In the 87th minute of the match at Mangata Pay UK Stadium, Stina Blackstenius delivered a crucial goal that secured a 2-1 victory for Arsenal over Manchester City, bringing an end to the visitors’ unbeaten streak in the Women’s Super League season. Prior to Blackstenius’ goal, Chloe Kelly had managed to equalize Steph Catley’s earlier opener, marking Catley’s first goal of the season.
The game experienced a temporary halt due to a medical emergency just before the start of stoppage time, but Arsenal successfully defended their lead, clinching their third win of the season.
The first half saw a closely contested battle, with City’s dominance matching Arsenal’s fluid attacking play. Nevertheless, City’s defensive vulnerabilities and communication breakdowns became evident for the first time this season, creating opportunities for the Gunners.
City’s goalkeeper, Khiara Keating, made her first significant mistake of the season with a sloppy short pass, exploited by Victoria Pelova. This error allowed Catley to loft the ball into the net. Shortly after, Esme Morgan’s poor pass left Keating in trouble, resulting in a penalty for the hosts. However, the 19-year-old Keating displayed strong mental resilience as she denied Arsenal’s captain, Kim Little, from the spot.
On the other end of the field, Manuela Zinsberger made a critical save on a strike from former Gunner Jill Roord. Chloe Kelly’s rebound cross required an expert clearance from Amanda Ilestedt to thwart City’s equalizing efforts.
Both teams had their chances, with Khadija Shaw proving to be a significant threat, capitalizing on any mistakes made by the hosts. Kelly’s excellent strike early in the second half narrowly missed the target.
Shaw continued to pose a danger even after Caitlin Foord fouled her, earning the Australian a booking. Shaw’s shot rattled the crossbar, demonstrating the visitors’ determination to level the score.
City finally capitalized on an opportunity when Arsenal substitute Frida Maanum mishandled a clearance. Shaw set up Kelly for the equalizer.
In a pivotal moment, Arsenal goalkeeper Zinsberger made an ill-advised pass directly to Kelly, whose heavy strike sailed over the crossbar. Meanwhile, Keating ventured far from her line in an attempt to intercept a long ball from McCabe destined for Blackstenius. However, she failed to clear it, allowing the Swede to find the open net and give Arsenal the lead.
Despite a temporary pause due to a medical emergency in the crowd, Arsenal maintained their lead during 15 minutes of stoppage time, securing the victory.