Late Chelsea equaliser denies Arsenal top spot in WSL


Beth Mead's late goal for Arsenal looked set to condemn Chelsea to a first WSL defeat in almost two years before that cruel late equaliser
Beth Mead’s late goal for Arsenal looked set to condemn Chelsea to a first WSL defeat in almost two years before that cruel late equaliser

Arsenal were cruelly denied Women’s Super League top spot by Chelsea as a disappointing contest ended in drama.

The Gunners looked to have won it when Vivianne Miedema beat England defender Millie Bright to set up Beth Mead for an 86th-minute opener.

But Pernille Harder’s speculative effort from the right then hit luckless defender Lotte Wubben-Moy and deflected in for an outrageous own goal.

That allowed Chelsea to stretch their long unbeaten WSL record to 27 games.

The visitors might even won it in stoppage time with their best opening of the entire game but, when Sam Kerr raced through, she chipped just wide of the post.

The reigning WSL champions remain in third place, two points behind second-placed Arsenal, who are now a point closer to leaders Manchester United.

In a game of few real chances, Mead’s late opener was the only shot on target. But Arsenal had also gone very close to taking the lead with an eye-catching effort of their own on 44 minutes.

Caitlin Foord’s strike from just outside the box hit the bar, the ball bounced up and then dropped back down on to the bar again, before it was punched away by Chelsea keeper Ann-Katrin Berger.

Netherlands forward Miedema then looked to have missed the best chance to win it on 81 minutes when she fired just past the post. But then came that remarkable finale as both teams went through elation and despair.

The two sides are back in WSL action on 6 December when Arsenal host Birmingham City and Chelsea entertain West Ham United.

Line-ups

Arsenal Women

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 20MaierBooked at 33mins
  • 6Williamson
  • 3Wubben-Moy
  • 15McCabe
  • 10Little
  • 13Wälti
  • 14Roord
  • 9Mead
  • 11Miedema
  • 19Foord

Substitutes

  • 7van de Donk
  • 17Evans
  • 18Williams
  • 21Gut
  • 30Mace
  • 32Pearse
  • 33Garrard

Chelsea Women

  • 30Berger
  • 18Mjelde
  • 4Bright
  • 16Eriksson
  • 25Andersson
  • 10JiBooked at 63minsSubstituted forFlemingat 87′minutes
  • 8LeupolzSubstituted forKerrat 45′minutes
  • 5Ingle
  • 23Harder
  • 9EnglandSubstituted forReitenat 65′minutes
  • 22CuthbertSubstituted forCharlesat 87′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Thorisdottir
  • 7Carter
  • 11Reiten
  • 17Fleming
  • 20Kerr
  • 21Charles
  • 28Telford
  • 31Fleming

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