Kansas City Current emerge as NWSL playoff contenders
The Current is unbeaten through ten games.
Chelsea 1, Arsenal 1 (Full highlights)
Beth Mead (Vivianne Miedema), 86’
Lotte Wubben-Moy (OG), 90’
In a continuation of what was already a stellar women’s football weekend in the FA Women’s Super League, Chelsea and Arsenal faced off in the much-anticipated London derby. The match found second-place Arsenal vying to move back into first place following a Manchester United draw the morning before. As for Chelsea, a win or a tie in the match meant breaking into the top three in WSL standings.
Here’s how the action unfolded:
Late in a purely defensive first half, Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema came up with the ball in the Chelsea box, settled the ball at her feet, and attempted a shot, only to be met with the blockade that was Chelsea’s defense. The ball was then scooped up by goalkeeper Ann Katrin-Berger to render Arsenal scoreless through 38 minutes of play.
Later, in the 43rd minute, a Chelsea turnover in their defensive third saw Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord intercept the ball and lift a shot from well past the eighteen — the ball struck the crossbar as Berger dove to make the save, bounced up to hit the crossbar a second time, and deflected back into the path of Arsenal’s Beth Mead. Already on her feet again was Berger, however, and the ball was punched out to end Arsenal’s near-scoring drive to conclude the first half in a 0-0 deadlock.
With only 7 shots between the two sides during the first half, scoring the go-ahead goal was a top priority. In the opening minutes of the second half, Chelsea forward Bethany England received a pass outside the eighteen and lofted a shot that sailed just over the crossbar. England has been a key contributor for Chelsea this season, scoring three goals and recording two assists in five appearances for the club, but she couldn’t find the back of the net on this one.
Still scoreless after 72 minutes of play, Chelsea began knocking on the door in hopes of gaining the upper hand over their opponent late into the match. Ji So-Yun slotted a cross into the box, looking for Sam Kerr, but the ball was cleared to the feet of Pernille Harder. Harder attempted to finish the close-range shot but was denied by Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger.
Finally, Arsenal got the scoring opportunity they had been vying for all game — in a showcase of her speed and ability on the ball, Vivianne Miedema streaked past Chelsea’s defense to play in a cross, finding Beth Mead in the box. Sliding to meet the cross, Mead scored to give Arsenal the 1-0 advantage in the 86th minute.
Only for a moment did it seem that Mead’s goal had won the match for Arsenal, as Chelsea quickly transitioned into a counterattack. With Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy hot on her back, Pernille Harder took the ball to the goal line, attempting to play in a cross from the right wing. An unfortunate series of events would follow for Arsenal, as the cross deflected off of Wubben-Moy and looped into her own goal — tying the game at 1-1 with only 5 minutes of stoppage time left to play.
As the final minutes ticked away, Sam Kerr fired a shot that fell just wide of the net, nearly logging the game-winner for Chelsea but coming up short.
The match ended in a 1-1 tie as both squads secured a point. With the result, Arsenal remains in second place with 16 points, and Chelsea breaks into third place with 14 points. Still well within reach for both teams is the first place spot in the WSL standings, as Arsenal takes on Birmingham City and Chelsea faces off against West Ham on December 6th.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester United @ 7:30 a.m. EST
Everton vs. Manchester City @ 8:00 a.m. EST
Arsenal vs. Birmingham City @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Chelsea vs. West Ham @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Tottenham vs. Brighton & Hove Albion @ 9:00 a.m. EST
Reading FC vs. Bristol City @ 9:00 a.m. EST
The Current is unbeaten through ten games.
Menzies replaces Scott Parkinson as interim head coach.
The Reign will honor Olympique Lyonnais at halftime of their game Sunday.
Daly announced her move to Aston Villa in August.
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