Arsenal v Manchester City Women’s Continental League Cup semi-final – match preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

After the disappointment of Sunday evening’s draw against West Ham in the WSL there is no time to lick our wounds as we are back in action Wednesday evening at Meadow Park against Man City in the semi-final of the Continental Tyres (League) Cup.  Kickoff is 19:15 and the match is being televised on the BBCiplayer.

The other semi-final is between West Ham and Chelsea on Thursday evening at the same time.  Chelsea are strong odds-on favourites to win that game.  I find it difficult to imagine West Ham playing two perfect games in the same week so I fully expect Chelsea to begin the final on 5 March at Crystal Palace’s ground Selhurst Park.

First we need to beat City.  If we hadn’t suffered the season-ending injuries to Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema, I would have us as quite strong favourites for this match.  With those two holes we are struggling with our attacking flair.  Beth and Viv have been ever present starters for the last five seasons and had developed an almost telepathic relationship knowing exactly where they were on the pitch at all times.  That fluency also extended to the rest of the team, if you know where your main goalscorer and providers are going to be it makes our trademark one-touch passing game quick and easy.

That fluency is not there at the moment.  Midfielders are having to look where the attacking trio of Hurtig, Foord and Blackstenius are slowing down our passing.  It doesn’t help that none of those three are anywhere near as prolific as either Mead or Miedema who are both clinical finishers.  I’m sure, at least I hope I’m sure, that those interlayer linkages will develop but until they do I fear we will continue to be disjointed in our attack.

We also haven’t been helped by an injury to Lia Wälti our most two-footed midfielder.  I suspect that she will still be missing for this game meaning that Leah Williamson will continue in her slightly more advanced role.  Whilst she has all of the passing ability to become an excellent midfielder I’m not sure that she has yet fully mentally adapted to the role.  Starting 20 to 30 metres further up the pitch brings a fresh perspective to be able to pick out colleagues in a more crowded area of the pitch.

I would expect Sabrina D’Angelo to start in goal, she has a better long-range distribution than Manuella Zinsberger and against City a slightly more direct approach may well prove effective.  West Ham sat so deep for the majority of Sunday’s match that there was virtually no space behind for us to exploit, I can’t see City being so deep, hopefully that will free u some space for us to be able to exploit.

I would expect our starting 11 to be

Sabrina D’Angelo (GK)

Laura Wienroither, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Rafelle Souza, Katie McCabe

Leah Williamson, Kim Little, Frida Maanum

Lina Hurtig, Stina Blackstenius, Caitlin Foord

Subs from

Manuella Zinsberger (GK), Kaylan Marckese (GK), Jen Beattie, Steph Catley, Noelle Maritz, Victoria Pelova, Kathrine Kühl, Gio Queiroz, Michelle Agyemang

Our draw at the weekend allowed Man City to draw level with us in the WSL although we are ahead on goal difference and have a game in hand

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 12 10 1 1 35 11 24 31
2 Man United 12 9 2 1 31 6 25 29
3 Arsenal 11 8 2 1 26 6 20 26
4 Man City 12 8 2 2 25 11 14 26
5 Everton 12 6 1 5 16 12 4 10
6 Aston Villa 12 5 2 5 17 22 -5 17
7 West Ham 13 5 1 7 15 22 -7 16
8 Liverpool 11 3 0 8 13 22 -9 11
9 Spurs 11 3 0 8 14 22 -8 9
10 Brighton 10 2 2 6 12 33 -21 8
11 Reading 13 2 1 10 14 29 -15 7
12 Leicester 11 1 0 10 5 27 -22 3


Whilst the gap at the top of the league is not insurmountable Chelsea’s progress is looking ominous.  Realistically, Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs are the only teams likely to take points off them and no further points must be dropped against lower league teams.  We still have conceded the fewest goals in the league (along with Man United) but are now starting to drop behind in the goals scored column.

We really need our forwards to rediscover their goal-scoring mojos quickly.


9 Replies to “Arsenal v Manchester City Women’s Continental League Cup semi-final – match preview”

  1. Just seen the news about the “5%” increase in season tickets prices or “6%” if you’re lower tier like me.
    I’ve put these numbers in quotes because they are pure gaslighting.
    As the number of games to be included in the season ticket is being reduced from the historical 26 down to 22 (a reduction of 15%) the actual increase in price per match for lower tier is an astonishing 25.3%.
    Guess it’s a good job that none of us have additional outgoings to worry about at the moment.
    Nice going Arsenal – fleece us honestly, at least!

  2. My season ticket for the Women’s team this year was £100 and that was for a set seat. Mind you that was only for11 league games and I think three cup/european games. That’s the difference between the monet in the two games. Currently the world record transfer fee for a woman is £400k not well over £100m

  3. Well, Jonas has certainly shaken things up with our attack this evening – both Blackstenius and Hurtig are on the bench and we go with Pelova, Foord and Kühl. Otherwise as I predicted.

  4. That was the third consecutive half of football where we never looked like we were capable pf scoring a goal. We seem to be playing three at the back but still have no fluidity with our attacks. Hopefully a better second half to come. 0-0 at half time


  5. One nil to the Arsenal. Blackstenius bundled the ball into the net after some ping pong in the City area at the start of the first period of extra time.

    West Ham v Chelsea tomorrow night to see who we play at Selhurst Parkin the final – Chelsea for all the tea in China.

  6. I’ve just had a chance to watch the replay of our goal and it was a much better move than I thought from the other end of the ground in real time. We won the ball in the middle of the City half, Lina Hurtig on as a substitute took it towards the byeline and put in an excellent cross which Stina Blackstenius swept into the net. There was a slight deflection but definitely Stina’s goal.

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