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Arsenal Women 1 - Birmingham City Women 0 match recap: QUALIFIED!

Katie McCabe’s late strike keeps the Arsenal Women top of the FAWSL table.

Arsenal Women v Bristol City Women - FA WSL
Winger Beth Mead was the best player on the pitch today for Arsenal.
Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

It would have been easy for the Arsenal women to get frustrated with today’s match. They couldn’t seem to find a breakthrough despite controlling the game for basically the full 90 minutes. The ball spent little time in the Arsenal defensive half of the pitch and almost no time in the Arsenal defensive third. Despite all the possession, they were not really able to generate all that many chances on frame, and those they did were well saved by Hannah Hampton.

But Arsenal eventually got their breakthrough off the foot of Katie McCabe on a lovely piece of individual play. The left winger popped up on the right side of the pitch, cut infield around her defender, and curled a fantastic low shot into the near corner.

Beth Mead had a particularly strong match down the right hand side of the Arsenal formation and was the driving force behind the attack. She consistently found pockets of space between the lines and put in cross after cross for Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk to attack. Leah Williamson also stood out. She wasn’t asked to do much defensively, but she cut out the chances she needed to, and her distribution was on point.

Today’s win was a significant one for the Arsenal women. The full three points took them four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table and within six points of clinching their first title since 2012. It also qualified the club for the Champions League after five years out of the competition.

The women are next in action on April 21st, home to Everton.