Missed opportunities cost Spurs Women in historic derby
Spurs Women 0-2 Arsenal Women
Sun 17 November 2019, 17:53|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Women were left to rue missed chances as two second-half goals consigned us to a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal Women in front of a record-breaking crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A figure of 38,262 meant the all-time Barclays FA Women’s Super League (WSL) attendance record was broken, but Arsenal were the team who took all three points after strikers Kit Graham – twice – and Rianna Dean went so close for us in the first half as we more than matched up to the reigning champions.
Kim Little opened the scoring in the 66th minute when she picked the ball up on the edge of the box and curled it into the top corner. And Arsenal doubled their advantage nine minutes from time when Vivianne Miedema was played through on goal and rounded Becky Spencer before slotting into an empty net. We continued to battle until the very end but, despite our persistence, we couldn’t find a way through in the historic first-ever meeting of the sides in the top flight of the women’s game.
Head Coaches Karen Hills and Juan Amoros made one change to the side that was victorious in our last WSL match against Bristol City with Ashleigh Neville coming into the side and Lucy Quinn dropping to the bench.
Graham carved upon our first clear-cut chance of the afternoon when she raced through on goal in the 19th minute, but her driven shot was kept out by Manuela Zinsberger one-on-one.
We then had two more great opportunities to take the lead in as many minutes. Graham - again involved - wriggled past Leah Williamson on the edge of the box and lashed a shot just wide a minute before Dean went close from a tight angle on the left after being excellently played through on goal by Anna Filbey.
The visitors came close to scoring in the 35th minute when Katie McCabe struck a left-footed shot towards goal but, thankfully, it crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.
We had a good opportunity to score early in the second half when Hannah Godfrey glanced a Chloe Peplow corner inches wide of the goal. Rachel Furness also had a couple of decent attempts from long-range, but neither could beat Zinsberger.
Hills and Amoros brought on Gemma Davison, returning from an injury lay-off, in the last 10 minutes to try to get back into the game, but Arsenal came closest to scoring in that spell when Lisa Evans blazed a shot over the crossbar from close range after a quick breakaway from the visitors. Despite an incredible effort from our players against more-established opposition, it was Arsenal who took the victory.
Head Coach Karen Hills said: "I'm so proud of every single one of those players out there today. I thought they did exactly what we asked, they stuck to the game plan and I thought we were incredibly unlucky. I thought were were totally in the game for the first 70-odd minutes, we had a couple of really good chances that obviously didn't quite fall for us but Arsenal were always going to be very clinical. The second goal was a little bit of a mistake (from us), maybe a little bit of fatigue or tiredness, but I can't knock any of those girls today - I thought they were absolutely unbelievable and I hope that every single fan goes away feeling proud, just as much as me."
Spurs Women 0-2 Arsenal Women
Spurs Women: Spencer, Neville, Godfrey, Filbey, Worm (Davison 82), Percival, Peplow (Quinn 75), Furness, Green (c) (Ayane 79), Dean, Graham. Substitutes (not used): Morgan, Schillaci, Leon, Haines.
Arsenal Women: Zinsberger, Evans, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe, Walti, Little (c), Nobbs (Roord 87), Van de Donk, Miedema, Mead (Maier 84). Substitutes (not used): Peyraud-Magnin, Quinn, Schnaderbeck, Mitchell.
Goals: Arsenal - Little 66, Miedema 82.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Peplow 36, Furness 58, Neville 79.
Referee: Abigail Byrne.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Partly cloudy, eight degrees.