Five more Gunners got their Euro 2020 campaigns underway over the weekend, with Vivianne Miedema and Stina Blackstenius facing off as the Netherlands and Sweden shared the points with a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane last night.
The pair have struck up a promising partnership since the Swedish forward joined us in January, but Stina began from the bench for the Swedes, who dominated the first period and took the lead on 35 minutes after Jonna Andersen slotted the ball home.
The Netherlands were a different team in the second half, with Viv – wearing the captain’s armband – playing a key role in the equaliser on 55 minutes. Pushing out wide to the left, she produced a moment of magic to beat Amanda Ilestedt before driving towards goal and combining with Danielle van de Donk, before the ball eventually fell for Jill Roord to rattle home.
Stina entered the fray on 70 minutes, with Viv playing the full 90 for the Netherlands and picking up the Player of the Match award in the process.
That result means that it’s all square in Group C, after Switzerland were held to a 2-2 draw by Portugal with Lia Walti and Noelle Maritz both starting for the Swiss.
The duo saw their side race into a 2-0 lead inside five minutes at Leigh Sports Village, after first Coumba Sow and then Rahel Kiwic found the net to leave their opponents with a mountain to climb.
However, Diana Gomes pulled one back after the start of the second half, while a fine finish from Jessica Silva seven minutes later ensured the spoils were shared.
Noelle played the full game for Switzerland, while Lia was brought off deep into second-half stoppage time on what was a landmark day for the midfielder, who won her 100th cap for her country.
Friday evening saw Simone Boye's Denmark slip to a disappointing 4-0 defeat by Germany at the Brentford Community Stadium.
With Simone starting on the bench, Lina Magull gave Germany the lead on 21 minutes, before Lea Schuller doubled their advantage shortly before the hour mark.
The Arsenal No.20 was brought into the action on 70 minutes, but there was to be no stopping a rampant German side as they added two more goals before the final whistle.
The result leaves Denmark bottom of Group B on goal difference following Spain’s 4-1 win over Finland.
Looking ahead, as many as six Arsenal stars could be in action on Monday evening as Group A returns.
Manuela Zinsberger and Laura Wienroither will be aiming to help Austria bounce back from opening night defeat as they take on Northern Ireland in St Mary’s, while Frida Maanum’s Norway take on England at the American Express Community Stadium.
Lotte Wubben-Moy will miss out after testing positive for COVID-19, but Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Nikita Parris will all be in the squad for the Lionesses.
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