Arsenal ensured the WSL title race will go down to the final day of the season with a comfortable 3-0 win over Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Caitlin Foord grabbed a brace and Beth Mead kept up her fine WSL goal scoring record at the Emirates to give the Gunners north London bragging rights once more.
Arsenal trail leaders Chelsea by a single point, but will be crowned WSL champions if they win at West Ham on Sunday and the Blues slip up against Manchester United.
Having found the net twice against Chelsea on the opening day of the season, Mead maintained her proud goal scoring record at the Emirates by breaking the deadlock inside four minutes. The England winger drove at the Spurs backline, cut inside and curled home with her left foot.
Spurs came close to equalising following a goalline scramble but the ball somehow stayed out, while Caitlin Foord forced Tinja-Riika Korpela into a trio of saves as the first half finished with the hosts narrowly leading.
Foord eventually did get herself on the scoresheet to double Arsenal’s advantage, sliding in at the back post to bury Vivianne Miedema’s wicked delivery.
The Australian forward curled home a fabulous third eight minutes from time to seal victory for the Gunners.
Manuela Zinsberger saved Angela Addison’s spot kick in second-half stoppage time after the Spurs forward had been brought down by Lotte Wubben-Moy to preserve a clean sheet for the Gunners and leave proceedings tantalisingly poised heading into the final day of the campaign.
Miedema attempts to ride a challenge from Bartrip / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
GK: Manuela Zinsberger – 7/10 – Not called into action until the 69th header, comfortably claiming a Green header. Tremendously saved Addison’s spot kick at the death to preserve a clean sheet.
RB: Noelle Maritz – 6/10 – A typically steady performance, ensuring Ayane had a quiet day at the office.
CB: Leah Williamson – 7/10 – Instrumental in Arsenal’s opener, breaking the lines with a pinpoint pass into Mead. Awesome distribution as ever.
CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy – 7/10 – Drew a rousing applause from the Arsenal crowd following a first half crunching tackle on Naz. Made a couple of low key but important interceptions to halt potentially promising Spurs’ attacks.
LB: Steph Catley – 7/10 – Frequently got forward and overlapped with Foord, and caused problems with a couple of dangerous left-footed deliveries.
RM: Beth Mead – 9/10 – Opened the scoring inside four minutes with a fabulous solo run and finish. Instrumental in Arsenal’s second; won the ball back with a tenacious challenge, before combining with Miedema for the Dutch forward to deliver to the back post.
CM: Lia Walti – 8/10 – Dropped back intelligently on a couple of occasions to cover for the marauding Williamson. Cool, calm and classy on the ball, shielded the back four so effectively to ensure Williams was kept quiet.
CM: Kim Little – 7/10 – Worked back really well to halt a charging Ayane in the first half. Such an engine on her, makes it look effortless.
LM: Caitlin Foord – 8/10 – Drew a trio of saves from Korpela in the first half, before doubling Arsenal’s advantage with a back post finish in the second. Her third goal was a sublime bending effort.
ST: Stina Blackstenius – 6/10 – Got in behind dangerously on a few occasions, but was denied by some last ditch Tottenham defending. Her presence up front continues to bring out the best in Miedema.
ST: Vivianne Miedema – 8/10 – Dropped deep to receive the ball on a number of occasions, ease past defenders and dictate play. Fizzed the ball to the back post for Foord to turn home Arsenal’s second.
Sub: Katie McCabe – 6/10
Sub: Frida Maanum – 5/10
Sub: Laura Wienroither – N/A
Sub: Jen Beattie – N/A
Sub: Nikita Parris – N/A
Zadorsky battles with Mead / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages
GK: Tinja-Riika Korpela – 6/10 – Saved bravely from Foord in the first half, before pulling off another decent stop to deny the Australian forward.
RB: Ashleigh Neville – 6/10 – Popped up with a selection of last gasp blocks and tackles as Spurs attempted to stave wave after wave of Arsenal attack.
CB: Mollie Bartrip – 6/10 – Arguably didn’t close Mead down quickly enough in the buildup to Arsenal’s opener. Made a fabulous last ditch tackle to prevent Miedema being clean through on goal in the first half.
CB: Shelina Zadorsky – 6/10 – Like the entire Spurs backline, made a number of big blocks in her own box to keep Arsenal at bay.
LB: Kerys Harrop – 5/10 – Lost Mead in the build up to Arsenal’s opener as the Gunners’ winger drifted inside. Struggled to contend with the lively Mead all evening.
CM: Josie Green – 4/10 – Made a big block to deny Walti in the first half. Fortunate to not be dismissed for a tackle on the Swiss midfielder in the second.
CM: Maeva Clemaron – 6/10 – Really cool on the ball – spun very effectively when under pressure in her own half on a couple of occasions.
RW: Jessica Naz – 6/10 – Had her work cut out tracking back to defend the marauding Catley, but stuck to her task diligently. Looked Spurs’ most dangerous player going forward, but her final ball was occasionally lacking.
CAM: Kyah Simon – 4/10 – Largely on the periphery of the game, unable to have any huge attacking influence. Replaced at half time to allow Spurs to add another body in midfield.
LW: Rosella Ayane – 4/10 – Had a couple of good opportunities to deliver in the final third, but largely wasteful.
ST: Rachel Williams – 5/10 – Worked hard defensively but cut an isolated figure up front on her own and was left to feed off scraps.
Sub: Eveliina Summanen – 6/10
Sub: Isabelle Lane – 5/10
Sub: Cho So-hyun – 5/10
Sub: Angela Addison – 5/10
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