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Arsenal Women 0-0 Aston Villa: dull

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Arsenal officially clinched Champions League football. Aston Villa stayed up.

Arsenal Women v Aston Villa Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Arsenal Women and Aston Villa played out a dull 0-0 draw that officially sealed Champions League football for the Gunners, and a further season of WSL football for the visitors. This was a game of few chances: Vivianne Miedema came closest for Arsenal, twice, with Lisa Weiß saving both times, while Stine Larsen had a shot deflected out for a corner in the second half.

Aston Villa came with a back five, played with eleven behind the ball at all times, and increasingly went down with cramp and injury in the second half, even as Arsenal tried to build momentum. They came for a point, and Arsenal, having essentially secured Champions League football last week, never really got out of first gear.

It means Arsenal miss out on hitting 50 points for the season—Joe Montemurro’s final league target. Arsenal finish with 48 points from 22 games, a return of 2.18 PPG. For comparison, in the previous two campaigns, Arsenal finished with 2.4 PPG and 2.7 PPG when they won the title. The Gunners hit the bare minimum of qualifying for the Champions League, with the WSL having an extra place, but what happens over the summer, and who Arsenal bring in to replace Montemurro, will go a lot to determining whether Arsenal can close the gap between themselves and Manchester City and title-winners Chelsea.

Arsenal have one final game before the season ends: they play Crystal Palace at home in the 5th round of the Women’s FA Cup next weekend.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Williams; Maier (Catley 46’), Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe; Wälti (Gut 73’), Little, Roord; Mead (Foord 73’), Miedema, Nobbs (Van de Donk 73’)
Substitutes not used: Zinsberger, Patten, Maritz, Goldie