After Leicester City’s loss to Spurs last weekend in the FA Cup semi-final, the Foxes travelled to North London to face Arsenal for the Gunners’ last game at the Emirates Stadium this season.

There was the return of some familiar faces on the Arsenal bench with Vivianne Miedema back from minor knee surgery and Frida Maanum up for selection once more, after collapsing off of the ball in the Continental League Cup final.

Victoria Pelova made the starting eleven, marking her 50th appearance for the club and Sabrina D’Angelo made way for Manuela Zinsberger, who was back between the posts.

For Leicester City, there was the notable absence of Australian defender Courtney Nevin, despite her being named as a player being back in contention for the squad.

Netherlands international, Lize Kop, started in goal for the Foxes and Sam Tierney captained the side.

First Half

Despite a lively first half and some exciting build up play, it took 28 minutes to open the scoring.

Caitlin Foord made a short pass forward, past the Leicester defence for Beth Mead to chip the ball over Kop, burying it into the back of the net.

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While the Leicester goal was the busier of the two, Zinsberger made some crucial saves throughout the first half with shots coming from Nicole Momiki and Tierney.

In the 30th minute, Pelova was shown the yellow card for a bad foul and after two added minutes, the first half ended 1-0 to Arsenal.

Second Half

Captain Kim Little was booked, but Arsenal were clearly the more threatening team throughout the second half with Katie McCabe and Alessia Russo both sending the ball just slightly too high, over the bar.

Emily Fox tried for her first goal with her Gunners, but it was saved by Kop, as were Foord’s attempts.

Stina Blackstenius made way for Maanum’s return to the pitch and shortly after, in the 75th minute, Steph Catley assisted Russo in Arsenal’s second goal of the match.

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Just three minutes later, Mead scored a brace off of a ball sent through Julie Thibaud’s legs by Russo, for Mead to tap in, making it 3-0.

Leicester’s Deanne Rose came off for Shannon O’Brien and CJ Bott came off for Tottenham Hotspur loanee Asmita Ale.

Jonas Eidevall also made a double substitution with Foord coming off for Cloé Lacasse and Russo coming off for WSL record goalscorer, Miedema.

Jennifer Foster then made a third substitution, with Aileen Whelan replacing Lena Petermann.

Miedema was threatening in her short time on the pitch, having an attempt saved and just missing another, lacking the clinical nature needed to find the back of the net on her return.

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In the seven minutes of added time, Saori Takarada was taken off for Emilia Pelgander in an effort to find a goal in consolation.

Also coming off, Fox made way for Laura Wienroither, who had only recently returned to playing with the senior squad in their game against Bristol City after her ACL rupture.

Laia Codina was also brought on to replace McCabe in Jonas Eidevall’s final substitution of the match.

Despite these changes in the last few minutes, neither side managed to alter the scoreline of 3-0.

Post Match

This victory guarantees the Gunners a top-three finish and the opportunity to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions’ League group stage next season.

In a post-match interview, Eidevall said: “I’m really proud of the performance. I think we played a good football game today.”

Featured image courtesy of Abby Rampling-Mott.

By Abby Rampling-Mott

Trainee multimedia journalist based in Preston. Abby is also a co-host on the LG Women's Football podcast.