Conti Cup: Arsenal v Manchester United
Arsenal exit Continental Cup at the hands of Manchester United.
20 January 2022
Arsenal went down 1-0 to Manchester United at Meadow Park as the Gunners hopes of adding another trophy to the cabinet ended on Wednesday night.
Alessia Russo’s late header proved to be enough to dump the Gunners out of the Continental Tyres League Cup.
Arsenal started with a high intensity, pressing Manchester United from the off ,with Jordan Nobbs getting a shot in but it was directed into the hands of Sophie Baggaley.
With 11 minutes on the clock the Gunners put a fine move together ,when Beth Mead poked the ball into Katie McCabe and her cross was a whisker away of finding the sliding Vivianne Miedema at the back-post.
McCabe’s crosses were causing Manchester United issues, as she flashed a low ball across the box but neither Miedema or the onrushing Nikita Parris at the back-post could make a connection.
Mead , McCabe and Nobbs link up play down the left was giving the Red Devils plenty to think about as McCabe cut inside once more but was well tackled by Kirsty Hanson.
Manchester United however came close to opening the scoring on 22 minutes when Nobbs gave the ball away to Martha Thomas,who drove forward playing a low pass into the path of Ella Toone who drilled her shot across goal and wide.
The Red Devils started to come into their stride when Thomas held of Viktoria Schnaderbeck on the edge off the box, pulling the ball back to Hanson who’s shot was easily held by Manuela Zinsberger.
As the half was coming to a close Arsenal had a half chance via Mead who cut inside however, her low shot was blocked by Maria Thorisdóttir.
Arsenal had the first opening of the second half on 51 minutes when Toone brought down Mead outside the area, allowing Mead so swing in a free-kick for Miedema to head over the crossbar.
Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall then was to find himself in the book as Thomas clattered Mead heavily with the Swede reacting in an angry manner.
Thomas was also booked in the process for her challenge on the Gunners number 9.
Eidevall then made his first change of the game as Schnaderbeck was replaced by the returning Leah Williamson who was met by a rapturous reception by the Arsenal faithful.
Mead didn’t recover from that earlier knock as she was replaced in a triple substitution that saw two debutants, as Stina Blackstenius and Laura Wienroither came on for Noelle Maritz and Miedema as Heath replaced Mead.
Manchester United were inches away from taking the lead in a second half of very few chances, when Vilde Bøe Risa drove a strike just wide from the edge of the area when it looked for all the world it would nestle into the corner of the net.
Mark Skinner’s side however did take the lead five minutes from time, when Beattie gave away a free-kick allowing Katie Zelem to float the ball into the box for Russo who came off the bench to head into the back of the net.
Arsenal did have one big chance before the end however , Heath getting on the end of a cross before heading wide as the Gunners excited the competition at the quarter-final stage.
Eidevall now has to get his side to react in a positive manner when they travel to Manchester City in the Women’s Super League on Sunday.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger; Maritz (Wienroither, 70), Schnaderbeck (Williamson, 61), Beattie, McCabe; Maanum, Little; Parris, Nobbs, Mead (Heath, 70); Miedema (Blackstenius, 70)
Subs not used: Stenson,Goldie, Boye, Head
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Baggaley; Thorisdottir, Mannion, Turner, Blundell; Ladd (Boe Risa, 73), Zelem; Hanson (Fuso, 34), Toone, Galton (Batlle, 73); Thomas (Russo, 73)
Subs not used: Earps ,Smith, Jones
Referee: Tom Reeves