On an overcast day on the west coast, Everton was the second-best team for 90 minutes. Aside from a glimpse of goal in the first two minutes, the Toffees had little to celebrate in the first half. It was constant and sustained pressure from the visitors as the Blues sat back and absorbed pressure.
Despite ceding a majority of the possession to Arsenal, few chances were generated in the early stages of the match. In the 15’, Caitlin Foord knocked a pass to Jordan Nobbs, who curled a shot that forced a punching save from goalkeeper Sandy MacIver. The Gunners then caused trouble inside the 18 five minutes later but failed to poke the ball into the net.
After withstanding pressure for just over 20 minutes, Arsenal left back Katie McCabe got on the end of a ball that had been looped over the defense and proceeded to chip MacIver in net for the game’s opening tally. The Gunners’ last chance before the half came via captain Kim Little, who almost knocked one past MacIver.
The visitors started fast in the second half, beginning with Vivianne Miedema launching a right-footed effort from the top of the box. Thankfully for the Toffees, the Dutch striker’s shot veered well wide of the net. Beth Mead then eased her way past left back Poppy Pattinson for yet another attempt.
The best look on frame in the second half came courtesy of Foord, who pulled her pass back across the face of goal for a Noelle Maritz six-yard shot. A bit of last-ditch defender from Ingrid More Wold, though, kept Arsenal off the score sheet and the game at 1–0.
Completely against the run of play, the Blues scored the tying marker in the 73rd minute; Izzy Christiansen picked out Megan Finnigan, who had beaten her defender goal-side inside the box. Finnigan hit a powerful header past Manuela Zinsberger to level the game at one apiece. The goal was the first Arsenal had conceded in eight matches dating back to mid-February.
Right as it seemed Everton would secure a point against a team bound for the Champions League, Finnigan fouled McCabe inside the 18, gifting the Gunners a penalty in the 93’. Little stepped up and buried her shot to earn three points and end a miserable afternoon for the home team.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
From Everton’s point of view, it was Finnigan’s tying goal. Arsenal hadn’t conceded for over two months, so ending that streak was a welcome consolation to an otherwise forgettable affair. Holding the league’s joint top scorer Vivianne Miedema off the scoresheet would also be counted as a positive.
Everton (5-3-2): Sandy MacIver, Poppy Pattinson, Rikke Sevecke, Gabby George, Megan Finnigan, Ingrid Moe Wold, Jill Scott, Izzy Christiansen, Lucy Graham, Claire Emslie, Hayley Raso
Substitutes: Nicoline Sørensen for Graham 46’, Simone Magill for Raso 85’
Unused Substitutes: Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Alisha Lehmann, Valérie Gauvin, Maéva Clemaron, Grace Clinton
Goal: Finnigan 73’
Bookings: Christiansen 90’, Finnigan 90’
Arsenal (4-3-3): Manuela Zinsberger, Noelle Maritz, Leah Williamson, Katie McCabe, Lia Wälti, Beth Mead, Jordan Nobbs, Kim Little, Danielle van de Donk, Vivianne Miedema, Caitlin Foord
Substitutes: Steph Catley for Mead 81’, Jill Roord for Nobbs 81’
Unused Substitutes: Lydia Williams, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Leonie Maier, Malin Gut, Anna Patten, Teyah Goldie
Goals: McCabe 22’, Little 93’
Booking: Miedema 74’