The unexpected draw between Reading and Chelsea combined with Arsenal’s win against Sunderland is a big boost for their hopes of Champions League place.
While Arsenal did the job with three good goals, Chelsea drew 2-2 at Reading, conceding a last-gap own goal to drop two precious points.
Arsenal played another system on Sunday using a 3-4-3 formation: Moorhouse; Rose, Quinn, Janssen; O’Reilly, Nobbs, Van de Donk, Mitchell; Carter, Mead, Miedema.
During the game, Williamson came on for Van De Donk, Evans replaced Miedema and James was introduced for Nobbs.
Louise Quinn opened the scoring for Arsenal:
— The FA WSL (@FAWSL) November 12, 2017
Before Anna Miedema scored Arsenal’s second with brilliant shot:
And a splendid Jordan Nobbs free-kick put the game beyond doubt:
Chelsea Ladies’ game against a tough opponent like Reading was sandwiched between two difficult Champions League games against Swedish side Rosengard.
The squad rotation policy by Emma Hayes did not work out on the day, due to the last-minute goal, opening a small door for Arsenal Women.
In the meantime, Manchester City got a relatively easier game at home to Bristol City. City’s game was also sandwiched between two tough games against Norvegian side LSK Kvinner.
However, City 4-0 win means they are now top of the WSL, five points ahead of the Gunners and also 11 goals ahead on goal difference.
The gap between Chelsea and Arsenal is now three points only, but Chelsea still enjoy a 16-goal difference advantage, meaning Arsenal need four points to overtake them.
The upcoming head-to-head league games against the top two teams will be crucial for the Gunners. They will probably need to grab all nine available points to make sure of finishing in the top two.
Arsenal will also have to avoid dropping points elsewhere unlike what they have done so far this season.
- Chelsea v Arsenal, Sunday, January 7, 2018
- Arsenal v Chelsea Sunday, April 1
- Arsenal v Man City, Sunday, May 13