Arsenal Women are finally back in business – they’ve won a trophy for the first time since 2016 with their 1-0 defeat against Manchester City in the Conti Cup.
It was a game of two halves, with Arsenal dominant in the first part of the game, while City were all over us in the second half and could/should have scored at least one goal. But heroic and committed defending from the 11 Arsenal players led to a clean sheet and a 1-0 win.
For his first club final, Joe Montemurro surprisingly decided not to choose between his three main central attacking midfielders and put them all on the pitch. He also brought in all the players that had missed out on the international games due to injuries and selected the following team in 4-2-1-3 formation:
Sari Van Veenendaal; Lisa Evans, Leah Williamson, Louise Quinn, Emma Mitchell; Dominique Janssen, Danielle Van De Donk, Jordan Nobbs; Bethany Mead, Anna Miedema, Kim Little (c)
Although we had seen her in the number 6 role in previous game, it was quite a show of faith to play Danielle Van De Donk there and even more bizzare to see Kim Little as a left winger. Kim was actually like a left midfielder rather than a left winger and an auxiliary playmaker alongside Jordan Nobbs, while Bethany Mead was playing like a typical defensive winger on the right wing.
In the end, the tinkering worked pretty well with Kim Little named player of the match and playing well in that unfamiliar left midfield role. Similar to what Zidane was doing in the 2003/04 era with France.