Vivianne Miedema’s 28th minute goal was enough as Arsenal Women beat last-placed Liverpool Women 1-0. While the Gunners were rarely threatened by Liverpool, who have now scored only a single penalty in seven league games, Arsenal struggled to add to the scoreline, meaning they remain in 3rd place, as both Chelsea, a point ahead, and Manchester City, ahead on goal difference, won by large margins this afternoon.
Arsenal made several changes to the side that beat Bristol City in the Continental Cup on Thursday, but one change from the team that beat Tottenham last weekend, with Jill Roord coming into the side for Lia Wälti. The Gunners often struggled for fluency, and it was Liverpool who had the best chance of the opening stages, with Sophie Bradley-Auckland hitting the post via Manuela Zinsberger’s fingertips from a Becky Jane free kick. Liverpool, though, nearly gifted Vivianne Miedema a goal, by giving her the ball in the box from their own clearance, before Miedema did strike. Leah Williamson was able to play into Roord, and Roord slipped in Miedema, who beat the Liverpool defender before cracking her shot into the bottom left corner for her 4th goal in the league and 16th in all competitions.
Arsenal should’ve added to the lead: Beth Mead screwed a tap-in wide after a great cross from Miedema, and Jordan Nobbs also missed a chance, again set-up by Miedema.
In the second half, Arsenal’s struggles, rather than easing, increased, epitomized by Mead playing a short corner straight to a Liverpool player. Miedema had several good looks, one from a short corner from Mead, one after winning possession from a throw, but was unable to hit the target. Leah Williamson hit the bar from 25 yards, but the second goal would not come.
Wälti replaced Nobbs after 80 minutes, freeing Kim Little to play higher up, but Arsenal could not create any more. It was no matter, as neither could Liverpool, and the match petered out. It is three points, a third win in a week, and another clean sheet, but Arsenal will be perturbed by their inability to create more chances, especially as there is now a significant gap in goal difference between Arsenal, at 9, Manchester City, at 16, and Chelsea at 15.
Arsenal are next in action next Sunday, as they host Bristol City, who they beat 7-0 in the League Cup on Thursday, in the WSL.
Arsenal 1 (Miedema 28’)
Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Zinsberger; Evans, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe (Maier 46’); Roord, Little, Nobbs (Wälti 81’); Mead, Miedema, Van de Donk