Arsenal dropped their first points in the league after drawing 1-1 to Spurs at the weekend so how did their winning run come to an end?

BARNET, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: Beth Mead of Arsenal is challenged by Kerys Harrop of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Tottenham Hotspur Women and Arsenal Women at The Hive on November 13, 2021 in Barnet, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
BARNET, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 13: Beth Mead of Arsenal is challenged by Kerys Harrop of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Tottenham Hotspur Women and Arsenal Women at The Hive on November 13, 2021 in Barnet, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

It means they also lost two points on Chelsea, who trashed City away 4-0 on Sunday.

The Gunners now lead the league by one point.

It was a case of two points lost and one point rescued as the equaliser came in injury time thanks to a Vivianne Miedema header from a corner.

The game was a clear reminder that, if you don’t perform well enough on the day, the margin for error is so small defeats can happen very easily.

Spurs even could have gone two up as Neville missed an open goal after Zinsberger parried a shot straight into her path. The xG for that shot was 0.7, nearly as good as a penalty shot (0.75).

Credit to Tottenham for producing an excellent defensive performance and preventing Arsenal from playing their usual football.

If we look at the game, there are multiple factors that explain why Arsenal did not manage to win it despite being heavy favourites.

There is no doubt that the midweek trip to Denmark impacted the players, as some were not as sharp as they could be.

Jonas Eidevall did make five changes from the Champions League game, but that was not enough, there was still fatigue in the players’ legs.

This lack of sharpness led to the final ball and finishing not being as good as usual.

And if you cannot score, you are at risk if you make defensive errors.

Spurs scored from a pinball play where the Arsenal had three chances to clear the ball but did not manage to do it.

Then, as mentioned, Spurs had a game plan and executed it very well.

Their goalkeeper Korpela was excellent, making multiple key saves. Interestingly the Arsenal xG was 2.0 while Spurs’ was 1.6, quite close indeed.

Both teams missed easy chances, so a draw seems a fair result in the end.

Another factor in the game was the referee’s performance.

It was not the first big game for Amy Fearn and she made a few controversial decisions.

Fearn even found herself being in the way of the Arsenal players sometimes.

She definitely could have given more yellow cards during the game for repetitive fouling. Fearn also disallowed a Jordan Nobbs’ goal after letting advantage be played for a foul before changing her mind as Nobbs was about to shoot and score.

At the same time, I don’t think the refereeing should be used as an excuse for not winning the game.

Fearn was a factor, but not the main one.

It was an accumulation of all the factors put together that led to that result. It is quite interesting to note that Jonas Eidevall said to the BBC “I think the crowd was amazing today.

“It was a good atmosphere. I think we were coming into the game with a lot of difficult circumstances.

“It was a very physical game, which doesn’t allow us to move the ball as quickly as possible. I’m happy with the performance overall.”

Although it seems a bit of a surprising comment, it means that if the clear cut chances we had in the first half had gone in, the game would have been probably been put to bed.

Football is a simple game, you need to put the ball in the back of the net.

Now, if we look at the overall results and the table:

Arsenal are still Top of the League, but the gap with Chelsea is now only one point.

Brighton and Tottenham are fighting hard for the third place that qualifies for the Champions League and Manchester United are only three points behind Brighton.

At the bottom of the table, it is clear that it will be a two horse race between Leicester and Birmingham to avoid relegation as the next three teams are already six points ahead of eleventh placed Leicester.

It is quite striking to note that Reading, Manchester City and Everton are all tied in eighth place with only seven points out of seven games.

City and Everton were both candidates for a Champions League place, with City also going for the title.

It is no surprise that Willie Kirk lost his job following Everton’s investments in the last two seasons, but kind of a surprise that Gareth Taylor is still in charge at Manchester City as their performances are not good enough for such a club.

Next up for the Arsenal is Køge at home in midweek followed by Manchester United next Sunday with the lunchtime kick-off.

That away games makes it hard for away fans to attend if they do not drive as Leigh Sports village is not an easy place to reach by public transport and trains to Manchester don’t go early on Sundays.

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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