Arsenal Women v Manchester United Continental Tyres Cup Quarter Final – Match Preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

On Wednesday evening 19 January, Covid permitting, our Women’s team enter the Continental Tyres Cup at the quarter final stage.  Due to our involvement in the Champions League group stage we were exempt from the earlier group stage of the competition.  Our opponents are Manchester United so I expect this to be a stern test.

Our recent results have been, to say the least, disappointing.  After our magnificent start to the season, our last five games have given four losses and only a single win.

  • Sun Dec 5.   2021 Fa Cup Final: Arsenal 0 Chelsea 3
  • Thu Dec 9.  Champions League: Arsenal 0 Barcelona 4
  • Sun Dec 12.WSL: Arsenal 4 Leicester City 0
  • Wed 15 Dec.   Champions League: Hoffenheim 4 Arsenal 1
  • Sen 09 Jan.  Birmingham City 2 Arsenal 0

For me it has been the manner of the defeats that has hurt the most.  In none of them did we ever look confident, our passing has been off with even routine five to ten yard balls being made to opposition players rather than teammates and we haven’t looked anywhere near the way we were playing at the start of the season.  Particularly difficult was the loss to Birmingham City who were bottom of the WSL at the time whilst we were top.  Anyone watching the game would have thought that we were the bottom team so dire was our game.

We now have a chance to get back on track with the Continental Tyres Cup (League Cup) which is a competition we traditionally have a good record in.  Starting in 2011 the competition has only been won by ourselves (5 times), Manchester City (three times) and current holders Chelsea (twice).  We have also been losing finalists on three occasions.

Manchester United qualified second in their group with wins against Everton and Manchester City and draws against Durham and Leicester City.  Manchester City qualified top with the same points but having won all of their matches against teams other than United.  United got an extra point in winning a penalty shootout in one of their two draws.

The current WSL table gives the relative positions of the two teams

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 10 8 1 1 30 5 25 25
2 Chelsea 9 7 0 2 27 6 21 21
3 Man United 11 6 3 2 24 13 11 21
4 Spurs 11 6 3 2 13 8 5 21
5 Man City 11 6 1 4 28 18 10 19
6 Reading 10 5 1 4 12 12 0 16
7 Brighton 11 5 0 6 12 16 -4 15
8 West Ham 10 3 5 2 13 12 1 14
9 Everton 10 3 2 5 9 16 -7 11
10 Aston Villa 11 3 1 7 6 25 -19 10
11 Leicester 12 12 2 0 10 6 24 -18
12 Birmingham 12 1 1 10 6 31 -25 4

So the game is first versus third in the table.  Arsenal should start as favourites providing that we play with our usual mojo.

We are boosted by the return of Leah Williamson who is now back training following her lengthy absence with a leg injury.  Mana Iwabuchi is also back with the team after injury.  We have signed three new players during the transfer window as well.

First to arrive was 25 year old Stina Blackstenius who is Swedish and signed from Hacken.  She is a pacy forward and has 22 goals in 72 games for Sweden.  She can play anywhere across the front line but is probably more of a classic number nine rather than a wide forward.  I hope she makes an effective partner to Viv Miedema.

We then signed 23-year-old Austrian defender Laura Wienroither from Hoffenheim (pictured above).  Head Coach Jonas Eidevall has said he sees as more of a right-back than a central defender so she will provide cover and back up to Noelle Maritz

Last to arrive is 30-year-old Brazilian defender Rafaelle Souza who becomes the first female Brazilian at the club.  She is also the only left-footed defender which was a major factor in her signing.

It is possible that Stina may well get some minutes against United, Laura and Rafaelle will probably make the bench but I would be surprised to see either of them on the pitch this week.

The match is at Meadow Park, Borehamwood with a 19:15 kickoff  Tickets are available on the gate or in advance from

I will be in the East Stand and will try to post updates at halftime and at the end of the game.

Next up for our Women is a WSL game against Manchester City on Sunday evening in Manchester.  This will not be a repeat of the 5 – 0 drubbing we inflicted on them at Borehamwood early in the season and, whilst I would like to see a win, their recent form and return of a number of injured players marks this game as one where a draw would probably be a decent result.


5 Replies to “Arsenal Women v Manchester United Continental Tyres Cup Quarter Final – Match Preview”

  1. Confirmed Arsenal team and bench

    Line-up (4231); Zinsberger; Maritz, Beattie, Schnaderbeck, McCabe; Maanum, Little, Nobbs; Parris, Mead, Miedema.
    Subs: Stenson, Goldie, Williamson, Wienroither, Boye, Head, Heath, Blackstenius.

    Our three Australians are still on international duty


  2. Half time and goalless. Both teams seem more intent on nullifying the other and there hasn’t been a lot of attacking flair so far. Referee far from the best I’ve seen, hope we don’t get him again any time soon

  3. A fifth defeat in six games tonight. An incompetent performance from the match officials shouldnt mask our teams failings. Gone was the fluency and pace of our early season games and we rarely threatened the United goal. The only goal of the game came with five minutes remaining when we failed to deal with a United free kick. That was one of the few free kicks correctly awarded to United in the whole game. We need to be better and quickly.

  4. Interesting! How much influence does Mike Riley have over women’s football, I wonder? We certainly saw Man Utd commit foul, after foul, after foul. We saw one of our players getting severely injured by a dangerous kick in the stomach (which was a pretty decent red card) and our manager getting booked for complaining. And we saw Man U players kicking the ball away every time they committed a foul with no action taken by the ref. It was almost like Fergie was in charge!!

    What sickened me equally as much as the refereeing was watching the game on the FA’s own website and hearing 90 minutes of sycophantic drivel from the commentator, repeatedly bigging up the “Red Devil’s” as he must have called the 20 times in a way only a Man U fan does. His commentary might have been valid if Man U were in any way on top at any point in the game, or if they were top of the league, or if they’d ever won anything in their history. But oh no, this was Man U so he couldn’t help himself verbally dribbling over the team and repeatedly banging on about the “fantastic away support” from the “barmy army”….at which point the camera cuts away to eight cockneys in Man U shirts.

    Utterly pathetic.

  5. Mikey,

    The PGMO are fully in charge of thereferees in the Women’s games so we really shouldn’t be at all surprised at the diabolical standard of officiating. Even by their standards today was poor.

    I can’t remember the last time we lost five games outof six. Something is not right at the moment and we are in severe danger of throwing away our place at the top of the WSL.

    We are away at Man City on Sunday evening. If we continue to produce performances like this then it will be six losses out of seven games. VivianneMiedema looks forlorn and a very pale shadow of her former self. Her contract expires in summer and I can’t see her signing a new one at the moment. I don’t know what that says when a club aiming to be the best cannot get the best striker in the world to beinterested in staying.

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