Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal: Everything but a Goal

A dramatic, tense and controversial 90 minutes ended goalless in front of a raucous and packed Kingsmeadow. The Blues remain two points behind the Gunners, but retain their game in hand. Both sides had chances to win it but it ended Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal. 

Team News

Chelsea made a single change from the weekend victory over Manchester City. Ann-Katrin Berger remained in goal. The Blues stayed with the 4-3-3, naming a defence of Jonna Andersson, Jess Carter, Aniek Nouwen and captain Millie Bright. Sophie Ingle started in midfield along with Erin Cuthbert and Guro Reiten. An attacking front 3 featured Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder and Fran Kirby. 

First Half

In front of a packed stadium, both sides struggled to control possession early on. Arsenal started with a tight defence, obviously wary that a similar start to the FA Cup Final could be catastrophic. Both Jonas Eidevall and Emma Hayes were vocal on the touchline, as supporters enjoyed taunting each other. 

However, Arsenal did go closest. About 25 minutes in, a deep corner wasn’t dealt with by the Chelsea defence. The ball came to Viv Miedema, but she could only drive her effort against the post. Arsenal continued to attack and Jess Carter was lucky to not concede a penalty against Caitlin Foord after the Australian beat her. 

Embed from Getty Images

Chelsea’s only chance of the half came in added time. A swift break involving Harder and Reiten saw the latter tee up Fran Kirby, but she was only able to loop a header over from close range. Half time and the scoreline of Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal belied an enthralling contest. 

Second Half

Chelsea looked to press higher in the second half, as Arsenal began to no longer monopolise possession. They did have another less clear penalty shout as again Foord tangled with Carter, but again Rebecca Welch was unmoved. 

Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr all saw half-chances come and go. A hamstring injury to Erin Cuthbert saw her replaced by Ji So-Yun on the 58th minute and more half-chances came for both sides as the game became more stretched. Niamh Charles and Jessie Fleming replaced Kirby and Reiten late on. 

Embed from Getty Images

A dramatic final period saw action at both ends. First, two terrific piece of instinctive defending saw Millie Bright scramble back-to-back corners off the line. Jessie Fleming was flagged offside at the other end as she turned in Sam Kerr’s cross, before the final minute of 8 added time saw Leah Williamson blatantly handball Niamh Charles delivery. Although it was a clear foul, referee Welch failed to give the penalty as it finished Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal. 

Full Time: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal

Embed from Getty Images

Final Thoughts: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal

An action-packed display between the WSL’s two outstanding teams keeps the title race well and truly alive. Rebecca Welch’s refereeing performance was poor as she missed a number of big calls, including the Williamson penalty, which could be crucial at the end of the season. 

After the international break, the Blues are back in Women’s FA Cup action against Leicester City.

Leave a Reply