Arsenal managed to salvage a point with late goal while down to 10 against Manchester United, while Chelsea defeated City at home to close the gap at the top of the table to two points, with a game in hand.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Stina Blackstenius of Arsenal celebrates after scoring her team's first goal of the game during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal Women and Manchester United Women at Meadow Park on February 05, 2022 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 05: Stina Blackstenius of Arsenal celebrates after scoring her team’s first goal of the game during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal Women and Manchester United Women at Meadow Park on February 05, 2022 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Arsenal did well in difficult circumstances to get a draw after Katie McCabe was sent off for two bookable offences.

Stina Blackstenius managed to equalise after a fantastic pass from Vivianne Miedema to keep Arsenal’s title hopes alive.

Nevertheless, Chelsea are now favourites to win the League and Arsenal are away to Chelsea on Friday in what will be a title decider and a must-win game for the Gunners.

https://twitter.com/BarclaysFAWSL/status/1490437896976928768

We have to be realistic and a win away to Chelsea is quite unlikely.

Following a brilliant season start with six wins out of six games, the Arsenal title challenge has taken multiple hits and the last seven games have seen a return of twelve points out of a possible 21.

That is clearly not enough to win the title.

If we actually look at the goals scored since that negative trend started, one thing comes to mind, the lack of goals scored:
1-1, 2-0, 4-0, 0-2, 1-1, 2-1, 1-1.

Besides the Leicester game, where their new manager played a very high line and let us through many times, the fact that we cannot score more than two goals per game shows there is a problem right now.

It is either chance creation or finishing that has dried up in the second part of the season.

If you add a weakness on defensive set-pieces, it is a recipe for a loss of form.

It is certainly worrying that building up play from the back has become more and more of an issue.

It is like the opposition teams have done their homework and are now pressing our defenders and midfielders in a way that they cannot find solutions to get out of the press.

Attacking to beat a low block is also a typical problem, but it seems that creativity is not there at the moment.

It is interesting to note that Jonas Eidevall has twice moved from a central midfield three to a midfield two late in the games to accommodate Vivianne Miedema plus Stina Blackstenius.

That way both of them can play through the middle rather than exiling one of them on the wing.

That burgeoning partnership might be a key to success for the Arsenal and a move from the 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 in the near future might be one of the solutions to solve the attacking problems.

It is obvious that Friday’s game is a must-not-lose game, because losing would mean potentially letting Chelsea go four points clear. And that would not be a positive prospect considering the current form.

Even a draw would potentially leave Chelsea going top of the League once they have played their game in hand.

Therefore, a win is needed to stay top of the table and boost the team’s confidence.

One of the positives is Arsenal have managed to come back and score late goals to secure a draw against Spurs, City and United.

This team never gives up and fights until the last second of the game.

One of the negatives going into the Chelsea is Katie McCabe’s absence due to to her red card against United.

Steph Catley has not reached the performance level she has shown with Australia nor Portland. So, it would not be a surprised to see Noelle Maritz shift from right-back to left-back and Laura Wienroither come in at right-back next Friday.

McCabe was previously suspended for reaching the five booking threshold and now will miss another game through suspension.

She is a fantastic player and has been super consistent in the last two seasons, but that consistency comes with aggressive play that is penalised by referees the same way Xhaka gets penalised in the Premier League.

Chelsea will be favourites to win the game on Friday, but the Gunners have certainly enough weapons in their armoury to get a draw.

And if something incredible happens like in the 2018/19 season, where Arsenal outscored Chelsea 2.2 to 0.8 on xG but won 5-0, a win might not be a pipe dream.

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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