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Girls’s report: Arsenal 1 Chelsea 1 | Information | Official Website

This season’s WSL title race stays finely poised after the Blues shared at the moment’s spoils with our nearest rivals.

In entrance of a giant crowd on the Emirates Stadium with a sold-out Chelsea part, a debated penalty award early within the second half led to Kim Little placing the house facet forward of the objective with time operating out, Sam Kerr headed in her eleventh objective of the season to say some extent.

Though the consequence brings an finish to the Blues run of 9 consecutive wins on this competitors, Emma Hayes facet maintains our three-point lead within the desk though now we have performed one sport greater than the Gunners.

With a lot at stake this Sunday lunchtime, it was a comparatively cagey first half. Arsenal, who had been lacking strikers Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema resulting from long-term accidents, had all of the pictures on course in first 45 minutes however none that seemed more likely to rating. Chelsea’s most promising second was early on when Lauren James fired vast.

Zecira Musovic pulled off an excellent save quickly after the restart however was comprehensively overwhelmed by the penalty. Nonetheless we stayed within the sport and though the Gunners will rue not seeing out a win on a day when Chelsea didn’t create an important deal, when you may have Kerr you all the time have an opportunity.

This, on Chelsea Girls’s third go to to the Emirates, was our first level taken right here.

The choice

Emma Hayes made only one change from the earlier sport again on 22 December. Jessie Fleming was most well-liked to Fran Kirby because the central attacking midfielder.

Regular early method from each side

The Blues’ final outing was three days earlier than Christmas, the spectacular Champions League win over PSG at Stamford Bridge. Since then there was a heat climate coaching camp in Spain earlier than a return to motion in a shiny however chilly London at the moment.

The stakes forward of this sport had been excessive, with Chelsea harboring our three-point lead over Arsenal within the WSL desk however figuring out the Gunners have that sport in hand.

Lauren James virtually gave the Blues the perfect begin when she robbed Arsenal defender Rafaelle Souza close to midway and superior and shot, however her effort flew previous the far publish.

Erin Cuthbert tried to ship Kerr by way of with a barely over-hit lengthy cross earlier than it was the house crew’s flip to counter-attack, however Lina Hurtig’s shot was far too tame to hassle Musovic, as was Caitlin Foord’s after she wrestled the ball previous Niamh Charles.

Frida Maanum struck another powerfully throughout what was changing into a very good spell for Arsenal nevertheless it was straight at our goalie.

Chelsea steadied and Cuthbert had the misfortune of seeing one among her thunderbolts inadvertently blocked by Kerr. We had reached the halfway level of the half goalless and with each side sustaining their form effectively.

A strike by Gunners midfielder Lia Walti did look to hold a menace however Kadeisha Buchanan was alert and dive to divert it vast. After a Millie Shiny clearance had been charged down, Hurtig rippled the Chelsea side-netting.

The Blues pressed ahead extra within the closing levels of the primary half and earned some corners, one despatched vast by a downward Kerr header, however the basic feeling at half-time was that there was extra to return on this sport but.

Setback comes rapidly

Musovic was known as upon to make her first troublesome save as Arsenal began the second half strongly. A cross got here in from the left and Hurtig was there to move it down from shut vary. Our goalie made a reflex cease after which grabbed the ball on the second try. Nonetheless it proved to be a momentary respite.

Chelsea had been aggrieved {that a} penalty was awarded in opposition to Charles for a shove on Foord with virtually all of the contact going down earlier than they crossed the road into the realm, however the spot-kick was awarded nonetheless.

Gunners captain Little feels Musovic the mistaken manner along with her strike. There have been 57 minutes performed.

Fran Kirby and Eve Perisset had been introduced on as Hayes seemed for her crew to react.

Sophie Ingle flashed a shot off track however Musovic had been pressured into additional saves, together with tipping a looping ball in from Foord onto her personal crossbar.

Factors saved

Late on nevertheless Eriksson had a header saved after a free-kick was nodded again his manner and James noticed a shot blocked. The Blues had been striving our hardest to salvage one thing from this essential sport. Cuthbert had successive pictures blocked throughout a scramble after which Perisset hit the side-netting.

However with the 90 minutes virtually up, reward was on its manner. One other substitute Jelena Cankovic despatched in a candy supply, Kerr had timed her run completely, and her header was unstoppable!

What’s subsequent?

It is again residence to Kingsmeadow subsequent Sunday after we host Liverpool in one other WSL match. Kick-off is 12.30pm. Click on for tickets

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Musovic; Charles (Perisset 62), Buchanan, Shiny, Eriksson (c) (Rytting Kaneryd 86); Cuthbert, Ingle (Cankovic 81); James, Fleming (Kirby 62), Reiten; Kerr.

Unused subs: Berger, Carter, Svitkova, Mjelde, Abdullina.

Rating: Kerr 89

Booked: James 39

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger, Wienroither, Williamson, Souza, Catley; Little (c), Walti; Hurtig (McCabe 81), Maanum, Foord; Blackstenius.

Unused subs: D’Angelo, Wubben-Moy, Beattie, Maritz, Pelova, Kuhl, Iwabuchi, Queiroz.

Rating: Little 57 pen

Booked: McCabe 88

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