Arsenal boss Montemurro full of praise for goalkeeper Zinsberger despite Chelsea defeat

Arsenal Women Manager Joe Montemurro

Arsenal Women Manager Joe Montemurro - Credit: PA

Joe Montemurro was full of praise for goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger following Arsenal Women’s opening 4-1 Continetal Cup defeat to London rival’s Chelsea on Wednesday.

Zinsberger came to the Gunners rescue on a number of occasions at Kingsmeadow and the Australian boss said: “Manuela made some great saves and that’s a great confidence boost for her, we know she’s a world class goalkeeper.”

“I’ve heard some comments, some ifs, buts and maybe’s, but her distribution and the way she was starting the play was really giving Chelsea trouble.”

“They struggled to deal with us building from the back and spreading their strikers apart so we could get out wide,she had a great game and I’m really happy for her because she works so hard.

Arsenal have now lost six consecutive games against the Blue half of London and on that Montemurro said: “Each game against Chelsea brings a different story but I can’t make excuses.

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“All we can do is keep playing our football, If I am going to be judged on results against Chelsea then I will be judged on results against Chelsea, it’s as simple as that and I’ll have to take that medicine.

“But I want to keep these players believing that they are a good footballing side and they showed that.

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“We keep reviewing and we will keep coming in with the belief that we are progressing as a team.”

Guro Reitan scored a double for the Blues after captain Magdalena Eriksson had put Emma Hayes ahead as Bethany England scored a late fourth on the 4-1 scoreline Montemurro said: “I can only say I am very proud of the girls, I think we played some of the best football we played all season.

“I know it’s difficult to sit here and say that and we got caught on a corner very early for the first goal and the game changes, so it is what it is.”

Midfielders Jordan Nobbs and Kim Little missed the game as Montemurro gave an update on their fitness as he explained: “It was about just giving them a bit more time to recover properly.

“They both have small hamstring issues and we just need to make sure we don’t take any silly risks at this stage but the Brighton game on Sunday might be too soon for them.”

Arsenal had more of the ball in the second half with Montemurro adding: “We wanted to exploit the opposite side and the quicker we swung the ball around there the more we tended to find space on either side.”

“It was about getting the ball out there much quicker and playing the diagonals and we were able to expose them a few times that way.”

The Arsenal boss was also frustrated that the game wasn’t broadcast anywhere for the fans to watch live saying: “All games should be shown, or streamed somehow. The more we have women’s football on television, the more we expose the great sport that it is and this was a really, really good game today.

“Chelsea have brought in some of the world’s best players and people want to see them, there should be a standard that these games are shown.”

Arsenal now take on Brighton and Hove Albion next in the Women’s Super League on Sunday with Montemurro’s focus on that game as he said: “We need to worry about what we need to do because Brighton are a very well organised and they’ve already taken points off a super squad like Manchester City. We expect a very difficult game and they have some elements that can definitely unlock you.”

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