Manchester City Women’s 100% league record came to an abrupt end as the suffered their first defeat of the season at Arsenal. Vivianne Miedema’s goal just before half time proved the be the difference between the two sides as the blues failed a big test against the WSL champions.
The blues topped the table after beating Birmingham 3-0 in the last round of fixtures, but a trip to the reigning champions was always going to be a tough fixture. However, Chelsea showed last time out how to beat the Gunners, but the blues failed to follow the London team’s example.
But the match had one positive for City as Ellen White finally made her debut following injury, but not even the presence of the England striker could prevent City from falling to defeat.
A nervy opening 15 minutes saw just one chance for either side, with Miedema firing over Ellie Roebuck’s bar after 12 minutes. City’s first opportunity of note came around the half hour mark, with Georgia Stanway setting up Janine Beckie, but the striker fired harmlessly over the bar.
England winger Beth Mead almost gave the home side the lead five minutes later, as she looked to capitalise on a mistake by Gemma Bonner, but Roebuck was on hand to keep her clean sheet record intact.
But the blues failed to heed that warning and it was Miedema who broke City’s resistance. Kim Little’s pass was controlled by Miedema, which then drilled her shot beyond Roebuck to end her clean sheet record and give the home side the lead.
Arsenal looked to double their lead in the second half, but Bonner made up for her first half error, producing a good tackle as Miedema threatened Roebuck’s goal again.
With City facing the prospect of losing their 100% record, manager Nick Cushing made a triple change, with Megan Campbell, Pauline Bremer and White all coming on to replace Matilde Fidalgo, Janine Beckie and Tessa Wullaert.
Sadly for the blues, it was still Arsenal who looked the most likely to score and Campbell’s body block prevented Jordan Nobbs from increasing the champions lead. Lisa Evans also hit the bar and Nobbs had an golden opportunity to secure the points, but hit her shot wide.
The result means City drop to third in the WSL, one point behind new leaders Chelsea and level on points with Arsenal in the race for the WSL title.
Next up for City is an equally tough test as they face Atletico Madrid Women in the second league of the Champions League last 16 tie. The blues were held 1-1 in the first leg in Manchester, and must score at least once to progress to the quarter final.
Final Score: Arsenal Women 1-0 Manchester City Women