The Arsenal Women opened their season with a late 3-2 win, twice coming from behind and ending the game with 10 players after Louise Quinn was sent off.
Arsenal started the game brightly with Jodie Taylor missing two open goals, hitting the post once, early on before Birmingham opening goal on the break from Ellen White, reports BBC Sport.
But after Arsenal went behind, Taylor finally found her shooting boots when sent through from the right by Samuelsson, and back came the clinical finisher from the 2017 Euros for the equaliser.
In the second half, Mead struck the post with an effort from distance, before Birmingham went ahead again, courtesy of Ellen White with a ferocious shot.
It went from back to worse with Louise Quinn, who came on as sub, sent off for denying Ellen White a goalscoring opportunity. But strangely enough, Birmingham decided to defend deeper despite the extra player advantage and were punished twice.
Evans equalised on her debut for the club following a one–two in the penalty area which resulted in a calm, side-footed finish.
Then Arsenal were awarded a debatable penalty for a handball, with the ball hitting the hand of a Blues defender from a cutback on the right wing.
The referee, who had been quite inconsistent with fouls and bookings during the game, gave the penalty which Taylor duly dispatched it to win the game for Arsenal – 3-2 at fulltime.
The three points were needed as Chelsea and Manchester City started the new season with a 6-0 and 4-0 win respectively. Arsenal travel to face visit to City next Saturday.
Arsenal team against Birmingham City Ladies: Sari Van Veenendaal; Jessica Samuelsson, Josephine Henning, Dominique JAnssen, Heather O’Reilly; Leah Williamson, Jordan Nobbs, Danielle Van De Donk; Danielle Carter, Jodie Taylor, Bethany Mead.
Substitutes used: Louise Quinn for Dominique Janssen (69), Lisa Eveans for Danielle Carter (69), Emma Mitchell for Jessica Samuelsson (82)
Substitute not used: Anna Moorhouse, Jemma Rose, Taylor Hinds, Alex Scott
Goalscorer Jodie Taylor spoke after the 3-2 victory over Birmingham City Ladies, saying: “I’m happy with the three points, especially after the way the game went. We went a goal down and a player down. The odds looked against us but the girls showed a lot of grit and determination.”
Taylor also reminded us why the previous seasons title challenge did not go well, especially in a short season league like the FA WSL. “The quality we’ve got in our team is immense. Historically we haven’t started seasons very well.”
There was also mention of patience and trying to stay in the game and wait for an opening against a then very defensive side protecting their lead.
“It was just a case of staying patient and waiting for that one moment. The way the game was going, we were always going to have a say in it.
“You never know what’s going to happen and that showed today, as we got a penalty in the last minute. It was just a case of staying patient, staying focused and knowing a chance will come.”