Player Ratings: Arsenal Women 2-1 Manchester City Women

Stina Blackstenius grabs late winner to give Arsenal Women victory

Player Ratings: Arsenal Women 2-1 Manchester City Women

The Arsenal team and joyous fans celebrate Steph Catley's opener at Meadow Park on Sunday afternoon. CREDIT: OFFSIDE

Arsenal Women 2-1 Manchester City

Stina Blackstenius capitalised on an awful error by Manchester City keeper Khiara Keating to grab a late winner after an eventful game in front of 3,453 fans at Meadow Park on Sunday lunchtime.

The 27-year-old Swedish international showed excellent anticipation as the onrushing Keating misjudged a throughball, to allow the Arsenal striker to slot home into an empty net.

The victory saw Jonas Eidevall’s side move up to fourth place in the WSL, after a rare Steph Catley strike had put Arsenal ahead at a packed Meadow Park prior to Choe Kelly’s second half equaliser.

Arsenal’s experienced 29-year-old Australian international fired past City keeper Keating and into the far corner to put the Gunners 1-0 ahead after 14 minutes.

The strike came after the home side had soaked up initial City dominance in the early stages. Worse was to come for the visitors four minutes later when Keating’s late challenge on Chloe Lacasse left referee Rebecca Welch no option but to award a penalty.

Up stepped Kim Little to aim the spot-kick low to Keating’s left, but the City keeper dived full-length to keep out the effort, and the ball was subsequently cleared.

City’s attempted to capitalise on the miss with Manuela Zinsberger saving well from former Gunners Jill Roord, prior to Lauren Hemp hitting the bar as Arsenal went into the break ahead.

Bunny Shaw, who received this correspondent’s vote for Football Writers’ Association player of last season hit the woodwork after the break.

While Beth Mead made a welcome appearance when she replaced Victoria Pelova midway through the second half, City’s dominance finally told when Lioness legend Kelly fired past Zinsberger to level at 1-1. The equaliser coming after the Arsenal backline failed to clear their lines.

Despite eight bookings, including five for Arsenal, it was never a dirty game. However, as the match appeared to be heading for a draw, Blackstenius, who replaced Russo on 75 minutes, fired home with three minutes remaining to hand the Gunners victory, following a delay after a medical emergency in the crowd.

Arsenal Player Ratings:

Manuela Zinsberger: 8/10 - Excellent save from former Gunners Jill Roord before the break. Showed bravery when clattered in the follow-up as Lauren Hemp’s header hit the bar. Looked composed under aerial pressure 

Steph Catley: 9/10 - Superb strike for the opener when firing into Keating’s far corner for only her second Gunners goal

Lotte Wubben-Moy: 8/10 - Provided a threat going forward at times, reliable at the back

Amanda Ilestedt: 7.5/10 - Returned in defence, replacing Laia Codina from the win at Bristol City

Katie McCabe: 8/10 - Scored the goal of the season here at Meadow Park against the same opposition, although for this match the tenacious Irish international featured at right-back. Always displays such ferocity of performance and never lets anyone down

Kim Little: 7.5/10 - A discussion must be had with Alessia Russo regarding penalty taking duties. While the Gunners captain has been a loyal servant in taking the spot-kicks over the years, every No9 worth their salt will always demand to assume responsibilities for such crucial moments. And Russo wants to take them. That said Keating pulled off an excellent save diving full length to her left to keep the ball out

Lia Walti: 7/10 - Put in a shift. Resolute

Caitlin Foord: 8.5/10 - Linked up with Catley down the left flank, including as assist for the goal 

Victoria Pelova: 7/10 - Displayed excellent technique in tight spaces. Replaced by Frida Maanum after the interval  

Alessia Russo: 7/10 - A class act who never stopped working on and off the ball but still adapting to her new club. Replaced by Blackstenius midway through the second half

Chloe Lacasse: 7/10 - Nice touches at times to dovetail well with Russo after coming in for Noelle Maritz after the victory at Bristol City. Replaced by Beth Mead on the hour mark


Beth Mead: 7/10 - Good to see the Lionesses star get further minutes in her bid to regain full match fitness following her long-term injury 

Stina Blackstenius: 8/10 - Replaced Russo after City’s equaliser to grab a vital winner for the Gunners



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