Joe Montemurro praises London City Lionesses in Arsenal Continental Cup victory
- Credit: PA
Joe Montemurro was full of praise for London City Lionesses after Arsenal’s 4-0 win in the Continental Cup on Wednesday evening.
Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema had another night to remember as she scored all four goals including her second consecutive first half hat-trick.
Speaking to Arseblog.com the Australian commented on his sides opponents: “They organised themselves to press quite aggressively, especially over one side and they were forcing us into the middle quite a lot into congested areas.
“A couple of times in the first half they pinched the ball from us in our own third. We had to go in to go out and expose them and once we got the ball into wide areas we were pretty good. They are a good team with a lot of energy that will definitely do well in the Championship.”
Kim Little, Leonie Maier and Jill Roord made their return from injury with Roord starting the match with Little and Maier coming on as a second half substitute on the duos return Montemurro said: “That was another main focus for us in this game to get that balance back in the squad and we’re happy to have them back.
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“They’ve been training for a while now and it was good to get some minutes into them in a tricky game where the conditions weren’t great but it was good to get them back on the park again.”
With Chelsea winning their opening two matches in the group against the Gunners and Tottenham Hotspur goal difference could be crucial to qualify as one of the best placed teams in second spot and on goal difference the Gunners boss added: “It wasn’t the focus, we wanted to experiment with a couple of things and some movements and a few bits and pieces, that was the main focus.
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“We didn’t even think about the goal difference scenario but we know it’s a situation where it will probably come down to goal difference for us now so we’ll wait and see where that all goes in the next game against Tottenham.”
Centre-back Jennifer Beattie and forward Beth Mead were left out of the squad but Montemurro says that they will be back for Sunday’s trip to Manchester United as he explained: “Jen was rested and Beth had a family issue to deal with but she’ll be back for Sunday’s game.”
Ruby Mace came on at half-time for Roord and the manager was full of praise for the youngster once again as she impressed off the bench as the Australian said: “The more she plays the more she will understand her role, obviously there is the excitement of playing and wanting to get on the ball.
“If we can get her positioning right I think she could be a player that’s really, really important for us in the future. We’re really happy with her progress.”
Arsenal played the last part of the game with a back three of Leah Williamson, Lia Wälti and Viktoria Schnaderbeck on this system Montemurro added: It wasn’t so much about personnel but more about the shape and the structure, we just had a tinker with a back three and a different setup in midfield, probably with more aggressive wide players in this system.
“It’s something we’ve had a look at in training a couple of times and we wanted to see if we could implement it in the last thirty odd minutes.”
With two crucial Women’s Super League games coming up this month against Manchester United and Chelsea Montemurro also spoke on those fixtures and said: “We’re assessing each challenge as it is and we’re looking forward to Manchester United- they are a team in form with some big players.
“We’re looking forward to this phase of the season. I think we had a tough start to the season with teams that can really unlock you and we’ve taken points from them. Now is an important phase and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Arsenal travel to Manchester on Sunday for a 2.30pm kick-off live on the FA player.