Katie McCabe (centre) took her tally to three goals this season by scoring twice in Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Bristol City
Katie McCabe struck twice as Arsenal beat Bristol City to claim their first away win of the Women’s Super League this season in front of a club-record women’s attendance of 12,008 fans at Ashton Gate.
Republic of Ireland captain McCabe opened the scoring with a spectacular early long-range strike and fired in the winner after the break from inside the penalty area via a deflection off City defender Brooke Aspin.
Rachel Furness’ expert header had drawn City level within 10 minutes of McCabe’s opener, but the newly-promoted side could not reward the impressive crowd with a first point of the campaign which would have lifted them off the foot of the table.
- Revisit Sunday’s WSL live action
Northern Ireland record scorer Furness darted in front of Laia Codina to score with City’s only attempt on goal, arrowing Jamie-Lee Napier’s inviting cross past Manuela Zinsberger.
The Gunners dominated possession but struggled to match opportunities with accuracy and found debutant goalkeeper Olivia Clark in fine form.
Clark repeatedly denied Caitlin Foord and tipped a McCabe shot around a post on a night when two-time WSL top scorer Vivianne Miedema returned as a second half substitute after 11 months out with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
Beth Mead was also introduced from the bench for a second successive match as the England international continued her own return from the same injury.
Arsenal are next in action on 5 November when they host early leaders Manchester City, who will start the game three points above Jonas Eidevall’s team.
The Robins will seek their first points of the campaign when they visit West Ham United later on the same day.
Spirited City give Arsenal scare
On a landmark night off the pitch – City described the support of their sizeable crowd as “phenomenal” – Lauren Smith’s players produced a much-needed improvement following their 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City a week ago.
Furness’ terrific goal gave them hope of a memorable result against one of the heavyweights of the division, although the Championship winners’ dearth of chances and the ball made an equaliser seem unlikely once Arsenal had gone ahead again.
McCabe made the most of the ample space she was afforded for both of her goals, and visiting manager Eidevall must have felt a murmur of relief with the win after Arsenal took one point from their first two league games and needed two added-time goals to beat Aston Villa last Sunday.
Beth Mead (left) and Vivianne Miedema continued their comebacks from anterior cruciate ligament injuries
Only 10 of Arsenal’s 25 attempts were on target, and they could not capitalise on a 16-0 corner count in their favour as City’s stubborn defending gave their loyal supporters reason to be proud.
England striker Alessia Russo, who opened her Arsenal account with the 94th-minute winner against Villa, had the second-fewest touches of any visiting outfield player and did not test Clark.
Whether or not she is ready to impact their meeting with unbeaten City next, Arsenal have been given a huge boost with the return of Miedema, as they were when Mead made her comeback.
WSL all-time record scorer Miedema has 74 goals in the top flight and the creativity and influence to potentially turn Arsenal’s early-season grind into a more convincing long-term title challenge.
- Match Stats
- Live Text
Bristol City Women
- 5AspinSubstituted forMurrayat 64’minutesBooked at 90mins
- 10FurnessBooked at 84mins
- 8RodgersSubstituted forSymeat 79’minutes
- 23JonesSubstituted forWardat 71’minutes
- 17ThestrupSubstituted forHaylesat 79’minutes
- 3Wubben-MoyBooked at 31mins
- 27CodinaSubstituted forMeadat 67’minutes
- 21PelovaSubstituted forMaanumat 67’minutes
- 23RussoBooked at 78minsSubstituted forMiedemaat 90+6’minutes
Home TeamBristol City WomenAway TeamArsenal WomenPossessionHome20%Away80%ShotsHome1Away25Shots on TargetHome1Away9CornersHome0Away16FoulsHome4Away7
Match ends, Bristol City Women 1, Arsenal Women 2.
Second Half ends, Bristol City Women 1, Arsenal Women 2.
Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Naomi Layzell.
Attempt blocked. Caitlin Foord (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Beth Mead.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Vivianne Miedema replaces Alessia Russo.
Attempt blocked. Lia Wälti (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Caitlin Foord.
Satara Murray (Bristol City Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Katie McCabe (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Satara Murray (Bristol City Women).
Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Satara Murray.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Alessia Russo (Arsenal Women).
Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Jamie-Lee Napier.
Attempt blocked. Frida Maanum (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Rachel Furness (Bristol City Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Naomi Layzell.
Substitution, Bristol City Women. Emily Syme replaces Amy Rodgers.
Substitution, Bristol City Women. Shania Hayles replaces Amalie Thestrup.
Alessia Russo (Arsenal Women) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Alessia Russo (Arsenal Women).
Page 1 of 5rewindpreviousNavigate to the next pagenextNavigate to the last pageforward
- Could the death penalty ever die out? Join Livvy Haydock as she takes us deep into Death Row in the USA
- What happens when you get too close to Madonna’s fire? Annie and Nick share their experience of the opening night of The Celebration Tour