Arsenal Salvage Late Draw with Tottenham in Tense North London Derby
By Bradley Morris
Arsenal’s 100% start to the season was ended on Saturday in front of 2,896 fans at the Hive Stadium after a 1-1 draw with rivals Tottenham in the North London derby, which saw a late equaliser from Arsenal’s Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema.
In a dramatic game that was largely dominated in possession by Arsenal, Tottenham still posed a threat on the counter-attack as they secured an unexpected point against the WSL leaders. The draw meant Arsenal’s lead was increased to four points before other fixtures took place with other title challengers Chelsea and Manchester City facing each other the next day.
There wasn’t too much for both teams to be ecstatic about in a close first half, even though Arsenal hit the bar twice courtesy of Katie McCabe and Beth Mead. Both teams had their moments but were both lacking with their final ball.
In the second half, Arsenal were starting to get even more clear chances as they started to break through Tottenham’s defence, who had put in a resilient performance against a very strong Arsenal forward line. Beth Mead having another chance and Miedema also going through at times but a great showing from Tottenham goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela proved vital in stopping scoring more than what they got.
Tottenham had 37% of possession so were left having to work hard off the ball, which they appeared to do, and their counter-attacking threats paid off when Rachel Williams was able to break the deadlock on the 65th minute and snatch a goal for Spurs. Arsenal stepped up their efforts even more after going behind and it wasn’t until they reached added time when a corner from Katie McCabe was headed in by Vivianne Miedema who finally got a goal that she deserved, which also sent Arsenal fans in the stands wild.
Tottenham – Tinja-Riikka Korpela
It’s fair to say that the game may have been out of sight for Arsenal if it wasn’t for an inspired performance form Tottenham’s No:1. She was making from the first minute of the game and all the way to the end of it as well.
Arsenal – Vivianne Miedema
A frustrating and yet still very good performance from one of the best strikers in women’s football today. She had deserved more than one goal from this game, going through on more than one occasion, however she was the main stand-out threat for Arsenal and showed great footwork at times with the ball as well, which made it tougher for Tottenham’s defence to deal with her.
A View from the Stands:
Regan Walsh – Women’s Football Talk YouTube Channel - @wftalk2020
“Despite possession dominance from Arsenal, Spurs managed to stay in the game. The fans from both sides were excellent all game and it felt like a proper derby, Spurs will have been happy to stop Arsenal winning, but will feel sad that they couldn’t take all three points”.