure a vital win.
Referee: Dean Treleaven
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