Pedro Martinez Losa’s side claimed a 1-0 victory over Reading to extend their unbeaten run in this year’s Spring Series and the Arsenal Ladies’ boss praised his players for the result and performance.
Arsenal need to win and hope that both Chelsea and Manchester City drop points this weekend, as they’re a point away from top spot but still have a chance of sealing the title away against Bristol City.
“For me, this is the best match of the season,” Pedro said post-match.
“The difficulties that we’ve had mentally, after a very emotional and competitive game against Man City, it’s a massive step for us as a team. This young team, normally we have been struggling with these kinds of games: more direct, more battling, more compact. For me, this is one of the best performances – a professional performance – of the season.
“We got the result and kept compact when the legs were not maybe working so much. We had the mentality to work right until the end and for us that’s a massive step.”
Danielle Carter netted the only goal of the match before half-time and her team-mates were measured defensively after the break as Reading created a few goalscoring opportunities of their own. Having kept their second successive clean sheet, the Spaniard said: “I’m really pleased for Sari [van Veenendaal] and for the whole team because I think we did a fantastic defensive job. We really made it difficult.
“We didn’t refresh the team too much but we wanted to give confidence to some of our players. For us it was a massive game in front of our fans also. We can still win the trophy, even if it is the Spring Series, we are there still. So I think it was a result under pressure that we want to offer to our fans.”
Anna Patten won the Player of the Match award for her defensive display and Losa was quizzed about his thoughts on her too.
Here's player of the match @PattenAnna with her take on tonight's game
Well played, Anna 👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/3ffzCUoMQd
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) May 31, 2017
“She’s outstanding,” he stated. “I can’t believe the performances that those two kids – Patten and Lotte Wubben-Moy – are putting in on the pitch right now. But especially Anna, in a new position as a right-back. She’s been playing through the system and for England on some occasions as a right-back, but I just think she was definitely one of the best players on the pitch.”
He’ll be hoping for another inspired performance from Patten and her team-mates this weekend as they look to finish the Spring Series with another victory.