Joe Montemurro believes there were plenty of positives to take from Arsenal Women’s defeat to Chelsea, and hasn’t given up on the title just yet.
The new Arsenal Ladies manager suffered his first defeat at the club against Chelsea last Sunday.
His side had battled back from falling behind twice in the game before conceding an unfortunate winner.
Montemurro felt the game was a treat for the fans at the Cherry Red Records Fans’ stadium and is taking the positives despite the loss.
“Overall it was a good spectacle for the fans, they got a lot of goals and a lot of action, so it was a great derby to be part of,” he told Arsenal.com. “The fans got their money’s worth, it was an exciting game.
“There were some things which were positive, in terms of how we went forward in certain areas and overall it was a step forward. At this level it’s all about the tiny moments and things that change the game, and that’s what happened.”
The Australian went on to praise his side’s character and how they handled a strong Chelsea side. “It was a great character growth in the team to come back,” he added.
“We were under pressure for the first 15 minutes, and Chelsea are a very, very good, dynamic side going forward. We were under a bit of pressure sometimes and we dealt with it in patches, so for us to then to come back and dominate the game was very, very good.
“I think there has been some great growth in this team in the last few weeks.”
Maren Mjelde had given Chelsea the lead before Vivianne Miedema equalised. The hosts took the lead again through Jemma Rose, but Arsenal responded with a goal from Dominque Janssen.
It was in the 83rd minute when a shot bounced off Arsenal keeper Sari van Veenendaal to give Chelsea the win. The result leaves Arsenal fourth in the Women’s Super League, eight points off Manchester City at the top.
Nonetheless, Montemurro insists the season isn’t over yet, saying: “It’s a long season and remember Chelsea and Manchester City have European and cup commitments, so there’s a lot of football to play.
“They have very deep and strong squads, but there are also some very good teams in the league too, like Reading, who we are playing at the weekend. We’ve seen that they can take points, so this season is not over yet.”
Arsenal will be looking to bounce back against Reading in the Continental Cup before facing them again in the WSL at the end of January.