Arsenal v Manchester United: Women’s Super League – live


Key events

Half-time: Arsenal 0-1 Manchester United

Peep! Kirsty Dowle draws the first half to a close, with Manchester United holding a surprise lead. It’s no more than they deserve and they can feel aggrieved at not being further ahead. Shortly after capitalising on a Zinsberger error to go one up through Ella Toone, Manchester United should have been awarded a penalty for a Katie McCabe foul on Nikita Parris.

45 min: It’s an intriguing battle and on this occasion Nikita Parris, who is winning it, gets the better of Kate McCabe down the right and sends a looping cross deep into the Arsenal penalty area. Zinsberger comes for the ball, catches it, then drops it before clutching it to her chest at the second attempt. The Austrian goalkeeper is not having one of her better games.

44 min: Perhaps disgruntled at not getting that penalty, Nikita Parris is booked for a rather robust challenge on Katie McCabe. Beth Mead takes the free-kick from a position wide on the left but her delivery is atrocious. She raises a hand by way of apology towards her team-mate.

42 min: Manchester Un ited have a decent penalty shout turned down when Katie McCabe shoves Nikita Parris off the ball in the Arsenal penalty area. I’ve seen them given and not given in recent weeks in the Premier League. For me, Clive, it’s definitely a penalty. A reminder that there is no VAR overseeing this game.

40 min: Her movement may be restricted from that injury she suffered earlier but Manuela Zinsberger has had a shocker there. She comes to punch clear a cross from the right, misses the ball completely and Ella Toone is in the right place at the right time to volley home from about seven yards out.

GOAL! Arsenal 0-1 Manchester United (Toone 39)

United lead! Ella Toone capitalises on an error from Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberge to sidefoot the ball home at the far post.

34 min: Beth Mead slings a pass over the head of a defender and picks out Caitlin Foord at the far post near the edge of the six yard box. Except she doesn’t, quite, because Foord is unable to control it and lets the ball bounce out of play. Good play from Mead but not so much from Foord, who was beaten by the bounce.

33 min: Referee Kirsty Dowle awards Arsenal a free-kick halfway inside their own half and is immediately castigated by Lia Walti, who thinks she should have played the advantage. The free-kick is taken and Dowle immediately orders a retake, because the ball was moving when Walti struck it. It’s all happening at the Emirates!

30 min: Arsenal attack down the left again with Caitlin Foord playing a delightful ball down the touchline for Katie McCabe to chase. The Irish international sends a cross into the penalty area trying to pick out Beth Mead but the ball rolls wide of the far post.

28 min: There’s a break in play as Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger receives treatment for what looks like a hip injury. The ball came her way, she caught it and then dropped to the turf, before signalling to the bench. She’s passed fit to continue for now and play resumes with United on top but the match still scoreless.

25 min: Manchester United corner. Their third of the match. The ball is sent into the Arsenal penalty area and thumped clear courtesy of a mighty header from Blackstenius.

23 min: In the Arsenal goal, Manuela Zinsberger is forced to punch the ball clear off the head of Alessia Russo and she does so one-handed and unconvincingly. The clearance is fairly feeble but she gets away with it.

19 min: The high pressing game is extremely strong in this United team, whose forward players are attending to their duties so diligently that they are repeatedly forcing Arsenal to abandon their plan to play out from the back and Get It Launched instead.

18 min: Arsenal advance. Blackstenius is played in behind the United defence courtesy of a long ball from the back but is unable to dribble her way past Hayley Ladd in the Arsenal penalty area and ends up giving the ball away while trying to lay it off.

16 min: There have been few if any chances of note thus far but I have Manchester United edging it on points ever so slightly. Other opinions are, of course, available.

Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord (left) and Manchester United’s Nikita Parris battle for the ball. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

13 min: United corner. An outswinger is sent into the Arsenal penalty area and from the edge of the box, Maya Le Tissier gets on the end of it and sends a floating header just over the bar. The ball lands on the roof of the net.

11 min: Manchester United win a free-kick wide on the left as Hannah Blundell is pushed off the ball. Katie Zelem’s delivery into the penalty area is decent, Katie McCabe heads the ball up in the air and Arsenal goalkeeper Zinsberger gathers confidently.

9 min: Having been dominated in the early stages, United are getting a decent foothold in this game.

8 min: Good build-up play from United ends with Leah Galton having a clear shot on goal. Her low, diagonal effort is put out for a corner by Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger. A corner for United, from which nothing comes.

7 min: A ball over the top from Arsenal seeks out Blackstenius. She latches on to it and sends a cross into the United box, only to be flagged for offside.

5 min: Arsenal win the first corner of the game and Beth Mead sends the ball into the mixer. Nikita Parris, playing against her former team, heads it out for another corner at the far post. United clear after the ball breaks to Frida Maanum, whose shot lacks conviction.

4 min: Arsenal attack down the left and Stina Blackstenius sends a cross into the penalty area, trying to pick out Beth Mead. It’s intercepted and Manchester United clear.

3 min: Hannah Blundell attempts to play the ball forward from the United left-back position but her effort is blocked and put out for a throw-in by Beth Mead.

2 min: Arsenal win an early free-kick deep inside their own half and Steph Catley lumps the ball forward. It eventually finds its way to the feet of United goalkeeper and European champion Mary Earps.

Arsenal v Manchester United is go!

1 min: Following an impeccably observed minute’s silence, the game kicks off with Arsenal getting the ball rolling. Their players wear red shirts, white shorts and red socks. The players of Manchester United wear lime green shirts, black shorts and lime green socks.

Not long now: Both teams march out on to the Emirates sward, led by referee Kirsty Dowle and her team of match officials. Kick-off is just a few minutes away but first we’ll have the presentation of some poppy wreaths by managers Jonas Eidevall and Marc Skinner, followed by a belated minute’s silence for the fallen. Remembrance day was last Sunday but there has been no WSL action for a fortnight.

General view during a minute’s silence as part of remembrance commemorations before the match.
All those at the Emirates pay their respects. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

Elsewhere in the WSL: In today’s other game, Manchester City have beaten Everton by the odd goal of three at Walton Hall Park. Julie Blaksted and Bunny Shaw got the goals for City, either side of a Rikke Sevecke strike for Everton. City stay in fourth place, six points clear of Tottenham who have played two games fewer. Everton remain in seventh spot.

Julie Blakstad (left) celebrates scoring Manchester City’s opening goal with Bunny Shaw, who scored their winner.
Julie Blakstad (left) celebrates scoring Manchester City’s opening goal with Bunny Shaw, who scored their winner. Photograph: John Clifton/Action Images/Reuters

Those teams: Jonas Eidevall names an unchanged side from the 4-0 win over Leicester last time out. Vivienne Miedema is on the bench after returning from her leave of absence.

Manchester United manager Marc Skinner makes one change. Ona Batlle is in at left-back, with Maria Thorisdottir dropping to the bench.

Arsenal v Manchester United line-ups

Arsenal: Zinsberger; Wienroither, Mubben-Woy, Catley, McCabe; Walti, Nobbs, Maanum; Mead, Foord, Blackstenius.

Subs: Marckese, Beattie, Maritz, Reid, Miedema, Iwabuchi, Earl, Agyemang.

Manchester United: Earps; Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Ladd, Zelem; Parris, Toone, Galton; Russo.

Subs: Baggaley, Thorisdottir, Tounkara, Boe Risa, Moore, Staniforth, L. Garcia, Thomas, Williams.

Today’s match officials

Referee Kirsty Dowle is in charge of maintaining order during today’s match between Arsenal and Manchester United.
Kirsty Dowle is in charge of maintaining order during today’s match between Arsenal and Manchester United. Photograph: Action Foto Sport/Alamy

Marc Skinner speaks: “They’re a very good team and we did put in two very good performances against them last season,” said the Manchester United manager. “It’s a different venue, lots and lots of fans, so I expect a different game to the one we played last year but I still want to see that continued growth from our team.

“I want us to produce that in the moments that really matter. That’s the next step for us, to perform as well as we can on a consistent basis in these types of games. We have to earn everything against Arsenal because they are a very good team.”

Manchester United manager Marc Skinner.
Manchester United manager Marc Skinner. Photograph: Ed Sykes/Action Images/Reuters

Jonas Eidevell speaks: “It’s a very tough opponent. Manchester United have had a great start to the season,said Arsenal’s manager in his pre-match press conference. “Where they went a little bit behind last season was basically in autumn.

“I think they were a really, really strong team in the spring in the league, and they’ve added some players that made their squad a little bit deeper, and they have kept a lot of continuity in the way that they play. Those things are usually equal to having success, so it doesn’t surprise me.”

Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall will be mindful of the fact that Manchester United were the only team to take points off Arsenal at home last season.
Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall will be mindful of the fact that Manchester United were the only team to take points off Arsenal at home last season. Photograph: Isaac Parkin/PA

Early team news

Arsenal players Rafaelle Souza, Lina Hurtig, Kim Little, Leah Williamson and Teyah Goldie are all sidelined with injury, although Jordan Nobbs and Lotte Wubben-Moy are both available for selection despite picking up knocks while on England duty. Vivienne Miedema is also back following a leave of absence granted to her by the club before the international break.

Manchester United defender Aoife Mannion is back training as she steps up her recovery from the ACL injury she suffered in January, but is extremely unlikely to feature in the side before the new year. “Aoife still won’t be ready [to play until] after Christmas, I imagine, but she’s progressing nicely,” said United manager Marc Skinner. “She’s in training with the team, albeit modified slightly. But yeah, she’s progressing nicely so, hopefully, after Christmas [she’ll be back].” Mannion aside, Skinner has a full squad to choose from.

WSL: Arsenal v Manchester United

A crowd of over 35,000 is expected at the Emirates for this evening’s crunch match between league leaders Arsenal and Manchester United, who sit third but will go level on points with their hosts should they win.

Sandwiched between the two teams, behind Arsenal on goal difference having played a game more, Chelsea host Tottenham at lunchtime tomorrow. Kick-off in north London is at 5.30pm (GMT) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

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