Half-time: Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City
It’s a game that has perhaps reflected the rotten conditions but one moment of class from Ellen White divides the team. Arsenal have knocked on the door but none too convincingly.
45 min: City close out the half with some territory. And a corner. Greenwood swings it in, and it’s headed over. That’s the last action of the half.
43 min: Arsenal press up against City and win the ball back. They have still to create a great chance yet though. Steph Houghton and co look quite comfortable in City’s defence.
41 min: Stanway and White link but Kelly’s shot on Arsenal’s goal is not great.
40 min: Did I say the wind was on City’s side? Roebuck’s goal kick gets caught in a gust of wind and can barely reach the halfway line.
38 min: Ellen White’s attempt is neither cross nor shot but she’s been highly dangerous to Arsenal all afternoon.
37 min: City are building up a a head of steam. They have the wind behind them too…Arsenal get the ball in the net through Roord after Miedema’s pass but she is offside.
36 min: City go close, as Kelly whips in a cross. Hemp just fails to get there.
34 min: White finds space, and then combines with Hemp and Greenwood before Arsenal can clear their lines. It is very windy out there. It’s howling a gale.
32 min: Miedema has a shot blocked and then McCabe, from distance, cannot beat Roebuck. The quality of Arsenal’s chances is not high but they are stacking up.
31 min: City look to be using the counterattack as a weapon. After all, it brought them their winner.
29 min: Arsenal are knocking on the door, but the final pass has so far been lacking.
27 min: Beth Mead shoots from rather too far out. Miedema wanted a pass inside and her facial expression reveals her disappointment.
25 min: What a goal that was. White saw the germ of a chance and took in real style.
Goal! Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City (White, 24)
It comes from distance, a half-volley which is lashed beyond Zinsberger, rattling satisfyingly off the woodwork as it flies in.
23 min: Roebuck in the City goal inadvertently sets up an Arsenal attack when her pass to Greenwood falls short. The final pass to Miedema is not incisive enough to set up a chance.
22 min: Those patterns of play seemed to have descended into something of a mess in midfield. Stanway tries to find White but overhits the ball.
19 min: McCabe steps up to whack away the ball when Kelly briefly looked to be a threat on the right-hand side of the Arsenal defence.
17 min: Arsenal stepping it up a little here. As Joe Montemurro said, the game has ebbed and flowed. Two well-matched teams.
16 min: The pace is not relentless, but there is a heavy wind up there in Boreham Wood.
14 min: Glimpse of goal for Arsenal and Roord is played in by Miedema. Steph Houghton puts herself in the way.
12 min: Arsenal gain a bit of territory. They’ve not been at their best so far but then again they’ve not been at their best for much of this season.
10 min: Zinsberger comes out to sweep up some danger and claws the ball into her grasp as White again lurks with intent. City the more likely here, and Hemp escapes down the left and lays it across where White might have been, but wasn’t.
8 min: Katie McCabe is down with an injury but soon gets back up. It’s probably too cold to stay still.
6 min: Almost a serious error from the Arsenal goalkeeper Zinsberger, but Ellen White couldn’t quite get to it.
4 min: Manchester United’s loss to Reading is confirmed and opens up some light for both these teams. The Champions League only goes to three teams, and there are four contenders. It’s still 1-1 between Chelsea and Brighton.
2 min: Lauren Hemp runs the ball out of play just when City had the glimmer of an opening.
1 min: Off they go after taking the knee. The stands at Boreham Wood don’t offer much in the way of cover from the elements. The ground looks soft, heavy in places.
Those teams again.
Arsenal XI: Zinsberger, Evans, Williamson (capt), Wubben-Moy, McCabe, Walti, Roord, Van de Donk, Foord, Miedema, Mead.
Subs: Stenson, Williams, Maritz, Gut, Maier, Patten.
Man City XI: Roebuck, Greenwood, Dahlkemper, Houghton (capt), Bronze, Walsh, Weir, Stanway, Hemp, Kelly, White.
Subs: Bardsley, Taieb, Coombs, Mannion, Park, Lavelle, Beckie, Davies, Morgan.
The players take to the field on what looks a cold day in Hertfordshire.
The Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro speaks.
Historically, it’s always been ebbs and flows. It’s going to be a switching of moments and I looks forward to an exciting game. The Super League is synonymous for these head to head games. That’s what makes this league so unique. You cannot get to this point unless you win all the other games but it is an important game.
It’s Chelsea 1-1 Brighton, as Sam Kerr’s goal has been cancelled out by Fern Whelan. All happening in the WSL.
A shock scoreline in the WSL today. Reading are winning 2-0 at Manchester United with 15 minutes to play. Chelsea have just kicked off against Brighton and look to have a chance to take a firmer hold at the top of the table.
A lovely first goal from the Japanese player.
Some quotes from the City manager Gareth Taylor from the official club website.
They are a good team. They have got good players. It is always going to be a really highly competitive game. We have shown some decent form. We are scoring goals and they always have the ability to score goals. We have just overtaken them in goals scored. They had a purple patch early in the season of high-scoring games. They are dangerous. We need to be ready for it. We just have to win the game. Staying in the game early on is important. This team has showed real resilience and managing the game in the early parts will be important.
With Chelsea playing Brighton and Manchester United facing Reading, the team losing this match is likely to lose ground on the leaders. And Arsenal are the team with a lot more to lose, as they are four points behind City in third. They haven’t played a WSL match since since 17 January and that was a 1-1 draw with Reading. And memories of their last meeting with City may be fresh. Caroline Weir’s 90th minute goal separated the teams, and continued a trend which is Arsenal’s problem in picking up points against their rivals. And City are on form, having scored 18 goals in their last three WSL matches.