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Arsenal’s old friends in the north help City do double

Ex-Arsenal stars this week played their part in ending the Gunners’ dreams of a Wembley final, and also handed Spurs a hammering in the league

08 October, 2020 — By Catherine Etoe

Gemma Davison, who won the quadruple with Arsenal in 2007, hustles Manchester City’s Janine Beckie during Spurs’ 4-1 WSL defeat on Sunday. Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA

TOTTENHAM’S men may have enjoyed their trip to Manchester, but the blue half of the city did north London’s women’s sides no favours this week. Both Arsenal and Spurs returned home from Manchester City empty-handed, and former Gunners played their part against both.

Ex-Arsenal captain Steph Houghton whipped in a superb free-kick to give City the edge in the FA Cup semi-final on Thursday. Jordan Nobbs replied with what many deemed “a world-class” goal, but an actual “worldie” – World Cup winner Sam Mewis – settled it three minutes later as City won 2-1.

Arsenal were hampered by injuries to, amongst others, recent hat-trick heroines Jill Roord and Lisa Evans. But they weren’t at the races and Joe Montemurro knew it.

“City were better than us tonight, they swung us around,” said the Gunners boss. “We’ve only got ourselves to blame.”

With their dream of a Wembley final behind them, Arsenal returned to Barclays FA Women’s Super League duty on Sunday.

Bristol City’s Abi Harrison gave them a fright with an early goal at Meadow Park, but Nobbs, Caitlin Foord and Vivianne Miedema all scored to seal a 3-1 win and keep Montemurro’s team in pole position.

“When you don’t have an important result during the week, sometimes that emotion can take over,” he said afterwards.

“But I’m proud of the players. They kept their heads and continued to do what needed to be done.”

SPURS SUFFER

Last season’s WSL runners-up Man City showed no signs of letting up on Sunday, demolishing Spurs 4-1.

Impressive 22-year-old Chloe Kelly, who Arsenal fans knew as one of their own five years ago, hit the visitors with a brace.
Completing the rout was Ellen White, who won seven major titles in her time at Arsenal. USA midfielder Mewis also scored yet again.

Anna Filbey pulled one back, but boy could Spurs do with Alex Morgan, who did not make the trip. The club’s blockbuster signing finally met the media for the first time on Friday, though.

Almost 40 journalists were in the “virtual” room as the 31-year-old discussed everything from motherhood to Tottenham Hotspur.

“I don’t think I’ve been a part of a club that has such a presence globally,” she said, adding: “I didn’t have an allegiance to any club in the Premier League before. So I guess now it’s written for me, I have to be a Spurs fan.”

Alas, Morgan poured cold water on hopes she might celebrate any goals this season by pretending to sip tea, as she did when she scored for the USA in the World Cup against England. But that might not stop her teammates.

“They already did it in training,” she said. “One of the girls did it after scoring a pen. I wasn’t really looking and then all the girls were laughing and I realised why.”

ON THE TELLY

Catch Spurs’ WSL clash with Manchester United on Saturday at 12.30pm on BT Sport.

On Sunday it’s Arsenal versus Brighton on the BBC’s Red Button at 12.30pm and Chelsea against Man City on BT Sport at 2.30pm.

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