Arsenal start pre-season with win over Chelsea but dealt blow with Jordan Nobbs injury

Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs during the Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood.

Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs during the Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood. - Credit: PA

Arsenal got their pre-season preparations underway with a 2-1 victory over London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

Jonas Eidevall is still in quarantine so was taking charge virtually while assistant  manager Aaron D’Antino was in the dugout. 

The Gunners were without Vivianne Miedema, Leah Williamson,Lotte Wubben-Moy,Mana Iwabuchi, Nikita Parris, Kim Little, Steph Catley, Lydia Williams and Caitlin Foord due to their involvement at the Olympics. 

Arsenal also handed debuts to Frida Maanum and Simone Boye Sorensen while youngster Teyah Goldie got the chance to impress at centre-back. 

Arsenal looked sharp from the off as Jordan Nobbs tried her luck from range but she whistled her effort just over the top inside two minutes after some neat link up play. 

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Katie McCabe and Nobbs were linking up well down the left overloading Chelsea with the most pressure from the Gunners coming from that side. 

On 12 minutes it was Nobbs once again who had a good opening when Noelle Maritz found her run down the left before the English International got into the box before forcing  Ann-Katrin Berger into a save. 

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Chelsea then were dealt an early blow as Pernille Harder limped off with an injury in the 22nd minute being replaced by Emma Thompson. 

Arsenal took the lead on 27 minutes when Maanum crossed low for McCabe who won player of the season for 2020-21 at the north London side before she rattled her effort high into the top corner of the net. 

The home side took the lead into the break however on 53 minutes were dealt a blow when Nobbs was stretchered off after a tackle from Erin Cuthbert. 

The Scottish International won the ball but while doing so Nobbs ankle fell under her leaving the Gunners number 8 in pain. 

Eidevall will just hope that scans show the injury isn't as bad as first feared ahead of the new campaign.

Nobbs was replaced by young academy product Halle Houssein who made a positive impression catching the eye of the Arsenal support. 

With 30 minutes left Arsenal then made nine changes with Anna Patten, Goldie, Boye, Maritz, Lia Walti, Maanum, McCabe, Lisa Evans and Beth Mead all replaced by Grace Gillard, Daisy Ackerman, Melis Mehmet, Ellie Head, Macey Herd, Alex Hennessy, Freya Jupp, Freya Godfrey and Corrinne Henson. 

On 78 minutes it was nearly 2-0 when Hennessey whipped in a pinpoint cross for Jupp who was excellent when she came on taking players on but she flicked her header just wide of the target. 

Chelsea however got back on level terms via youngster Reanna Blades as she took advantage of a defensive mistake from Arsenal before finishing beyond Manuela Zinsberger showing good composure. 

Arsenal did win the game however netting in the 83rd minute when 17 year Jupp became the hero on her first time debut when she was played in on goal before taking two touches and then firing low across goal into the bottom corner past the dive of Berger. 

On the win first goalscorer McCabe told "“It was a terrific result and we know it’s only pre-season but it was nice to get the win, especially playing here at the Emirates. The game was played at a good pace and we’re looking forward to the start of the season.”

She also praised the academy players explaining "A lot of them have been training with us because of the amount of girls we have away at the Olympics and they have been great and you could see that in the final part of the game, winning it for us. Really exciting experience for them to play on this stage.”

Arsenal play Tottenham Hotspur next weekend before the Champions League qualification games on those games the 25 year old said "Even with the players we have away we have a really strong team, as we saw today but some of them will be coming back and it will be great to have them again and to get together and our focus will be on those games now.”


Arsenal (4-5-1): Zinsberger; Patten (Ackerman, 63), Goldie (Gillard, 63), Boye (Henson, 63), Maritz (Mehmet, 63); Mead (Godfrey, 63), Maanum (Head, 63), Nobbs (Houssein, 53), Walti (Hennessy, 63), McCabe (Herd, 63); Evans (Jupp, 63)

Subs not used: Cull, Negri. 

Chelsea (4-4-2): Berger; Wardlaw (Teale, 63), Carter (Brown, 63), Darey (Bowers, 63) Fox (Dungate, 63); Cuthert (Blades, 63), Spence (Palmer, 63), Beever-Jones (Guyatt, 63), Reiten (McGowan, 63); England (Nicholls, 63), Harder (Thompson, 22)

Subs not used: Orman. 

Referee: Emily Heaslip

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