Arsenal Women 2 Tottenham Hotspur Women 2; Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties
Tottenham fought back from a goal down twice to take points off Arsenal for the first time ever, leaving both teams set to exit the Continental Cup after just the group stages.
Though Alex Morgan’s missed penalty saw Spurs lose out on the extra point in the shoot-out, it was still a historic draw for the underdogs. Arsenal’s penalties win was only for bragging rights in any case, as this is the end of the line for both teams in the competition. Chelsea will top their group, and the second-placed Reds will not nab either of the remaining quarter-final spots reserved for the two lucky losers.
It was always a tough ask for Joe Montemurro’s side, who needed at least a four-goal win to get the difference needed to potentially progress further in a tournament where they have been finalists for three years running: “It was always going to be so difficult, and I think it would have affected our planning going forward [if we had progressed],” he said post-match. “We’ve made the final every year I’ve been here, but maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.”
Kim Little brought a touch of class to help Arsenal open the scoring at 11 minutes, her outrageous scooped pass over the Spurs defense finding Vivianne Miedema in the area, who fired home her 15th goal of the season.
But Arsenal’s possession did not equate to more goals, and Tottenham recovered eventually. On the hour Siri Worm looked up to pick out Morgan up front, who had been introduced after the break and lifted Spurs’ energy ever since. Worm’s cross passed over the American’s head though, and found Ria Percival, who controlled the ball before volleying at goal. “What a goal!” Spurs head coach Juan Amoros shouted from the touchline, betraying what it would mean for them to claim a result after already two North London derby losses this season.
Though Arsenal nudged themselves back ahead, Leah Williamson in her 150th appearance for the club assisting Caitlin Foord’s goal, the game did not settle. Morgan’s pass to Percival saw her strike go wide, but Shelina Zadorsky’s header from a corner would do the job two minutes from full-time – a deserved equaliser after Spurs’ resurgence in the last half hour.
They could have won too, Morgan shooting right at goalkeeper Lydia Williams at the death. Her jitters in the shoot-out, misfiring after the preceding nine players found the back of the net, was a sorry end considering Morgan’s contributions.
Elsewhere, the final Group B game between Chelsea and London City Lionesses was postponed last night, due to a number of positive Covid-19 cases in the Lionesses camp.
Arsenal (4-3-3): Williams; Maier (Beattie 66), Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe; Walti, Little (Evans 45), Roord (Mace 82); Van de Donk, Miedema (Mead 73), Foord.
Subs not used: Zinsberger, Garrad, Pearse, Gut, Mead.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-3-3): Spencer; Neville, Godfrey, Zadorsky, Worm; Percival, Kennedy, Green (Davison 84); Leon (A Morgan 45), Ayane (Quinn 84), Addison.
Subs: Whitehouse, Harrop, Martin, Sulola, E Morgan.
Referee: Amy Fearn.
Source: The Telegraph Travels