On a cold and rainy day, Arsenal could not find a way past a stubborn Brighton side and ended with a point in a 0-0 draw with the Seagulls winning the bonus point in the penalty shoot-out at Crawley Town FC.
Joe Montemurro selected a strong side for the Continental Cup tie as he was looking to seal qualification to the quarter finals on the day. There was the usual rotation with players with the least amount playing time this season given a start, with the exception of Emma Mitchell, who was again on the bench.
The team was Peyraud-Magnin; Maier, Williamson, Quinn, Veje; Waelti, Little,Nobbs; Mead, Roord, McCabe and the subs Zinsberger, Mitchell, Beattie, Schnaderbeck, Evans, van de Donk, Miedema
It was a very entertaining game that could have finished 3-3 as both sides created multiple chances rather than 0-0.
Brighton were resilient, compact and defended very well, mixing a high-press and deep defending when under pressure. They also created many clear chances and could have won the game.
Sophie Harris in goal for Brighton had an excellent game. The former Arsenal youngster, who has just come back from a long term injury, was superb and made many crucial saves.
Although we lost in the shoot-out, the other results did us a favor with all three games finishing with a draw:
Here is what the manager said post game about training for a potential penalty-shootout as it might happen again in the next Conti Cup ties and also in the Champions League: “I have never done a training session on penalties all my life”.
This seems quite unusual to me as, when you think of the England teams for example, they always have training sessions on penalties and they even do shoot-outs in friendlies at every youth team level from u15 to u23.
Here is the table (all teams have two games left in the group stage)
- Arsenal 7 pts +9
- Bristol 7 pts +6
- Brighton 5 pts +2
- London Bees 5 pts 0
- London City 2pts -8
- Charlton 1 pt -8
London City and Charlton are not mathematically out yet, but will be next matchday, so that leaves four teams still in for two places.
Arsenal will be at home to Bristol City on Thursday 21 November and at home to London Bees on Wednesday 11 December. A win in one of those two games will be enough to qualify.
A first place finish would be better, of course, as it guarantees a home game in the quarter-finals (if the rules have not changed and the FA are hiding them).
It is now time for the international break and we can hope that the curse will not hit the team again as we seem to get at least one player coming back from international duty with an injury.
The following 18 players have been called up for their national teams and the Euro 2021 qualifiers and friendlies:
GK: Zinsberger (Austria), Peyraud-Magnin (France)
DF: Mitchell and Beattie (Scotland), Schnaderbeck (Austria), Maier (Germany) , Williamson (England), Veje (Denmark), Quinn (Ireland)
MF: Waelti (Switzerland), Nobbs (England), Little (Scotland), van de Donk and Roord (Netherlands)
FW: Evans (Scotland), Miedema (Netherlands), Mead (England), McCabe (Ireland)
The next league match will be the North London Derby at the new White Hart Lane and tickets are still available in the Arsenal end.