Joe Montemurro thinks Arsenal Women can still catch Manchester City in the WSL title race, and feels the Gunners did enough to win their league clash against Reading.
The Arsenal manager thought the Gunners improved in the second half, after a careless opening period, saying: “I thought the second half was very good,” reports Arsenal.com.
“In the first half we struggled to find our rhythm and the distances got a little bit long. We just didn’t take care of the ball well in the opening 45 minutes. But following the break I thought we did enough to win the game.”
The Australian first talked to the media about the clean sheet. Despite the obvious disappointment of not managing to break the deadlock themselves, the Gunners at least avoided any major mistakes at the other end.
Montemurro says this was largely down to the team’s setting up well defensively, adding: “I suppose it’s important not to concede goals and that’s the main thing defensively. Structurally we were pretty sound.
“They got through on rebounds and follow-throughs, but they didn’t really break us, per se. Look, it’s always a positive not to concede, but if we were to find some continuity and get into our rhythm quicker it would be better for all.”
The 48-year-old then explained what went wrong to stop the team picking up a valuable three points. Arsenal now sit 10 points behind Manchester City, and the odds of a title challenge look increasingly long.
Montemurro gave his opinion on how the Gunners could avoid further slip ups in future. “Part of the game is finishing your chances and that’s an important skill,” he said.
“To have the coldness to do it and finish teams off is something you need to learn. You have your good days and you have your bad days, but as I said I thought the opportunities were there to win it.”
As for those chances of ending the season with a league title, Montemurro stayed positive. He told the club website: “I don’t think we’ve gotten past the halfway mark yet. So I think it’s a little too early to tell and we’ll keep fighting for it to the end and believing to the end. There’s a lot of football to be played and we’ll come out and perform.”
Arsenal currently sit in fourth place, four points off Liverpool in third and eight off Chelsea in second. It’s already looking like a massive task to overtake all three clubs ahead of them. Then again, now is the perfect time to turn things round.
Manchester City and Chelsea play each other on Thursday, and the Gunners’ next game is against Liverpool. Arsenal could find themselves back in with a chance or out of the running after those two games.
Hopefully it’s the former.