Arsenal 2-3 Manchester United
by Darrell Allen at The Emirates for Impetus (20/11/22).
Above: Alessia Russo celebrates her goal in second-half stoppage time that sealed Manchester United’s win. Photo: Barclays WSL.
Manchester United came from behind to secure a famous win at The Emirates and end Arsenal’s long winning run in the WSL.
Ella Toone gave Manchester United the lead at the interval but Arsenal turned the game on its head with goals from Frida Maanum and Laura Wienroither before the visitors turned the game on its head again late on with Millie Turner and Alessia Russo scoring and sending the three points back to Manchester.
Failing To Meet Expectations
On their big Saturday night at The Emirates in front of over 40,000 fans, it is fair to say Arsenal failed to deliver and failed to live up to the expectations on them for this game.
In the first half, Arsenal’s performance was below par. United enjoyed some excellent possession and chances. Leah Galton forced a save out of Manuela Zinsberger before Nikita Parris fired over the bar.
The home fans’ frustration was shown when Ella Toone’s goal was greeted with frustration and boos from the Arsenal support.
There was a reaction and improvement in the early stages of the second half with the goals from Maanum and Wienroither, however United were better across the course and distance of the game and came away with the win they fully deserved.
Whilst the majority of the crowd would have been disappointed with the end result, they couldn’t say they weren’t entertained. This was just a stunning game of football.
It was Toone time in the first half before United looked like they had collapsed in yet another big game but Marc Skinner’s team were a threat all night and the dramatic way in which Millie Turner’s header came off the crossbar and went in sparked energy and belief that more could happen.
Just as the stoppage time board went up and signalled seven additional minutes, up stepped Alessia Russo to head home and take the life out of the Emirates. The home crowd were stunned but United had won it and deservedly so.
A theme of the night for both clubs were the ball deliveries for the goals. First up, the late cross from the by-line from Hayley Ladd which found Toone to score.
After Laura Wienroither had glided through herself to level the scores there was the fabulous cross from Katie McCabe who found the Austrian who volleyed home to give Arsenal the lead.
To finish the night was Katie Zelem who provided two electric balls for two incredible headers from Turner and Russo respectively. Just a stunning game with the deliveries the highlight.
Awesome Away Fans
There has been much debate over recent months about whether the WSL should have away sections. The Manchester United supporters at The Emirates gave only a good demonstration of why this is a good idea.
They filled the famous Clock End Away, singing and dancing the night away. They could even be heard after the game as they made the way back to their coaches to head back north. This away crowd made the atmosphere and it’s an absolute must at all WSL venues.
Over to you Chelsea
Chelsea will have been delighted with the result at The Emirates which sees Arsenal, Manchester United and the defending champions all sit tied on 18 points after seven games.
Chelsea of course have their big day at a sold-out Stamford Bridge today with Emma Hayes returning and Erin Cuthbert buzzing after signing her new contract.
The Blues have the chance to go three points clear, albeit with a game in hand but a win over Tottenham would see Hayes and her team take their first real attempt at physiological authority on the WSL this season.
Teams: ARSENAL (4-3-3): Zinsberger, Wubben-Moy, Catley, Nobbs, Mead, Maanum, Walti, Mccabe, Foord, Blackstenius, Wienroither. Subs: Marckese, Beattie, Miedema, Maritz, Iwabuchi, Agyemang, Earl, Reid.
Scorers: Maanum 46′, Wienroither 73′.
MANCHESTER UNITED (4-1-4-1): Earps, Battle, Blundell, Toone, Zelem, Galton, Ladd, Le Tissier, Turner, Parris, Russo. Subs: Baggaley, Thorisdottir, Moore, Boe Risa, Thomas, Garcia, Tounkara, Williams, Staniforth.
Scorers: Toone 39′, Turner 85′, Russo 90+1′.
Referee: Kirsty Dowle