Women’s Super League: Arsenal 2-0 Birmingham
Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside via GettyImages

The home side equalled their own Women’s Super League record of nine consecutive league victories – the run stretched back to last season’s 1-0 win over Manchester City when Arsenal clinched the title in the final league game of the 2019/20 season.

Arsenal captain Kim Little opened the scoring in the ninth minute, headed past Hannah Hampton after connecting with Vivianne Miedema’s cross into the bottom right-hand corner.

Jordan Nobbs impressive half-volley strike claimed Arsenal’s second goal of the game in the 23rd minute.

Arsenal could have extended their lead before half-time after missing a number of numerous goal scoring opportunities and a goal disallowed for offside.

Birmingham were the better side in the second half but failed to get anything out of the game.

Story of the Match

Arsenal started the game brightly and broke the deadlock in the ninth minute when Little headed past Hampton through Miedema’s cross.

The home side lead was extended when Leah Williamson’s played a superb long ball past the Birmingham defenders and found Nobbs, who lopped the ball at the back of the net in the 23rd minute.

Birmingham struggled to get back into the game in most parts of the first half but had a glorious opportunity to get back into the game when Claudia Walker tried to provide a swift response, but was denied by an outstanding save from Pauline Peyraud-Margnin.  

With 15 minutes left of the first half, Danielle Van de Donk played a brilliant pass to find Nobbs who thought to have scored her second but it was ruled offside.

Miedema came so close to get on the scoresheet but her effort rattled the frame of the goal and Arsenal mounted further pressure in the second half.

The Dutch forward continued to take more goalscoring opportunities and saw her low effort saved by Hampton down to her right.

The visitors almost pulled a goal back when Peyraud-Magnin almost failed to clear the ball inside the box, but before Lucy Whipp could seize the danger, Williamson calmly clears the ball away from danger.

Hampton was kept busy and denied Miedema again for another goalscoring chance. It proved not to be Miedema’s day in front of goal. Birmingham endured their sixth defeat in nine matches.

Takeaways from the match

Set new WSL record of ten straight home wins

This impressive run of home games started last season in their 3-0 win over Yeovil and winning games at home is so crucial especially challenging for the big prizes like the WSL. It will be crucial again this season as they look to retain the WSL title for the second consecutive season. Only five home games remaining in the WSL – includes the likes of title rivals Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Reading, Manchester United and Everton are all big tests for the Gunners. The big question relies heavily on the squad depth with regards to rotating the squad as Joe Montemurro’s side are still competing in the Women’s FA Cup, WSL Cup and the Champions League.

Title rivals Chelsea were the last side to pick up points at Meadow Park and the only team to beat the current WSL champions this season – a major upset is still on the cards and the Blues could complete a league double over Arsenal at a crucial stage of the season.

Not Miedema’s day in front of goal

Vivianne Miedema is on fire this season – scoring goals, game after game and assisting goals too like she did today but they are not heavily reliant on a single player. However, today proved not to be Miedema’s day in front of goal. She had three brilliantly opportunities and was denied by Hampton and the woodwork. This brilliant run of scoring in six consecutive WSL games has now ended but her confidence will not fade away.

She also has other qualities that she can bring into the team - winning tackles, assisting, great link up play and leading the attacking front-line shows that she is an all-round player.

Stand Out Player

Jordan Nobbs- Nobbs delivered a masterclass performance in midfield for Arsenal. She continued to work tirelessly throughout the game, but the biggest talking point was her outrageous dinked finish from just inside the area. She was unlucky not to have scored twice today – as her supposed second goal was ruled offside. Most important of all, she was breaking up play in midfield and winning tackles- helping the team to the best she can. Nobbs has now found her rhythm and she will need time to recover from her ACL injury.