Tottenham Hotspur Women hosted Arsenal Women in the Women’s North London Derby today at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It’s the second straight year Spurs have played the home NLD at the new ground, though this season it was done behind closed doors with no spectators.
Unfortunately, the end result of the match was the same as it’s been every other time Spurs have faced the Gunners — a loss. Tottenham fell 3-0 thanks to goals from Caitlin Foord, Vivianne Miedema, and Katie McCabe, and though Spurs put in a more spirited effort late in the first half the result pushed their winless streak up to seven matches.
Rehanne Skinner started with a very similar lineup to what she’s used in recent matches, but with Rianna Dean coming in for Angela Addison in the front line. Kit Graham and Rosella Ayane started alongside Dean to form Spurs’ attack. Esther Morgan continued her streak of WSL starts at right back in place of Ashleigh Neville, who continues to recover from injury.
Today's team to face Arsenal... #THWFC: Spencer, Zadorsky ©, Green, Davison, Dean, Worm, Graham, Kennedy, McManus, Ayane, E.Morgan.— Tottenham Hotspur Women (@SpursWomen) March 27, 2021
!#NorthLondonDerby ⚪ #COYS pic.twitter.com/xHcFH9QBGC
KICK-OFF IN THE NORTH LONDON DERBY!
8’ — First chance goes to Arsenal. Off of a corner, McCabe gets the ball on the left side of the box and flashes a low shot that goes wide of the right post.
15’ — Arsenal, unsurprisingly, have had the bulk of the opportunities, with shots from Miedema, Van de Donk, and McCabe in the opening quarter hour. Spurs have done well defensively to get bodies in front. So far so good for Tottenham.
21’ — Free kick to Arsenal after McManus goes in hard on McCabe. McManus booked for that tackle. Replay shows it’s a soft yellow, as McManus won the ball but hit McCabe’s ankle on the follow through.
27’ — Goal to Arsenal. Caitlin Foord plays some 1-2 passing with Noelle Maritz and Foord slots the ball past a diving Spencer. A great play, and this was probably coming.
28’ — Spencer makes a great save on a Jordan Nobbs shot destined for the top corner; it’s out for an Arsenal corner. Just after, Foord earns Arsenal’s first yellow for a tackle on Kit Graham.
35’ — Goal to Arsenal. Vivienne Midema with an incredible lashing volley off a corner. Spurs’ defense left her open (which is bad) but that goal was spectacular. Hard to be mad at that.
HALFTIME: Spurs head into the break down two goals to Arsenal and based on that half it’s hard to see how they can get back in this. Only one (blocked) shot for Spurs and a corner, and that’s just not enough.
No changes for either side at the break.
49’ — Shot from Arsenal. Roord hits it straight at Becky Spencer, who makes an easy save.
50’ — Finally a bit of a bright moment for Spurs as Rosella Ayane does some nice individual work to get free on the left and fires in a cross towards Rianna Dean. Zinsberger punches it away and also clips Rianna in the face. (She’s okay.)
56’ — Spurs try and spring Dean through on goal, but she’s marginally offside and is flagged.
60’ — Goal to Arsenal. Terrible defensive play by McManus, who telegraphed her outlet pass to Esther Morgan. It’s picked off my McCabe who fires past Spencer. 3-0 to the Gooners.
61’ — Double sub for Spurs. Angela Addison and Rachel Williams are coming on. Gemma Davison and Rosella Ayane are off.
67’ — Wacky sequence for Spurs — Zinsberger collides with Williams in the box and Spurs are able to keep possession. Green got the shot away and Zinsberger makes the save. That could’ve easily been a goal.
71’ — Sub for Spurs — Cho So-hyun is on for Josie Green. Arsenal make two: Maier for McCabe, Gut for Foord.
75’ — Sub for Arsenal — Maritz is off for Patten.
77’ — HOWWWWWWWWW? Zinsberger just made a triple save to deny Spurs a goal in what was quite clearly their best chance to score all game. Shots from Kit Graham, Rachel Williams, and Angela Addison.
86’ — Sub for Spurs. Lucy Quinn is on for Kit Graham.
88’ — Roord with a shot from the top of the box that goes just wide of the post. Looked like it was in for a second.
- To nobody’s surprise, Arsenal are a better team than Tottenham Hotspur Women. Better players usually results in that team winning.
- Spurs held on decently well defensively for about a half hour but made a couple of defensive miscues, especially for Miedema’s goal. Yu just can’t leave a player like her open like that.
- Rachel Williams was a real spark for Spurs in the second half. She immediately started pressing Arsenal’s defenders and forced them into mistakes. Also had a couple of scoring opportunities, including one part of Zinsberger’s triple save.
- Esther Morgan continues to cautiously impress me with her play. She got rinsed on a couple of occasions, but overall her game has been steadily improving. I think she’s a real talent in the making.
- I ranted on Twitter about Spurs needing to seriously invest in this squad this summer. I won’t repeat it because there’s nothing the team can do right now, but this is a Spurs club that needs major reinforcements if they’re going to match Skinner’s ambitions.
- Spurs Women’s schedule doesn’t get any easier. Their next three league matches are home to Manchester City, at Manchester United, and home to Chelsea. Ouch. Relegation is not off the table and that would be a horrific outcome for this Tottenham team.