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Manchester United 0-2 Arsenal Women: Miedema, McCabe keep Arsenal top

Arsenal went back to winning ways

Manchester United Women v Arsenal Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus

Vivianne Miedema became the first player to score against every WSL opponent they have faced, as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0. Two second half goals, from Miedema, and a Katie McCabe penalty were enough, as Arsenal got back to winning ways in the league.

Jonas Eidevall named the same lineup as against Tottenham, with one change: Jen Beattie came in for the injured Leah Williamson. Much as against Spurs, Arsenal controlled the first half without necessarily creating many openings.

The best chance of the half came early, when McCabe set up Beth Mead at the top of the box. Mead cut back onto her foot, only to see her shot crash off the bar. Shortly before half time, McCabe found Noelle Maritz at the far post, but the Swiss fullback’s shot was parried over the bar by Mary Earps.

Where Arsenal were better than last week, though, was their shape off the ball, which was also a focus of play during the week. Unlike Spurs, Manchester United were not able to make in-roads on the counter-attack.

The breakthrough came three minutes into the second half. Miedema collected the ball from McCabe 30 yards from goal, and seeing Earps’ positioned very far over to the right, arrowed her shot into the middle left half of the goal to give Arsenal the lead.

Nine minutes later it was too. McCabe collected Miedema’s pass, and has she prepared to shoot, she was taken out by Hannah Blundell, giving Arsenal a penalty. Arsenal’s regular taker, Kim Little, was subbed off at half time, and after some deliberations, McCabe stepped up, and floated the penalty into the corner.

Arsenal dropped off after the second goal. not looking to press as high as they had before hand. United had chances, with their best coming when Katie Zelem was played in by a fantastic ball over the top from Lucy Staniforth, but her shot was straight at Manu Zinsberger.

Arsenal would hit the bar again: Mead was fouled on the line of the penalty box, but the referee gave a free kick rather than point to the spot. Miedema took a floated free kick which left Earps stranded, but hit the bar, denying Arsenal a third.

Next up for Arsenal is the Women’s FA Cup final on December 5, against Chelsea, after the conclusion of the next international break.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger; Maritz (Patten 90+4’), Wubben-Moy, Beattie, Catley; Wälti, Maanum; Mead, Little (Nobbs 45’), McCabe (Parris 77’); Miedema (Foord 85’)
Substitutes not used: Williams, Stenson, Goldie, Houssein

Goals: Miedema 48’, McCabe 57’ (p)