Arsenal defeated Liverpool 1-0 to keep pace with Chelsea and Manchester City who hammered Birmingham 6-0 and Bristol 5-0, respectively, away from home.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal shoots and misses during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on November 24, 2019 in Borehamwood, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal shoots and misses during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on November 24, 2019 in Borehamwood, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)

For this must-win game, and the third in a week, Joe Montemurro selected the expected starting 11, except for one position with Jill Roord instead of Lia Wälti. It was a classic 4-3-3 with Zinsberger; Evans, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe; Little, Roord, Nobbs; Mead, Miedema, van de Donk.

Liverpool mixed it up with a semi-high press combined with deep defending from time-to-time. They did not parking the bus at all, something you expected from the side at the bottom of the table.

They nearly scored when Sophie Bradley hit the post from a set piece and she threatened a few times throughout the game.

Arsenal were in control for most of it, however, and scored from a counter-attack when Roord superbly sent Vivianne Miedema through and she rifled a low shot past Anke Preuss.

Overall, it was not the best Arsenal performance, but the three points are in the bag and that’s all you want when you are not as fluent as usual. It looks like the three-games-in-a-week schedule took its toll. Some players seemed tired and not as sharp as usual and with our game based on ball possession and build-up play, that ended up restricting play.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Beth Mead of Arsenal shoots and misses during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on November 24, 2019 in Borehamwood, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Beth Mead of Arsenal shoots and misses during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on November 24, 2019 in Borehamwood, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)

It was interesting to note that we created good chances on the break and from turnovers, when Liverpool were higher up the pitch, while we struggled a bit more when they defended deep.

Overall, it was a solid performance on the back of two wins in our previous games. There is a now a full week’s training to recover and prepare for the next league game against Bristol, who we recently beat in the Conti Cup.

In terms of the league table, the Gunners still trail Chelsea by a point and are level with City, albeit with an inferior goal difference. Surprise package Everton are only three points behind us with United six points behind.

At the foot of the table, it is ‘as you were’ with the bottom three teams losing against the top three teams. Liverpool ended with a positive result in terms of goal difference as the other sides around them got battered, but they are still rooted in last place in the table.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Rinsola Babajide of Liverpool and Leonie Maier of Arsenal battle for the ball during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on November 24, 2019 in Borehamwood, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Rinsola Babajide of Liverpool and Leonie Maier of Arsenal battle for the ball during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Meadow Park on November 24, 2019 in Borehamwood, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)

Their manager Vicky Jepson was positive that they would not be relegated though: “I’ve got no worry whatsoever and neither have the players,” she said after the match. “It’s too early to talk about the table. We’ve got a tough run now, but we’ll be OK this season because we’ve got too much quality.”

Liverpool have one point so far, two points behind Birmingham who have a game in hand and also two points behind Bristol. Brighton have given themselves some breathing space as they are four points clear of the reds, while West Ham are five points clear.

https://twitter.com/wslstats/status/1198712242629423104

 

The next round of games will see Chelsea away to Everton, City at home to Liverpool and we will be at home to Bristol.

We can hope that one of the top two teams slip up and let us into the Champions League places.

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Following the Arsenal Ladies since 2004/05. Arsenal LFC season ticket holder since they appeared in 2006/07. Likely to be found watching women's football every week-end all over England... and the world. I am also a silver member