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Arsenal extend unbeaten run with draw against Chelsea

05 April, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes. Photo: Catherine Etoe

GOALSCORER Beth Mead said she was “disappointed” that Arsenal had to share the spoils on Sunday, following a 1-1 draw against London rivals Chelsea in the Women’s Super League.

Fran Kirby opened the scoring for the Blues just after the half-hour mark when she poked the ball home from close range after Ramona Bachmann had pounced on a poor clearance by Gunners’ goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.

Chelsea’s keeper, Hedvig Lindahl, was having a much happier afternoon as she reacted well to keep out efforts from Mead and Vivianne Miedema. But on the stroke of half-time Mead scored a superb leveller as she ran from the halfway line before coolly finishing past Lindahl from close range.

The score draw saw Arsenal extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 games, but Mead made it clear that she wasn’t happy leaving Meadow Park with just a point.

“We’re disappointed, really,” she said. “We wanted all three points and we had chances in the second half to get them.

“Obviously a draw is nicer than losing the game, but we’re Arsenal, we need to be getting into the top two now and we needed that win.

“I jumped up out of my seat in the end when Dan Carter went through on goal, thinking her shot was going to sneak into the corner, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.

“We’re more frustrated that their goal came from our own mistake, and that we’ve gifted them a goal, really. I’m sure a lot of our girls will be harsh on themselves about that.”

The result leaves Arsenal fourth in the Women’s Super League table, but with games in hand over their rivals above them.

Meanwhile, Chelsea, who are managed by former Parliament Hill School pupil Emma Hayes, are three points clear at the top.

The Blues went into the match still buzzing after reaching the semi-finals of the Women’s Champions League for the first time after beating Montpellier 5-1 on aggregate.

Reflecting on Chelsea’s success on the European stage, Hayes said: “I feel like a proud parent. Over five years the club, the staff and all the players have worked so hard to reach this level.

“It was unthinkable just a couple of years back, but the ease with which we qualified in the end shows how far the team has come. I’m proud of every single person associated with the Ladies’ team.”
Chelsea will now meet Wolfsburg in a two-legged semi-final at the end of April.

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