WSL: Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Arsenal toasted Alex Scott’s impending retirement with a stirring comeback win over Manchester City.
Stalwart Scott is due to end her illustrious playing career at the end of the season was honoured before kick-off in her final home match of the season.
And after second-half goals from Danielle van de Donk and Beth Mead cancelled out Nadia Nadim’s 11th-minute opener, Scott was sent on as a late substitute to the delight of the home crowd.
Arsenal had the first chance on seven minutes as a rising shot from Jordan Nobbs forced a save from Karen Bardsley, but City took the lead soon after when Georgia Stanway’s run set up the chance for Nadim to curl a low shot past Sari van Veenendaal.
Nadim went close to a second on 24 minutes, when her header looped over the bar, but the Gunners rallied and van de Donk controlled Emma Mitchell’s pass to tee up Vivianne Miedema, whose shot was held by Bardsley.
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The City keeper kept out Kim Little and saw Nobbs whip a shot wide before half time.
But the pressure told after the restart as Nobbs set up van de Donk for a curling shot to level.
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Arsenal kept pressing and Little had a shot deflected wide before a sweeping team move ended with her feeding Mead to lash past Bardsley.
Van de Donk fired over from a Lisa Evans cross and then teed up Miedema who missed the target, while City’s Izzy Christiansen headed wide from fellow substitute Melissa Lawley’s cross.
The 34-year-old Scott was sent on by boss Joe Montemurro in added time as Arsenal held on for victory to move to within one point of second-placed City.
And she said: “Anyone will tell you that I don’t like being the centre of attention. It was a real emotional one.
“To get the guard of honour, I found it really hard to hold it together, but it’s the end of a chapter and the start of a new one and it’s been a great chapter in my career.
“I’ll always be connected to the club. It was a comeback that we deserved. We gifted them the goal in the firs thalf, but we did well, dug deep, showed our character and thoroughly deserved it.”
Arsenal visit Sunderland on Wednesday and Scott added: “We’ve won the Continental Cup, reached the FA Cup final and Wembley and we’re still in with a shout of the Champions League. You’ve got to pat the girls on the back for the amazing attitude they’ve shown.
“To turn things around and be in the position that we are is amazing and credit to Joe for being ablee to work with the players and do that.”
Arsenal: Van Veenendaal, Evans, Williamson, Quinn, Mitchell, Janssen, Nobbs, Little, van de Donk (O’Reilly 90), Miedema (Carter 79), Mead (Scott 90). Unused subs: Moorhouse, McCabe, Ngunga, Cooke.
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