Arsenal beat Tottenham to take WSL title race to final day
- Credit: PA
Arsenal made sure the Women’s Super League title race will go to the final day of the season following a 3-0 north London derby win over Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates.
Beth Mead opened the scoring and Caitlin Foord added two second-half goals to keep the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the table going into the last round of games on Sunday.
Arsenal had the dream start as they took the lead after just four minutes, when Leah Williamson played a superb pass through the lines to Mead, who was allowed all the room in the world before driving into the area and cracking her low shot into the net.
It was Mead’s third WSL goal at the Emirates this season, after her opening-day brace against Chelsea saw the Gunners win on that occasion.
Tottenham responded well, however, and could have immediately equalised when Manuela Zinsberger dropped a corner at the feet of Kyah Simons, whose low effort was cleared off the line by the fine reactions of Vivianne Miedema.
Arsenal then managed to take full control of the game, with Foord seeing a strike take a heavy deflection off Ashleigh Neville to go behind for a corner, which she got on the got on the end of but saw Tinja-Riikka Korpela spring across goal to make the save.
The hosts went close once more when Stina Blackstenius made an intelligent run beyond the Spurs defence before pulling the ball back for Foord to run onto, but her effort was straight at Korpela who made a routine save.
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Four minutes before the break, Lia Walti slid a perfect pass into the path of Foord, but the Australian international had her low effort tipped away from goal by the fine reactions of Korpela.
Jonas Eidevall’s side began the second half on top, with Miedema receiving the ball on the edge of the box but her low shot was blocked by Molly Bartrip.
Korpela came to Tottenham’s rescue once more when Mead linked up with Miedema on the edge of the area, with the Netherlands striker fizzing an effort in on goal that was well tipped over the crossbar.
Miedema had another good opening, when she cut inside on her left foot before drilling the effort just wide of the far post when in a good position to seal the three points for Eidevall’s troops.
However, Foord did seal victory with just under 20 minutes to play, as Miedema fizzed a superb low ball to the back post for her teammate to slide beyond the keeper and into the net, to huge relief for the home fans.
Some spice was added to the derby after a poor tackle on Walti from Josie Green resulted in Katie McCabe and Maeva Clemaron being booked after a clash.
Arsenal made it 3-0 when Foord netted her second, as she curled a spectacular effort beyond the despairing dive of Korpela into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Korpela was to keep the score down once more when she made a terrific save to keep out Miedema who span on the edge of the box as the keeper got down well to make the save.
And Tottenham had the opportunity to pull a goal back with the last kick of the game when Angela Addison was fouled by Lotte Wubben-Moy in the box, but saw her spot-kick crack the outside of a post and bounce away to safety.
Arsenal finish their season with a trip to West Ham on Sunday, while Chelsea host Manchester United as both games kick off at 12pm.
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Maritz (Wienroither 87), Williamson (Beattie 87), Wubben-Moy, Catley, Walti, Little, Mead (Parris 88), Miedema, Foord (Maanum 83), Blackstenius (McCabe 68).