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Friday, December 3, 2021

Miedema goal gives Arsenal dramatic draw


Arsenal saved their unbeaten start to the Women’s Super League season in dramatic fashion as Vivianne Miedema scored a stoppage-time equaliser against north London rivals Tottenham.

The league leaders trailed after Rachel Williams bundled in the opener, threatening to cause an upset at The Hive.

But Miedema, Arsenal’s ever-reliable goalscorer, stepped up once again to nod home a corner and send more than 2,800 fans into a frenzy.

Arsenal had missed several big chances to break the deadlock before Williams’ opener – with Katie McCabe and Beth Mead both hitting the woodwork in the first half.

Miedema herself had also come close when she was denied by goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela, while Mead was a constant threat throughout.

The draw extends Arsenal’s league lead to four points but Chelsea can close the gap on Sunday when they face Manchester City (15:00 GMT).

It was another significant result for Tottenham, who backed up a draw with Manchester United with this draw, and who maintain their challenge for a Champions League qualification spot.

Spurs resilient but Arsenal pressure pays off

Katie McCabe had a free-kick clawed off the line after she hit the post in the first half

Tottenham boss Rehanne Skinner had demanded a hard-working performance from her side earlier this week – and got it in what was a typically robust performance.

Williams and Graham worked tirelessly off the ball to provide support in midfield as Arsenal dominated possession – but the Spurs pair were also a threat on the break.

And their efforts paid off when the two combined to stun Arsenal, setting up a brilliant finale as the Gunners piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.

Miedema, who had cut a frustrated figure on numerous occasions, had tormented the Spurs backline with weaving runs and dangerous efforts but to no avail.

But she ultimately delivered, showing the ruthlessness that has made her one of the most prolific strikers in the world.

The title race is opening up in intriguing fashion and should Chelsea close the gap on Sunday, just one point will separate the top two.

Spurs, who should have gone 2-0 up when Ashley Neville missed an open goal from a few yards out, will take huge confidence from this performance, though Brighton remain hot on their heels in fourth place.

‘This isn’t a surprise to me’ – what they said

Tottenham manager Rehanne Skinner: “It’s fantastic. Coming into the game, the players have been so focused and diligent. I was hoping, as all managers do, that they pull that together and deliver on that.

“This performance today isn’t a surprise to me because of how they work but they had to deliver on the day. It’s a great point on my birthday so I’ll take that!”

Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall: “I think the crowd was amazing today. It was a good atmosphere. I think we were coming into the game with a lot of difficult circumstances.

“It was a very physical game, which doesn’t allow us to move the ball as quickly as possible. I’m happy with the performance overall.”

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