Report: Arsenal 1 United Women 1
Manchester United Women were held 1-1 by 10-player Arsenal in a competitive and hard-fought Women’s Super League clash at Meadow Park.
Marc Skinner’s side edged the first half, with Alessia Russo heading home Katie Zelem’s corner, but after the break, the hosts pressed for an equaliser and despite Katie McCabe’s sending off, substitute Stina Blackstenius earned a draw for the Women’s Super League leaders.
The result leaves United still searching for their first league win at Meadow Park and means that Chelsea remain second place in the WSL, on goal difference.
The first chance of the match fell to United after seven minutes, when Ona Batlle was found on the right by Ella Toone, but the full-back’s shot was saved well by Manuela Zinsberger.
Marc Skinner’s side were rewarded for their early pressure when Russo rose high to power home Zelem’s corner, making it two headed goals in two at Meadow Park in recent weeks for the young England international.
Moments later, Leah Galton came close to doubling United’s lead, breaking in behind and firing a right-footed effort beyond Zinsberger and across the face of goal.
The hosts responded, and Vivianne Miedema almost had an equaliser, but Mary Earps produced a sublime save to tip her effort onto the crossbar.
Both sides continued to threaten as the half progressed; Galton heading over from another Zelem corner, before Miedema’s left-footed effort from the edge of the box flew narrowly wide.
Just before the break, Hayley Ladd came close to doubling the lead when she got her head on another dangerous Zelem corner, but the midfielder was unable to hit the target.
The hosts began the second half the more urgent of the two sides, and when Jen Beattie struck goalward from a corner, Russo was on hand to block her effort and clear for United.
The WSL leaders continued to search for a leveller, and Earps produced another brilliant save to deny substitute Caitlin Foord after the winger had ghosted in at the far post to connect with Kim Little’s cross.
Despite Arsenal’s pressure, Marc Skinner’s side had a golden chance to double their lead after great work down the left from Galton, but Toone could only fire wide.
As the game entered its final stages, a strong tackle between Batlle and McCabe resulted in the latter receiving her second yellow card and being dismissed.
The hosts nevertheless levelled proceedings just minutes after being reduced to 10, when Miedema released substitute Blackstenius, who finished beyond Earps for her first-ever Arsenal goal.
United pressed for a winner in the closing stages, but when she found space in the box, Galton was denied by Zinsberger from close range.
United: Earps; Batlle, Caldwell, Thorisdottir, Blundell; Ladd, Zelem (c); Toone, Russo (Groenen 73), Galton; Bruun (Thomas 73).
Subs not used: Middleton-Patel, Hanson, Jones, Harris, Boe Risa, F. Fuso, Smith.
Goal: Russo 10.
Booked: Caldwell 55.
Arsenal: Zinsberger; Maritz, Catley (Souza 70), Beattie (Maanum 58), McCabe; Walti, Nobbs (Blackstenius 58), Little (c); Mead (Boye 85), Miedema, Heath (Foord 46).
Subs not used: Williams, Wienrother, Parris.
Booked: McCabe 57, 75, Miedema 63.
Dismissed: McCabe 75.