Top of the Table WSL Clash Ends in Scrappy Draw

Scrappy Draw

In what was the biggest Women’s Super League clash of the season so far, table toppers Arsenal visited second-placed Chelsea with just two points separating the sides. Arsenal won the previous league match between the two teams on the opening day of the season, but the two have had different fortunes recently with Chelsea on the up after some tactical changes from Emma Hayes.  Arsenal on the other hand have faltered and dropped points, opening things up at the top of the table. After an energetic game, the two sides couldn’t be separated in what was a scrappy draw.

Arsenal and Chelsea Women Duke It Out to a Scrappy Draw

Chelsea Cling On

Arsenal looked to be the more promising side for the majority of the first half.  At times their pressing was just too much for Chelsea to overcome with every one of the Blues’ players being surrounded by Arsenal shirts anytime they tried to move the ball forward. Chelsea were able to weather the spell with their recent shift to a back four paying dividends, even if Jess Carter had a nervy moment or two on the right-hand side. A swing of momentum came almost out of nowhere, though, and Chelsea were able to grow into the game as their energy on the press and attacking combinations started to pay off more and more as the half wore on. Arsenal finished the first 45 minutes with the best chances, including one effort that hit the post, but Chelsea went into the break hopeful of getting something out of the game.

Roles Reversed in the Second Period

Whatever momentum Chelsea had at the end of the first half carried over to the second. With Sam Kerr leading the line and Guro Reiten, Pernille Harder, and Fran Kirby all playing off her up front it was becoming more and more difficult for Arsenal to keep Chelsea at bay. As Chelsea have been prone to lately, they couldn’t find the required finishing touch to get a goal.

This briefly opened the door for Arsenal who had the ball pawed off the line twice by Chelsea in the late stages of the game before the West-London side took over for the last few minutes of the game. A goal evaded them although there were credible calls for a Chelsea penalty in stoppage time that the referee waved away.

Where Things Stand

After this positively scrappy draw, Arsenal remain at the top of the Women’s Super League. Chelsea will be the happier of the two however as they have a game in hand on the Gunners and only trail the league leaders by two points. The title is within Chelsea’s grasp should they continue their uptick in form following the formation switch from Emma Hayes at the halfway point of the season.

 

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