Everton Women succumbed to their second away defeat of the season on Saturday when they faced Arsenal at Meadow Park. Although the blue’s gave a spirited performance, it was an early first half strike from Dutch international striker Vivianne Miedema that gained Arsenal all 3 points.
The Toffee’s, when in possession, moved the ball well through the field and gained their first chance in the 17th minute. Aggie Beever-Jones played the ball to Jess Park, she hit a low effort towards goal that was blocked, however the ball bounced off the forward and went out for an Arsenal goal kick.
The Gunner’s took the lead midway through the first half when Miedema danced through multiple Everton tackles inside the box and fired a curling effort into the top right hand corner of the blue’s net.
Emily Ramsey did not crack under the intense pressure from the Arsenal attack. The Manchester United loanee was forced into an outbreak of saves to avoid the home side from doubling their advantage.
The best chance for Everton gaining an equaliser came from pressure put on Arsenal’s defence causing mistakes to occur, Katja Snoeijs gathered the ball on the edge of the penalty area, however her shot flew high over the bar.
Ramsey made multiple incredible saves throughout the game to stop the Gunner’s from getting another goal. Swedish international Stina Blackstenius looked odds on to score, but Emily Ramsey denied her attempt from 4 yards out. The goalkeeper sprung into action again in the second half, blocking 3 consecutive shots from Vivianne Miedema. She made two incredible saves to deny the striker before Gabby George and Nathalie Björn produced some amazing defending combined to clear the ball.
In the hope of finding an equaliser, Brian Sørensen brought on substitutes Aurora Galli and Nicoline Sørensen to replace Hanna Bennison and Aggie Beever-Jones. Elise Stenevik and Nathalie Björn later left the pitch and were replaced by Leonie Maier and Kenzie Weir. This substitution earned Weir her first minutes in the WSL.
The substitutions made an immediate impact on the field when Everton came close to grabbing a late equaliser. From a free kick, Nicoline Sørensen found Lucy Graham who fired her shot towards goal, the strike was stopped on the line, desperate Arsenal defending prevented Karen Holmgaard from scoring on the rebound.
Kenzie Weir also had an opportunity to score from a Sørensen free kick. The defender headed the ball towards goal but was denied by Arsenal goalkeeper, Manuela Zinsberger.
Absolutely amazing moment to see Nicoline Sørensen make her way back on to the pitch after 435 days away. She’s an incredible player for the Toffee’s and I can’t wait to see what she produces this season.
Everton Women are back in action in the Continental Cup on Wednesday the 7th of December to face Manchester United away. Kick off is at 7pm.