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#Women'sFirstTeam #WomensSuperLeague #MatchReport #Arsenal #RachelWilliams

Spurs Women so close to victory as we take first WSL point against Arsenal

Spurs Women 1-1 Arsenal Women

Sat 13 November 2021, 15:45|Tottenham Hotspur

We took our first-ever point off Arsenal in the FA Barclays Women's Super League on Saturday - and were minutes away from a first win.

Rachel Williams opened the scoring from close range in the 65th minute of a thrilling north London derby - the first time the Gunners have been behind in the WSL this season - and we held on until the second minute of added time, when Vivianne Miedema headed home from a corner.

It was late heartbreak for Rehanne Skinner's players, but they should be proud of their performance against one of the best teams around - Arsenal came into this derby top of the WSL with six wins out of six - as we continued our season of firsts in the WSL, now including first points against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal.

This result was just reward and a triumph for Rehanne's game plan as we were so structured defensively, organised and, thanks to a combination of Tinja-Riikka Korpela in goal and determined, last-ditch defending, simply refused to concede to a team who had scored 23 goals in their first six matches.

However, that wasn't how the whole story unfolded in front of 2,896 fans at The Hive. Arsenal dominated for an hour but we pushed forward in the second half and after taking the lead, had all the chances until Miedema's late, late strike - Ashleigh Neville, Kyah Simon and Angela Addison all came close to making it 2-0, how that might have made a difference...

You could break this game into two parts - the first hour, and final half-hour. Arsenal dominated the first hour, but couldn't find the back of the net. Korpela was inspired, particularly in the first half, and made her first telling contribution with only 40 seconds on the clock, making herself big to block at close range from Beth Mead. Miedema also had an early sight of goal, dragged wide, and Korpela was right behind a fierce drive from 20 yards.

The save of the game arrived on 27 minutes, when Mead's free-kick from the left angle looked destined for the top corner, only for the slightest of fingertips to divert it onto the underside of the crossbar, the left post and out to safety.

Always comfortable in possession, we almost broke a couple of times, but Arsenal continued to create chances. Maeva Clemaron took Freda Maanum's shot full in the face, Katie McCabe's drive clipped the top of the crossbar, Kim Little drilled straight at Korpela and Shelina Zadorsky made a big block in front of goal to deny Miedema in added time as we went in goalless at half-time.

The start of the second half followed a similar pattern, although it was noticeable that we'd started to commit more players forward. Korpela made another superb save to keep out Mead from point-blank range on 53 minutes, Miedema blasted over and was then denied by Neville's goal-saving block in front of goal. Maanum's snapshot was taken by Korpela on 61 minutes - and that was the last of Arsenal's chances until injury time.

We were growing as an attacking threat and it came as no surprise that we took the lead on 65 minutes. Simon picked out Kit Graham, her shot was parried by Manuela Zinsberger into the path of Williams, whose first shot was blocked by the goalkeeper but through sheer desire, Williams got to the loose ball and bundled home.

We were now in control and should really have doubled the lead on 71 minutes. A corner was worked short, Clemaron won the header, Zadorsky's shot was palmed away by Zinsberger and fell to Neville, six yards out, but she lifted the ball over the empty net.

We continued to push. Simon's volley from 22 yards fizzed just wide with Zinsberger rooted to the spot and then substitute Angela Addison broke into the box from the right and angled her effort across Zinsberger and just wide.

There was always going to be one last surge from Arsenal, and they piled forward as we ticked into five minutes of added time. Zadorsky made another big block but from McCabe's corner, Miedema rose and powered home the equaliser. That was a pity, but shouldn't take the shine off a fine display.

Reaction on Spurs TV

Spurs Women 1-1 Arsenal Women

Spurs Women: Korpela, Neville, Bartrip, Zadorsky (c), Harrop, Simon (Ayane 80), Clemaron (Green 80), Percival, Ubogagu (Addison 64), Williams, Graham. Substitutes (not used): Heeps, Ale, Morgan.

Arsenal Women: Zinsberger, Wubben-Moy, Williamson, Catley (Parris 68), Mead (Foord 84), Little (c), Miedema, Maanum (Nobbs 68), Walti (Iwabuchi 84), McCabe, Maritz. Substitutes (not used): Williams, Patten, Boye, Goldie, Heath.

Match data

Goals: Spurs - Williams 65; Arsenal - Miedema 90+2.

Yellow cards: Spurs - Clemaron 50, Neville 81, Ayane 90+2; Arsenal - Mead 82.

Referee: Amy Fearn.

Venue: The Hive.

Weather: Cloudy, 13 degrees at kick-off.

Attendance: 2,896 (WSL record at the Hive).