Everton missed the chance to close the gap on the top six as Arsenal won 2-1 to go joint top of the Women’s Super League, writes Jonny Lambe at Meadow Park.
The Gunners dominated proceedings with an early goal from Caitlin Foord to take the lead, but Katja Snoeijs equaliser against the run of play for Everton shocked the home crowd.
Beth Mead restored the lead for the hosts in first half added time with a goal that proved to be the winner.
The pattern of the match was clear from the start with Arsenal’s high press resulting in Everton struggling to retain possession and creating plenty of chances in the process. It didn’t take long for the hosts domination to show, when they went ahead in the ninth minute.
Vivienne Miedema got the ball caught under her feet after winning back possession, but Victoria Pelova was there to collect the loose ball and beat the defender to get to the by-line and cut it back for Foord who tapped into an empty net, leaving goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan no chance.
It looked like Arsenal would score with every attack in the opening 20 minutes, but Everton were able to capitalise on the hosts missed chances. In the 24th minute, Karoline Olesen picked up the ball in the centre circle and played a precise pass through to Snoeijs who slotted a composed finish past Manuela Zinsberger to equalise.
The Playmaker 🤝 The Finisher pic.twitter.com/ZZn5A6zWFT
— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) January 20, 2024
The visitors were unable to build on their equaliser and Arsenal took back control of the game. Player of the match, Lia Walti floated the ball above the onlooking Everton defenders who didn’t see the onrushing Mead and the England forward headed home off the post to put the Gunners back in front.
The second half was scoreless, but Arsenal continued to test the Everton defence with an onslaught of chances but lacked the cutting edge to put the game to bed. A goal line clearance by Megan Finnigan from an Alessia Russo strike was the best the chance of the half.
The Toffees managed just one shot on target for the entirety of the match and offered very little in an attacking sense. They now have the joint second lowest goals tally in the WSL this season.
Everton now sit in eight place, just three points above the relegation places and welcome ninth placed Leicester City next in the league in what is starting to look like a must win game for the Blues.