Arsenal Ladies claimed their first trophy under Pedro Losa with a 3-0 victory over perennial cup runners-up, Notts County Ladies, who were also defeated in the FA Women’s Cup final back in August.

ROTHERHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Arsenal Ladies FC celebrate defeating Notss County Ladies FC 3-0 to win the WSL Continental Cup Final between Arsenal Ladies FC and Notts County Ladies FC at The New York Stadium on November 1, 2015 in Rotherham, England. (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)
ROTHERHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Arsenal Ladies FC celebrate defeating Notss County Ladies FC 3-0 to win the WSL Continental Cup Final between Arsenal Ladies FC and Notts County Ladies FC at The New York Stadium on November 1, 2015 in Rotherham, England. (Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images)

Jordan Nobbs scored a brace and Chioma Ubogagu added a late third goal to give the Gunners a comfortable victory against a Notts County that was reduced to ten players mid-way through the first half when Laura Bassett was sent off for a rash challenge on Vicky Losada.

Alex Scott and Danielle Carter (injury) were not selected in the squad and Pedro Losa selected the following starting 11 in the usual 4-3-3 system:

Van Veenedaal, Janssen, Stoney, Rose, Williamson, Bailey, Losada, Nobbs, Corredera, Pablos Sanchon, Yankey. Kelly, Ubogagu and Sampson came on as subs while Byrne, Wubben-Moy, Humphrey and Allen were unused subs.

Notts County were on top of the game and missed a couple of chances before Jordan Nobbs’ opening goal. After a triangle passing skill  down the right, Nobbs went on the run and took advantage of Greenwood and Turner’s lack of pace, went all the way and put the ball past Telford.

Then came the moment that defined the game : Bassett’s sending off. She went to tackle Losada, probably got the ball with her left foot coming from behind and did a scissor kind of move with her right foot.

In the interpretation of the Laws of Game chapter 12, you can read why she was sent off : any players who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind, using one or both legs with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.

A player who is guilty of serious foul play should be sent off and play is restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the offense occurred.

You can see the referee’s position on the video and from her angle Bassett comes at full steam and hits Losada. It looks harsh but well within the remit of the law 12.

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As I have been complaining for years about referees being way too lenient and not applying the laws of the game correctly, I cannot really complain about that decision, especially when it favours the Arsenal.

Most of the referees in England tend to operate on the opposing scale of Jane Simms today, with some of them likely to not give a free kick here, while others would probably give just a free kick. A few might have given a yellow card. But a red card was certainly an unexpected decision, despite being a correct application of the laws of the game. Every decision is subject to the referee’s interpretation.

Then Jordan Nobbs added a second goal, just before half-time as a ball was badly cleared down the middle, she unleashed a rocket from 25 yards that Telford could not prevent from finishing in the back of the net.

Chioma Ubogagu added a third with a solo run right at the death to give Arsenal a 3-0 win and another trophy.

This is their fourth continental cup win in five seasons.

In the end, it was an important victory for the team as they had a good season, with a great improvement compared to the previous but had nothing to show for having missed on a Champions League place.

That trophy will give them the belief that they can compete for the title next season once some quality players are added to the squad during the winter transfer window.

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Following the Arsenal Ladies since 2004/05. Arsenal LFC season ticket holder since they appeared in 2006/07. Likely to be found watching women's football every week-end all over England... and the world. I am also a silver member