Arsenal Women Football Club: February round-up
WALSALL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: Katie McCabe of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Danielle van de Donk, Lia Walti, Jennifer Beattie and Jordan Nobbs after scoring their team's third goal during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Aston Villa Women and Arsenal Women at Banks's Stadium on February 28, 2021 in Walsall, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Arsenal suffered their first defeat of 2021 at the beginning of the month in their clash with Manchester City in early February.

Despite dominating possession in the first half of the game, poor play from the gunners' defence meant that Ellen White was able to put City ahead within the first 25 minutes.

Jill Roord came agonisingly close to equalising the match only 10 minutes later, but despite the ball being in the back of the net, it was later ruled offside by the referee.

The gunners stepped up their game in the second half, and within 12 minutes, Caitlin Foord was able to slot the ball into the City net with ease.

However, despite Arsenal's efforts, it was not enough to keep the current FA Cup holders at bay, as Chloe Kelly found Lauren Hemp in the box, who was there to head the ball into the top left corner to seal all three points for the away side.

In a post-match interview for the official Arsenal website, Leah Williamson said: "I see it as a game where we were good in the first half and had a good spell in the second half, but ultimately our errors were probably the reason why we didn’t win."

It was only three days before the gunners were in action once again, taking the short trip across London to Kingsmeadow where they faced the current WSL title holders, Chelsea.

The blues dominated the game from the first whistle, pressing high and barely enabling Arsenal to leave their own half.

The gunners' defence was able to keep the blues at bay for the first 45 minutes, however, Pernille Harder was able to put the home side two goals ahead within the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Fran Kirby raced through the Arsenal defence in the 90th minute and put the ball past Lydia Williams to score an impressive goal and guarantee the points for Chelsea. 

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On February 14, Arsenal's WSL fixture against Aston Villa was postponed once again following a frozen pitch. An official statement on the club website read: "Our away fixture against Aston Villa Women at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium today has been called off due to a frozen pitch. The Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture was due to be played at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium at 2pm (UK time), but following a pitch inspection at 9am, the match has had to be postponed."

Following the international break, the Gunners were finally able to play their fixture against Aston Villa, which was postponed three times previously.

The match took place on February 28 at Banks's Stadium and it saw Arsenal get back to winning ways following two consecutive defeats. The home side held Arsenal level for the first 45 minutes, but the gunners really stepped up in the second half, with the WSL's top goalscorer, Vivianne Miedema, breaking the deadlock.

Jordan Nobbs doubled the lead shortly after with a finish from close range and Katie McCabe was able to secure the third with a sure contender for Goal of the Month.

The ball fell to the Irish international around 30 yards out from goal, then her superb effort flew into the top left corner of the goal, giving Villa goalkeeper, Lisa Weiss, no chance to save it.

Substitute, Lisa Evans, then claimed the fourth goal during Arsenal's dominance, heading the ball past the goalkeeper following McCabe's cross.

The result means that Arsenal remain in fourth place in the WSL and six points behind third place Manchester United with a game in-hand. The Gunners cannot afford to drop many more points if they want to climb back into the Champions League positions, and will hope to carry their good form over to their next fixture against Birmingham City on March 7.

This month also saw some more positive news as goalkeeper, Manuela Zinsberger, signed a new long-term contract with the gunners.

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In an exclusive interview with Arsenal Media the Austrian international said: "It's just unbelievable, the team have so much potential and I'm just looking forward to everything that comes in the future. Just look at the team! We have so much quality in the team and I think also the staff around us makes it unbelievable. I'm just happy to extend my contract."

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