On the 5th of November week five of the Women’s Super League season started off with a bang as two title rivals, Arsenal Women and Manchester City Women faced off at Arsenal Women's home ground Meadow Park. There was little between the two star studded teams last season as they finished with equal points, Arsenal piping Manchester City to a Champions League spot on goal difference. 


Both teams came into the match with everything on the line, for Arsenal a loss was not optional after a disappointing start to the season leading them needing three points to get a foothold in the hard fought title race. Manchester City had faced a more positive start to the season but would be without vice-captain and key player Alex Greenwood after the defender was injured on international duty.


Manchester City started the crucial game on the front foot as they stroked the ball around the field, entering the hosts penalty area multiple times in the first fifteen minutes. Yet the visitors could not turn their pressure into goals as shots  were blocked and skewed to the side. Then against the run of play Victoria Pelova burst into the middle after an Arsenal free kick, passing the ball to Caitlin Ford who with her back to the goal linked up with fellow Australian Steph Catley. In the 14th minute Catley’s struck a powerful curling into the top right corner which was unstoppable for young Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating and the hosts took the lead. 


After the goal momentum was with Arsenal who continued to attack as both teams fought hard to keep the ball and steer it goal wards. The game was nearly decided when in the 18th minute Arsenal won a penalty. WSL legend and Arsenal captain Kim Little stepped up to take the penalty but was denied by young star Keating who tipped the ball onto the bar before it was cleared away by the Manchester City defence.


Then in the 72nd after a period of Manchester City pressure the ball fell to prolific City striker  Khadija Shaw who with her back to the goal picked out Chloe Kelly who slotted the ball home to get the visitors back on level terms. The close scoreline representative of the close-fought match looked to be final until a costly mistake from the young City goalkeeper led to Stina Blackstenius calmly steering the ball into an empty net. Arsenal’s victory leaves the WSL finely poised as they climb to fifth with equal points to the three teams above them, one of which is Manchester City who after dropping points have to watch the gap to league leaders Chelsea extend.