WSL 20/21 | Arsenal v United - Fri 19 Match at 6:30pm

jojojo

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Big match to start the weekend:

In terms of our Champions League qualification this could be decisive for us. Arsenal are currently 6 points behind us, but they have a game in hand and a much better GD. A defeat for us in this one could be a killer, the WSL big three don't drop many points to people outside the big 3 (+1)
 

jojojo

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Good news on the forwards front - Lauren James and Christen Press both back and in the starting lineup.

Not quite sure why Ladd and Thorisdottir are on the bench, but let's hope Casey has called it right.
 

Maestro14

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Great to see James and Press back. We really needed them.

Meanwhile, Leah Williamson is injured for Arsenal.

 

mazhar13

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Yeah, Amy Turner got drawn way too close to the ball without anyone else being aware of the big gap that she opened up. Without anyone really going in for a challenge, Arsenal were able to play pass into the middle where Roord was able to enter the box unopposed. Since then, though, Arsenal haven't done as well in building up attacks now that we've upped our intensity.
 

jojojo

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Yeah, Amy Turner got drawn way too close to the ball without anyone else being aware of the big gap that she opened up. Without anyone really going in for a challenge, Arsenal were able to play pass into the middle where Roord was able to enter the box unopposed. Since then, though, Arsenal haven't done as well in building up attacks now that we've upped our intensity.
It was far too easy to get between Harris and Amy Turner - very frustrating stuff. I really was hoping that Thorisdottir would be ready to be a starter for us, we could do with that kind of talent/experience back there.

A bit of bad luck in the goal as well, the deflection off Millie Turner killed whatever chance Mary Earp's had of saving it.

We're going to have our work cut out tonight.
 

Ayush_reddevil

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It's so annoying to concede early in these big games and then having to chase all game
 

mazhar13

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We're going to have our work cut out tonight.
We are indeed. Arsenal's pressing has been very good, and they've done a great job in cutting out our passing options. Katie Zelem, in particular, has struggled with the press, and more often than not, we've had to build up our attacks from the flanks.

I think Stoney will make some tactical adjustments to improve our situation, most notably having the wide players come inside and pick up the ball in the midfield. The resultant interchanges and additional movements should stretch Arsenal and create more spaces. At the moment, the Arsenal midfield are finding it too easy to keep up with United's midfielders.
 

RORY65

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2 big chances in a minute, the positive is we're more in this game than we were against Chelsea and City.
 

mazhar13

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That's much, much better from United. We're starting to see both Toone and James come inside now, and the Arsenal defenders are now starting to show them more respect, which is creating more spaces for Staniforth and others.
 

croadyman

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That Reading defeat feels a bit like the female equivalent of Sheff Utd right now, looks like Everton will have a big say in this as they play them on the 2 May and we do the following week
 
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mazhar13

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I think the tie's over at this point. Too often have United lost the ball due to a lack of movement from others or heavy touches from the midfielders. Arsenal look quicker and more energetic whilst we look more sluggish.
 

mazhar13

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James going off for Sigsworth means that we have a proper energetic forward up front whilst Press gets to play a more free role. Immediately, Press becomes more influential, and Sigsworth with her movement means that the defence is starting to get more stretched.
 

croadyman

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Those long term injuries to Russo & Heath have really hit us hard in those games with Chelsea, City & Arsenal
 

mazhar13

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Those long term injuries to Russo & Heath have really hit us hard in those games with Chelsea, City & Arsenal
James also looked a bit off the pace after having come back from a lengthy injury herself. We just need to brush this loss under the carpet and move on in our quest to secure 3rd place.
 

mazhar13

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Arsenal have dropped a bunch of players back after the sending and kept their shape compact. We've moved the ball way too slowly to open them up. Our deeper players have hesitated to play quick through passes to our runners, and our only option has been to cross the ball in from the flanks.

Slowly, Arsenal are dropping deeper, and we're winning more second balls, but we're still struggling to create chances, overall.
 

G-MUFC

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Did Utd even manage a shot on target? Felt like I was watching the men's team there - slow poor passing, and constantly passing backwards and sideways.
 

kundalini

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A terrible 2nd half performance, especially after Beth Mead's red card, though we were asleep for the opening few mins after half-time, as Arsenal dominated, then scored from the corner; looks like everyone now knows how poor we are at defending corners.

First half I thought Ona Batlle played well, as did Jackie Groenen and Lucy Staniforth. Shame Lauren James came up with a shocking finish on our big chance after a good move featuring Ona stealing possession then Jackie setting up Lauren. Ella Toone might have done better on the stretch a minute later from Lucy Staniforth's super through-ball. Christen Press had 3 shots, one blocked, one saved easily from an angle and a curling shot that went wide. Overall, by far our best half against an elite team since the Christmas break, not perfect but decent.

Second half most of the team went to pieces. Lucy was dreadful, Katie Zelem likewise. Christen Press kept running straight into Arsenal defenders. Numerous players gave away stupid fouls that allowed Arsenal to run down the clock. Poor crosses and over-hit through-balls. Amy and Millie demonstrated just how uncomfortable they are at taking the responsibility for passing the ball forwards; they'd rather pass the ball to each other or back to Mary Earps.

Plenty for Casey to think about. First half of the season was so encouraging but our post Christmas form suggests that rather too many of our players aren't currently ready to compete against the elite sides.
 
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croadyman

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A truly abysmal 2nd half performance, especially after Beth Mead's red card, though we were asleep for the opening few mins after half-time, as Arsenal dominated, then scored from the corner.

First half I thought Ona Batlle played well, as did Jackie Groenen and Lucy Staniforth. Shame Lauren James came up with a shocking finish on our big chance after a good move featuring Ona stealing possession then Jackie setting up Lauren. Ella Toone might have done better on the stretch a minute later from Lucy Staniforth's super through-ball. Christen Press had 3 shots, one blocked, one saved easily from an angle and a curling shot that went wide. Overall, by far our best half against an elite team since the Christmas break, not perfect but decent.

Second half most of the team went to pieces. Lucy was dreadful, Katie Zelem likewise. Christen Press kept running straight into Arsenal defenders. Numerous players gave away stupid fouls that allowed Arsenal to run down the clock. Poor crosses and over-hit through-balls. Amy and Millie demonstrated just how uncomfortable they are at taking the responsibility for passing the ball forwards; they'd rather pass the ball to each other or back to Mary Earps.
Yeah felt like a reality check and cannot see them dropping any silly points between now and the end of season