Jonas Eidevall, Arsenal’s new supervisor, cautioned that his aspect’s thrilling defeat of Chelsea for the primary time in shut to a few years is “one recreation out of many”, after they beat their London rivals 3-2 on the Emirates Stadium.
The Ladies’s Tremendous League report goalscorer Vivianne Miedema opened the scoring in type, fallacious‑footing Jess Carter to squeeze the ball between the close to publish and a diving Ann-Katrin Berger. Beth Mead added two – the primary lashed in from a decent angle, the second offside however not flagged – after Erin Cuthbert had levelled. A header from Pernille More durable closed the hole however a late surge couldn’t forestall Arsenal from securing a primary league win in opposition to Chelsea since their 5-0 defeat of the Blues at Kingsmeadow in October 2018.
Emma Hayes, Chelsea’s supervisor, was not proud of Arsenal’s third. “It was two yards offside,” she mentioned.
“The optimistic is there’s targets, followers, an excellent weekend for ladies’s soccer; there’s been good attendances. The unfavourable factor is that by placing our product in such an excellent place, on Sky specifically, it implies that everyone seems to be asking the query: ‘Nicely why haven’t we bought goalline know-how and why haven’t we bought VAR?’
“I heard earlier than the sport that there have been conversations round it and it’s not a precedence as a result of it’s too costly. Nicely I feel we promote our recreation quick, as a result of we’ve all bought used to VAR and goalline tech and never having it within the ladies’s recreation makes us really feel like second-class residents.”
Arsenal have struggled in opposition to Chelsea in recent times, profitable solely two of the previous 15 video games between the pair and not one of the 5 most up-to-date matches – a late personal objective denying them victory in a 1-1 draw at Borehamwood in November final 12 months.
Arsenal are a special pressure now, although. With Eidevall in and a clutch of world-class attacking skills added to the squad in Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi, England striker Nikita Parris and the US’ World Cup winner Tobin Heath, they’re a crew intent on not slipping as far behind as they did final season when ending 9 factors off prime and 7 behind Manchester Metropolis in second place.
Hayes is additional into her cycle along with her present Chelsea crop and this summer season was comparatively quiet, with younger expertise coming in; Aniek Nouwen recruited from PSV earlier than final season ended and Lauren James added from Manchester United. The champions could not have strengthened to the identical extent or had the good thing about aggressive fixtures earlier than this WSL opener (Arsenal have performed three Champions League qualifiers), however they’ve the benefit of a settled and seasoned squad.
There was, nevertheless, some shock that Hayes didn’t dip into the market to strengthen her full-back choices with Carter and Niamh Charles having struggled within the Champions League closing 4-0 defeat by Barcelona and Maren Mjelde nonetheless to return from a knee harm. “It’s not that we didn’t goal gamers, we simply didn’t get those that we wished,” Hayes mentioned after her defence was run ragged in north London.
It was “about time” Arsenal Women performed a league fixture on the Emirates Stadium, in accordance with Miedema earlier than the sport, and whereas the gang didn’t reside as much as record-breaking numbers seen two seasons in the past the temper was good. With 8,705 tickets offered, the followers had been loud and the celebrations exuberant.
“I’m a passionate particular person,” Eidevall mentioned of his personal celebrations. “Soccer is about feelings, it’s about connecting individuals, the soccer membership with the crew and the crew with the followers. We work so onerous so if we don’t present feelings after we have fun and win then when are we doing it?”