For 70 minutes, Tottenham Hotspur Women went toe to toe with their WSL rivals Arsenal in a FA Women’s Cup North London Derby quarterfinal at Meadow Park on Saturday. Spurs held their London rivals scoreless and looked like they might be able to get a shock result, but things fell apart late in the game. Lisa Evans scored a hat trick for the Gunners, and Jordan Nobbs opened the scoring as Arsenal took advantage of two defensive errors and put four past Spurs keeper Becky Spencer. The final score was 4-0 as Tottenham was knocked out of the Cup.
The scoreline might flatter Arsenal a touch, but they were absolutely clinical while taking advantage of some tired Spurs legs and were deserved winners at home. Tottenham’s American superstar signing Alex Morgan was on the bench today, but never got off it, and must wait for her Tottenham debut.
5’ — Spurs get the first shot on target of the match, as Kit Graham fires a low shot that’s easily collected by Zinzberger.
6’ — Nearly an opener for Arsenal as Caitlin Foord plonks a header off the bar.
26’ — first card of the match. Shelina Zadorsky gets booked for a late challenge on Arsenal’s Miedema.
34’ — Even stuff from both sides. Spurs and Arseanl both defending well, trying to push forward. This is fun!
41’ — Alanna Kennedy dribbles in the box and then does a spin-turn to get past her defender, fires a cross to the back post that Zinzberger has to block out for a corner. Lovely stuff!
HALFTIME — an exceptional half of football by Spurs, as they hold Arsenal scoreless through 45 minutes. They are not, by any means, out of this match!
46’ — Gemma Davison tries her luck from long range, but it’s well over the bar.
52’ — The balls’ in the net for Arsenal, but it’s waved off as the whistle had already blown for a foul. Whew. Arsenal turning things on here in the second half.
54’ — WHAT A CHANCE. Alanna Kennedy gets a free header off of a corner but she puts it wide. Rats!
62’ — Kennedy fouls at the edge of Spurs’ box, and the free kick my McCabe is a rocket that juuuuuust swerves wide of the post. Lucky.
70’ — First sub for Spurs, as captain Josie Green comes on for Chloe Peplow, who looks like she injured her ankle.
71’ — Yellow card for Kennedy.
73’ — Goal to Arsenal. A horrible pass out from the back from Ashleigh Neville to Jordan Nobbs, who takes a touch and fires past Spencer.
74’ — Another goal to Arsenal. Again, another mistake from Neville. Miedema capitalizes, passes to Lisa Evans, who fires past Spencer to put Arsenal up 2-0.
74’ — Subs for Spurs — Ayane and Neville are off for Rianna Dean and Lucy Quinn.
82’ — Subs for Arsenal — Schnaderbeck and Maritz off for Wubben-Moy and Maier.
84’ — Final subs for Spurs as Lucia Leon and Angela Addison are on for Percival and Graham. No Alex Morgan today.
90’ — Goal for Arsenal — it’s four, as Lisa Evans gets her hat trick.
FULL TIME — a disappointing end to a promising match for Spurs. A lot of positives to take away, but Arsenal capitalized on two mistakes and wore Spurs down. Final score: 4-0.
Notes on the Match
- I was very curious about the decision to start Kit Graham with Rosella Ayane in a two-striker setup, but they both played very well in the first half, especially with their pressing.
- The first half was some of the best football I’ve ever seen from Spurs. They were physical, calm, composed with the ball. They were good going forward and tidy at the back. Hills and Amoros’ game plan was to frustrate and disrupt Arsenal, and for 70 minutes they did that. It was fun to see and you thought maybe... just maybe they’d be able to keep Arsenal at bay. Alas.
- Alanna Kennedy was a mixed bag in midfield today. She was physical and pressed well, had a lovely spin move in the box and a free header on goal. But she also had a couple of dodgy moments including a foul right at the edge of the box in the second half. She needs to be just a bit tidier, but she’s a presence in the center of the pitch.
- Ashleigh Neville played well in the first half but had a shocker in the second — two mistakes that led to two goals in two minutes for Arsenal. She was properly yanked after that and Spurs never recovered.
- Arsenal are one of the best teams in the world for a reason — they just punished Spurs as soon as they got an opportunity, and you could see the belief just fade from Spurs late in the game. The scoreline flatters Arsenal, but you can’t say they didn’t deserve it.
- Another game where Spurs failed to score from open play — their only goal was an own goal. Morgan will help with that, but that’s a real concern for Spurs Women.
- Disappointed, but not surprised, that Alex Morgan didn’t get off the bench today. She’s only had a week of training after not playing football for close to a year. It would’ve been nice to see her, but she’ll get her chance and it’ll take time to get her up to speed and fitness.
- The schedule doesn’t get any kinder for Tottenham, as their next match is a WSL league match at Manchester City on October 4.