WSL: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
Arsenal turned London red after a dominant display over their North London rivals
27 March 2023
Arsenal convincingly beat Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 in the north London derby on Saturday afternoon. Stina Blackstenius and Caitlin Foord scored in the first half for the Gunners before Bethany England got a goal back for Spurs. Foord scored again, then Kim Little and Frida Leonhardsen Maanum added further goals for Arsenal after the break.
Interim head coach Vicky Jepson made one change for Tottenham from their last match which was a 1-0 win over Leicester ten days ago. Clin Bizet came into the starting eleven in place of Nikola Karczewska. Kerys Harrop made her 177th appearance in the Women’s Super League, equalling Gilly Flaherty’s record. Tottenham lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Drew Spence occasionally dropping back into midfield.
Arsenal made three changes from their 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. Sabrina D’Angelo, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Victoria Pelova replaced Manuela Zinsberger, Rafaelle and Laura Wienroither in the eleven that started. Jonas Eidevall lined the Gunners up in their normal 4-3-3 formation with Pelova playing in one of the wide attacking positions.
It was a sunny but breezy afternoon at Brisbane Road. The playing surface didn’t look great with lots of sand on it in places. Eidevall said afterwards the pitch is “not the Allianz Arena” and it will be a better grass pitch at the Emirates on Wednesday. The Gunners had a good travelling support who were making a lot of noise.
It only took Arsenal five minutes to take the lead when Stina Blackstenius fired the ball past Tinja Riikka Korpela.
Spurs first chance came in the 11th minute but Spence sent her shot wide after Bizet and England had been involved in the build-up.
It was visitors creating more opportunities though. Pelova was unable to get onto Maanum’s cross in the 20th minute. A couple of minutes later, Maanum’s deflected cross was saved by Korpela. Amy Turner then put a dangerous cross behind for a corner.
Arsenal did double their advantage in the 29th minute. Caitlin Foord was given space to run forward then shot into the bottom corner of the net from just outside the 18-yard box.
The Gunners immediately had a chance to make it 3-0 but Pelova saw her shot saved by Korpela when through one-on-one with her.
England then Rosella Ayane couldn’t get shots away before ball cleared in 37th minute for Spurs. A minute later, they were awarded a penalty after Katie McCabe had handled the ball. England put the spot kick low into the net to score her sixth goal since joining the club in January. After the match, Jepson described England “as a born leader” and never gives up until the end of the game regardless of the scoreline.
The home side had the last opportunity of the first half but Bizet put an effort from 25-yards over.
Arsenal made a good start to the second half with Blacktenius, Maanum and Wubben-Moy all having half chances in the first ten minutes of it. Kim Little sent a low shot at goal from 20-yards that was saved in the 59th minute.
McCabe was adjudged to have been fouled in the penalty area by Turner and the Gunners were given a spot kick by referee Louise Saunders. Vicky Jepson wouldn’t comment after the match on whether “it was or wasn’t” a penalty in case she got in trouble. Kim Little smashed the ball high into the net from 12-yards to make it 3-1 in the 66th minute.
Four minutes later, Foord scored her second of the game to make it 4-1 with a shot from 6-yards that went in off the post.
Foord saw a shot right go across goal as she looked for her hat-trick in the 75th minute.
A superb goal made it 5-1 to the Gunners a minute later. Maanum won possession off Spence in midfield, advanced and sent a dipping shot over Korpela into the net from outside the area.
Gio saw an effort that hit top of crossbar as the visitors looked to extend their lead further.
Jodie Taylor came on to make her second debut for Arsenal in the 82nd minute. Gio then went off injured so the away side had to play last few minutes with ten players as had used all their substitutes.
The home sides interim boss Jepson said after that Arsenal going 3-1 up was the “nail in the coffin and they built momentum”. She felt they didn’t ride the storm as well as they would have liked to. In the first half she felt they showed “character, grit, created opportunities, got ourselves back in the game and I am pleased with that”. Jepson was disappointed with the second half and felt sorry for the fans as a north London derby “should never be that scorline”.
Eidevall felt his sides second half performance was “very dominant” and very pleased with that. He feels the attacking patterns are looking sharper. The Arsenal head coach said Pelova was “very important today” in the way that she plays. He praised D’Angelo and Wubben-Moy who had come into the side for this match and the strengths they have. Eidevall also felt it was one of Blackstenius’ best games for the club. He was also happy with four different goalscorers and the momentum the side has at the moment.
Arsenal’s big win sees them move up to third position in the WSL (after Saturday’s matches), three points behind leaders Manchester United. Tottenham remain in ninth place. Spurs next game is away to Everton on Sunday 2nd April. Arsenal have their second leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday at the Emirates before returning to league action next Sunday when they are at home to Manchester City.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Korpela, Neville (c), Turner, Bartrip, Harrop, Bizet (Ubogagu 79’), Summanen (Graham 67’), James, Ayane, England, Spence (Cho 88’)
Unused substitutes: Spencer, Karczewska, Ale
Goal – England (pen) 39’
Booked - James
Arsenal (4-3-3): D’Angelo, Maritz (Wienroither 67’), Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe, Walti (Rafaelle 67’), Little (c), Maanum (Kuhl 82’), Pelova, Blackstenius (Taylor 82’), Foord (Gio 77’)
Unused substitutes: Zinsberger, Marckese, Beattie, Hurtig
Goals – Blackstenius 5’, Foord 29’,70’, Little (pen) 66’, Maanum 76’
Referee – Louise Saunders