Arsenal Ladies’ bid for Champions League football took a big hit last night when Man City defeated Liverpool Ladies 2-0 in their postponed game. Arsenal trail Chelsea by five points and City by three with just two games left to be played.
Matchday 13 will see the Gunners away to fourth place Sunderland, a team they struggled to beat at home. This was the infamous game that cost Kelly Smith her season. Coming on as a sub, Smith won a penalty and the game but was brutally injured by Abbie Holmes in the process. She has not played since.
At the same time Man City will be at home to bottom of the League Bristol, which means an three easy points. They will also probably send the Vixens down unless, somehow, Bristol need a win to go into the last day with a chance of staying up.
Chelsea will have a tough game away to Liverpool, so City may well top the league by with 27 points by the time the weekend is over.
On the final day Chelsea will be at home to Sunderland, City at home to Notts County and Arsenal at home to Birmingham. Like last year, the season could see teams finish level on points in which case goal difference is used as the tie breaker.
Chelsea have 26 points and a goal difference of +12, Man City have 24 points with +8 goal difference and Arsenal have 21 points and +5 goal difference. It would be very surprising to see City collapse in the final two games considering their record since the players returned from the World cup reads incredibly impressively, winning 11 and drawing just one of their 12 matches.
Arsenal Ladies’ only chance of silverware (besides qualifying for the Champions League, which is a trophy in itself according to you-know-who) is the Continental Cup, where they will host Manchester City in the quarter-finals.