Matilda Caitlin Foord scores ‘worldie’ for Arsenal to keep Women’s Super League title hopes alive

Matildas winger Caitlin Foord has kept Arsenal’s hopes of reclaiming the FA Women’s Super League title alive, scoring a crucial brace against Tottenham on Thursday to move just one point behind leaders Chelsea heading into the final match day.

Arsenal continued the momentum that saw them thrash Aston Villa 7-0 on Sunday, opening the scoring at the Emirates in just the fourth minute through in-form England forward Beth Mead.

However, their North London rivals weren’t rattled easily. Deploying a defensive and physical style of play, which included committing regular fouls to break up Arsenal’s rhythm, Spurs were able to weather the home side’s attacking storm — and even find a few opportunities of their own.

Fellow Matildas winger Kyah Simon almost scored an equaliser for Spurs minutes after Mead’s opener, firing a shot that Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema had to clear off the line.

The story was similar in the second half with the Gunners controlling possession and trying to open up Tottenham’s stoic defensive lines.

There were 13,438 fans watching Arsenal defeat Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.(Getty Images: PA Images/Bradley Collyer)

Overall, Arsenal recorded more than three times as many shots as their opponents and four times as many on target, out-possessing Spurs 62 per cent to 38. 

And while it looked to be a successful tactic heading into the game’s final 20 minutes, Arsenal’s attacking quality finally shone through when a shot by Miedema was deflected right into the path of Foord, who poked home at the back post to make it 2-0.

Less than 10 minutes later, Foord scored Arsenal’s third: stepping inside with a single touch before curling a rocket into the far corner for her second in front of 13,438 fans — the Gunners’ biggest home crowd this season.

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Tottenham could have scored a consolation goal in stoppage time when Angela Addison was bundled over in the box, but her ensuing penalty came back off the post.

The Gunners have gathered momentum towards the back-end of the 2021/22 season, not dropping a single point since their 0-0 draw against Chelsea back in February.

They sit just one point behind Sam Kerr’s side heading into the final match day, but with a super goal difference (53 to 49).

Arsenal must win at West Ham on Sunday and hope Manchester United deny Chelsea a win at Kingsmeadow to leap-frog the reigning champions and reclaim the title, which they last won in 2018/19.

Elsewhere, Matildas defender Alanna Kennedy scored in Manchester City’s 6-0 demolition of Birmingham City, who were subsequently relegated from the WSL for the first time in their history.

The win takes City to third — which qualifies them for next season’s Champions League — however, they sit just two points ahead of Manchester United heading into the final day.

Reference-www.abc.net.au

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