WSL: Manchester City v Arsenal
Tobin Heath rescues Arsenal with last gasp equaliser at Manchester City
Girls on the Ball
24 January 2022
Tobin Heath’s last gasp goal rescued a point for Arsenal in their 1-1 draw with Manchester City away from home on Sunday evening.
Heath’s goal could turn into a priceless point for the Gunners at the end of the season,as they go in search of the League title.
Arsenal had the first clear-cut opportunity of the game inside nine minutes, when young Manchester City keeper Khiara Keating misjudged a ball into the box ,the ball dropping for Vivianne Miedema but her effort was cleared off the line by Alex Greenwood.
A minute later Keating had to be alert to keep her side level when Miedema fired in a low shot,but the keeper did well to get down and keep the ball out at her near-post.
Manchester City responded well however, when on 15 minutes Lauren Hemp met a Jess Park cross but could only direct her header into the grateful gloves off Manuela Zinsberger.
Miedema was inches away from the opener minutes later when Nikita Parris skipped down the wing before swinging in a cross,but Miedema just couldn’t reach it to stab the ball into the net.
Park could have broken the deadlock however for the home side as they caught Arsenal out on the counter attack, the 20 year old beating the defender but could only direct her effort wide.
In an end to end game Arsenal had a good opening from a corner, when Lotte Wubben-Moy rose highest only to direct her header into the hands of the Manchester City stopper.
On 33 minutes Katie McCabe found herself in the book after a coming together with Hemp ,meaning that the yellow card will earn her a suspension missing Thursday’s match with Brighton & Hove Albion.
There would then be a moment of concern for Arsenal, as Leah Williamson who started the game after returning from injury went down holding her hamstring but ,was eventually ruled to be fine to continue.
Manchester City had the final opportunity of the first half when Alex Greenwood whipped in a free-kick for Lucy Bronze to flick a header wide of the target.
Jonas Eidevall made his first change at half-time bringing off Williamson for precaution, and replacing her with new signing Rafaelle Souza.
Manchester City had the first strike of the second half, when former Gunners hero Vicky Losada had a go from distance but the ball went just wide of the target.
Keating made a smart save in the 50th minute when Jordan Nobbs picked out Beth Mead who left Lucy Bronze for dead before firing in a low shot ,but the keeper was down smartly to make the stop.
Eidevall’s side started the second half much better, pressing quickly as Nobbs played a smart pass into Miedema who cut inside and her shot was straight into the hands of Keating.
Parris was then the next Arsenal player to find herself in the book ,as Hemp broke free down the left but was stopped in her tracks swiftly by Parris who raced back to trip her up.
Eidevall would have been quite happy with what he was witnessing ,when his side had another opening via Miedema who was picked out on the edge of the box, but her shot from a tight angle was well handled by the keeper.
Manchester City however came inches away from the opener on 61 minutes as Arsenal were caught cold on the counter attack ,as Hemp picked out Park who opened up the Gunners defence ,but her effort was superbly saved by Zinsberger reacting quickly to turn the ball over the crossbar.
Eidevall was then to use his bench as he made a double change bringing on Heath and Lia Walti replacing Frida Maanum and Parris.
Manchester City however took the lead on 65 minutes as Hemp skipped past Noelle Maritz ,before sending in a low cross for Khadija Shaw who tapped the ball into the back of the net.
Arsenal however ,were furious as the ball clearly hit the referee changing direction and finding the feet of Hemp before she got her cross away.
The goal resulted in a yellow card for Eidevall who protested in an angry fashion picking up his fourth booking of the season.
That goal forced the Arsenal boss to look upon his bench yet again, when he brought on striker Stina Blackstenius taking off Nobbs for the final twenty minutes of the clash.
Zinsberger then came to Arsenal’s rescue on 77 minutes when Georgia Stanway opened up the Arsenal defence with an excellent pass into the path of Hemp, who’s low effort was well saved by the feet of the Gunners keeper from close range.
On 84 minutes and with time running out ,Manchester City came close to their second when Caroline Weir had a go from range, but Zinsberger yet again was equal to the effort palming the ball away from the danger zone before a Blue shirt could react.
With six minutes added on time Arsenal found a way through via Heath,as Mead latched onto a direct ball up the pitch before slipping the pass into Blackstenius who held off the challenge from the Manchester City defence ,before the ball fell into the path of Heath who fired her low shot across goal and into the net.
The result means that Eidevall’s troops extended their lead at the top of the table to two points ahead of Manchester United ,but have a game in hand over the Red Devils against Brighton on Thursday.
Manchester City: Keating 7,Bronze ,Houghton ,Greenwood ,Stokes Losada (Weir 57), Walsh ,Stanway, Coombs 88); Park ,Shaw, (White 74), Hemp.
Substitutes not used: Pilling ,Scott, Beckie, Angeldahl, Mace.
Arsenal: Zinsberger,Maritz ,Williamson (Souza 45), Wubben-Moy ,McCabe , Maanum (Walti 63), Little ,Nobbs, (Blackstenius 72); Parris (Heath 63), Miedema , Mead.
Substitutes not used: Stenson,Beattie, Boye, Schnaderbeck, Wienroither.
Referee: Abigail Byrne