Chelsea Women 2-1 Arsenal Women: Montemurro disappointed as unbeaten start ended by fellow WSL challengers

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro before the FA Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, London. Pict

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro before the FA Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, London. Picture: Tess Derry/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Joe Montemurro was disappointed to see his Arsenal Women’s side lose 2-1 to fellow FA Women’s Super League challengers Chelsea at Kingsmeadow on Sunday afternoon.

Danielle van de Donk opened the scoring on nine minutes, with the Gunners well in control in the first-half.

But, they invited pressure as the home side pressed for an equaliser after the break, and Bethany England found it when she fired home from close range on 57 minutes.

With just five minutes to play, Maria Thorisdottir drove home the winner from range to condemn Arsenal to their first defeat of the season.

Montemurro couldn't hide his disappointment and described it as a game of two halves.

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"We were good in the first half, but they were better than us in the second half," he said.

"We couldn't keep the ball and our intensity is all ball-based, so we were punished because of those fundamental errors. It's very unlike us.

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"The game became long and and it became a transition game.

"The fundamentals of the way we play is to keep the ball well and we didn't do that at all.

"We got punished for errors, created turnovers for them and were punished for it.

"We're disappointed that we made some fundamental errors in crucial parts of the park today and that's very unlike us.

"We didn't handle the pressure well in the second-half and now we need to regroup."

The defeat will be even more disappointing as it came against a fellow title challenger, with Montemurro adding: "With the size and individual talent of the squad that they've got, they really should be up there every year.

"Today's a reflection of who they are because they're a good team. They're a powerful team and we know that.

"They've got a squad of nearer 25, whereas we have a squad of 18 players, but that's not an excuse.

"That's the way we've chosen the squad and that's what we believe works for us."

The Gunners have the chance to put the result behind them when they play Slavia Prague in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday.

"We have a big Champions League game on Wednesday so we're going to have to forget about this one," said a defiant Montemurro.

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