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Arsenal Women 1-1 Manchester United: Blackstenius rescues point for 10-player Gunners

Stina Blackstenius’ first goal for Arsenal rescued a point.

Arsenal Women v Manchester United Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal have made a habit of scoring late goals under Jonas Eidevall, a habit that has been useful in recent weeks. While Stina Blackstenius’ first goal for Arsenal was not as late as Tobin Heath’s equalizer against Manchester City, it was just as valuable, with Blackstenius rescuing a point for the Gunners against Manchester United.

Manchester United were unbeaten away from home in the league entering play, and had beaten Arsenal a little over two weeks ago in the Continental Cup, so it is perhaps no surprise that they started the better team. Arsenal, too, were hampered by the absence of Leah Williamson and Lotte Wubben-Moy, with Rafaelle Souza only fit enough for the bench.

When United won in the Continental Cup, Alessia Russo had connected with a Katie Zelem set piece delivery, and the same combination put United ahead after just 10 minutes. From a corner, Russo leapt over Kim Little to meet Zelem’s delivery, and Katie McCabe on the line couldn’t clear the ball.

Arsenal were rocking, and United could’ve had a second, with Zinsberger saving from Signe Bruun. While United threatened from set pieces, Arsenal, though, sprang into life, with Mary Earps pushing Vivianne Miedema’s shot onto the crossbar, and Tobin Heath shooting just over. With United offering a threat from set pieces, though, Arsenal were nervy, and they suffered against Manchester United’s pressing, with the unorthodox partnership of Beattie and Catley in central defence struggling to quickly play through United.

In the second half, Arsenal were able to exert some control and begin passing through United’s pressure, and they could’ve gone level, with Jen Beattie’s scuffed shot getting cleared off the line by Russo. Shortly before the hour mark, Stina Blackstenius came on, with Miedema dropping to a number 10 role.

Shortly after, Arsenal were nearly level. From a set piece, Zinsberger quickly through the ball out to Kim Little, who drove on and crossed for Caitlin Foord, whose near post effort was saved at point blank range by Earps.

Soon after, Arsenal’s challenge grew. Katie McCabe was on a booking, and after a loose touch, collided with Ona Battle in trying to control the ball. McCabe was shown a second yellow, and Arsenal were down to 10.

Arsenal were facing down the barrel of a defeat ahead of the trip to Kingsmeadow. Yet four minutes after the Gunners went down to ten, they were level, thanks to an incredible pass from Miedema, whose pass set Blackstenius past the entire Manchester United team, with the Swede’s shot having enough power to deflect past Earps hand.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger; Maritz, Beattie (Maanum 58’), Catley (Rafaelle 70’), McCabe; Wälti, Little; Mead (Boye 85’), Nobbs (Blackstenius 58’), Heath (Foord 45’); Miedema
Substitutes not used: Williams, Parris, Wienroither

Goals: Blackstenius 79’

Yellow cards: McCabe, Miedema

Red cards: McCabe