Today Birmingham City take on Arsenal at St. George’s Park in another FA Women’s Super League clash. The home side currently sit ninth in the table with only 11 points, whilst Arsenal are in fourth and are fighting to get a place in next season’s Champions League.
The blues suffered a 4-0 loss away from home against the current FA Cup holders Manchester City last week, but upon reflection of the game head coach Carla Ward said: “This group have been written off since day one. We take each game as it comes, we maintain focus, stick together and hopefully, we will pick up points.”
Meanwhile the gunners managed to get their first win of 2021 following a superb performance and a 4-0 win away at Banks’s stadium against Aston Villa. However, Arsenal cannot afford to slip up in this fixture if they want to secure a place in the Champions League next season.
Emillia Hawkins takes you through all the action as it happens.
Birmingham Starting XI: Hannah Hampton, Harriet Scott (c), Georgia Brougham, Ruby Mace, Rebecca Holloway, Mollie Green, Chloe McCarron, Ruesha Littlejohn, Sarah Mayling, Emma Kelly, Emily Murphy.
Birmingham Substitutes: Sophie Whitehouse, Christie Murray, Jamie-Lee Napier, Lucy Whipp, Claudia Walker, Gemma Lawley, Libby Hart.
Arsenal Starting XI: Lydia Williams, Noelle Maritz, Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Katie McCabe, Lia Walti, Danielle Van De Donk, Jordan Nobbs, Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Caitlin Foord.
Arsenal Substitutes: Manuela Zinsberger, Fran Stenson, Anna Patten, Leonie Maier, Malin Gut, Lisa Evans, Jill Roord, Kim Little.
3′ Birmingham win the first corner of the game, the ball is sent into a dangerous position in the penalty area but Arsenal eventually manage to clear their lines.
6′ Arsenal win their first corner of the game. Katie McCabe takes it and crosses the ball into the box, it finds the head of Vivianne Miedema but her effort hits the post. The WSL top goalscorer has never scored against the blues before, but will be eager to claim her first goal today.Embed from Getty Images
11′ The blues are really being put under pressure in this opening phase of the game, Arsenal have already created a handful of chances and Miedema is looking to be a big threat to the Birmingham defence.
14′ Arsenal win a free kick 35 yards out from the goal after Beth Mead is pulled down. McCabe steps up to take it however her effort hits the wall and Birmingham eventually manage to clear the ball away.
20′ Lia Walti lays the ball off to Miedema just outside of the Birmingham penalty area. Miedema takes the ball on her right foot and tries to curl the it into the bottom left corner of the goal, but it heads narrowly wide.
22′ How have Arsenal not scored?! The ball is crossed into the box by Jordan Nobbs, Caitlin Foord controls it well but then fires it over the crossbar despite only being a few yards out from goal. The gunners could easily be two or three goals ahead by now, Birmingham are holding on for dear life.
29′ Arsenal create another chance as Nobbs crosses the ball towards the back post. Foord tries to attack the ball but it is just beyond her reach and so the blues have a goal kick.
34′ Birmingham are really on the ropes now as they fail to clear their lines following an Arsenal corner. The ball falls to Lotte Wubben-Moy who takes a shot on goal, but her effort is brilliantly saved by Hannah Hampton in goal.
37′ GOAL FOR ARSENAL: The gunners finally put the ball in the back of the net as Foord heads the ball in from close range after the blues fail to clear it away. There is some slight confusion as it is originally flagged offside, however the referee overturns the linesman’s decision and the goal stands.Embed from Getty Images
Birmingham 0-1 Arsenal
39′ GOAL FOR ARSENAL: The ball is crossed into Miedema in the penalty area who then flicks it on to Foord at the back post, the Australian only has to tap the ball in to double Arsenal’s lead as well as her goal tally.
Birmingham 0-2 Arsenal
42′ The gunners nearly claim their third as the ball is sent over to Nobbs on the left side of the pitch. She takes it down with an excellent touch before driving towards goal and aiming her shot towards the bottom left, but her effort is saved by Hampton.
Half Time: Birmingham 0-2 Arsenal
Arsenal have taken control of the game with two late goals in quick succession. Birmingham really need a strong start to the second half if they are to get anything from this game, but the gunners do not look like they are slowing down any time soon.Embed from Getty Images
Substitution for Birmingham as Chloe McCarron and Emily Murphy make way for Christie Murray and Claudia Walker.
50′ Leah Williamson is shown a yellow card for clattering into Rebecca Holloway as the blues try to counter attack. Birmingham are looking much more lively in these opening minutes of the second half.
60′ Miedema finds the ball on the edge of the Birmingham penalty area. She manages to create herself some space before getting a shot away, however Hampton makes a comfortable save.Embed from Getty Images
62′ Substitution for Arsenal as Kim Little comes on to replace goalscorer Caitlin Foord.
63′ Arsenal come close to scoring once again as McCabe sends the ball into the penalty area from a corner. The Birmingham defence fail to clear the ball away and it falls to Williamson, but her shot is sent well over the crossbar.
64′ Substitution for Birmingham as Lucy Whipp and Jamie-Lee Napier replace Emma Kelly and Mollie Green.
69′ Birmingham are desperate to get back into this game as Harriet Scott drives into the Arsenal penalty area from the right, she attempts a cross but the ball is claimed by Lydia Williams.
74′ Substitution for Arsenal as Jordan Nobbs and Lia Walti make way for Lisa Evans and Malin Gut.
76′ GOAL FOR ARSENAL: Vivianne Miedema finally gets her goal after receiving the ball on the left side of the penalty area, driving around the Birmingham defence and putting it into the top left corner – an excellent effort from the striker.
Birmingham 0-3 Arsenal
80′ Substitution for Arsenal as Jill Roord and Leonie Maier come on to replace Danielle Van De Donk and Noelle Maritz.
90′ The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
90+3′ GOAL FOR ARSENAL: The gunners seal all three points in style after Miedema passes the ball through to Lisa Evans on the right who drives into the penalty area before smashing the ball into the top left corner.
Full Time: Birmingham 0-4 Arsenal
Arsenal claim their second consecutive win in the midlands after an impressive performance saw them put four goals past the hosts Birmingham. Joe Montemurro will undoubtedly be happy with his teams performance in this game and will want to carry the form onto their next fixture – a huge clash with Manchester United which is a make-or-break game for the gunners in terms of their push for a place in the top three. Meanwhile the blues have another tough game to come on Thursday when they will face Everton. Carla Ward and her team really need to start gaining the points if they are to secure their place in the WSL next season.