Arsenal responded to the United defeat last week with a fantastic performance against title holders Chelsea and were unlucky not to get all three points.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15: Beth Mead of Arsenal looks dejected following their draw in the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal Women and Chelsea Women at Meadow Park on November 15, 2020 in Borehamwood, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 15: Beth Mead of Arsenal looks dejected following their draw in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal Women and Chelsea Women at Meadow Park on November 15, 2020 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Although Arsenal could have also gone home empty handed, the 1-1 draw gives us a really good chance in the title race.

The fans expected a reaction from the team after a very disappointing performance last week against Manchester United. Our previous history against Chelsea also demanded a good result.

It was obvious that Emma Hayes had found Joe Montemurro’s number in the past and the Arsenal manager made some tweaks in his line-up and tactics that nullified Chelsea’s threats for most of the game.

There were a couple of surprise in the starting 11 with Lotte Wubben-Moy pairing Leah Williamson at centre-back and Leonie Maier drafted at right-back. It gave us pace on the flank, with Katie McCabe on the other side as usual. Viktoria Schnaderbeck did not even make the bench and this is probably why Wubben-Moy was moved centrally. She excelled there as it her main position and got the supporters’ player of the match award despite her unfortunate own goal that gave Chelsea a draw at the death.

Every other selection was as expected.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15: Leah Williamson of Arsenal during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal Women and Chelsea Women at Meadow Park on November 15, 2020 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 15: Leah Williamson of Arsenal during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal Women and Chelsea Women at Meadow Park on November 15, 2020 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

We had Zinsberger; Maier, Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe; Walti, Little, Roord; Mead, Miedema, Foord.  On the bench Williams, Mace, Evans, Gut, Pearse, Garrad, van de Donk.

Much to everyone’s surprise, no one was called from the bench during the game. This is not the first time it has happened as Montemurro did the same away to Reading back in January 2018.

The fantastic defensive performance is typified by the match statistics with Chelsea scoring one goal from zero shots on target in the whole game. I don’t think this has ever happened to Chelsea. It is credit to the manager and the team who were resilient and extremely disciplined tactically.

On the attacking side, the return of Kim Little and Jill Roord meant ball possession and retention was much better than against United. Chelsea had less opportunity to press us and hit us on the break as in previous games.

Both sides had a couple of chances, besides the goal, with Caitlin Foord unlucky with a double crossbar hit:

While Sam Kerr could have won it for Chelsea in the dying seconds with Manuela Zinsberger caught in no man’s land.

Vivianne Miedema responded to her critics that said that she does not turn up in big games against big opposition with a superb run and assist for Beth Mead.

That fake news promoted by rivals fans like they’re Trump supporters was actually debunked by NWSL Analitca in his thread last week:

Unfortunately for the Gunners, Chelsea equalised late in the game with an own goal by Lotte Wubben-Moy when her attempt clearance looped over Manuela Zinsberger.

Following that result, Arsenal stay in second place, although the Gunners are likely to be overtaken by Chelsea once they have played their game in hand against Aston Villa.

All the title contenders dropped points this weekend, which means the Gunners have a two points cushion over fourth placed Everton going into the international break.

The next league game will take place on 6 December at home to Birmingham City.

Next for the Gunners is the final group game in the Continental Cup and Arsenal have a remote chance of making it through to the quarter-finals.