Champions League race is going to the wire, insists Arsenal boss Montemurro

Arsenal's Katie McCabe (second right) celebrates scoring their third goal of the match with teammate

Arsenal's Katie McCabe (second right) celebrates scoring their third goal of the match with teammates during the FA Women's Super League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday March 27, 2021. - Credit: PA

Joe Montemurro says the race for the Champions League will go right down to the wire following Arsenal's 4-0 win over Bristol City and Manchester United's 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Australian said after the win at Twerton Park: "We have to play Brighton yet. There is a lot of football to play and I think it’s going to go right down to the wire. We’re getting the rewards for the football we’re playing and the positivity we’re showing, and that pleases me the most." 

He said it was nice to get a "summery" game where the team controlled the match and played good football.

"I don’t want to be too egotistical but it was nice to see the fruits of our labour," he said.

Montemurro has announced he will be leaving at the end of the season and said it had been "an emotional and difficult week".

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Arsenal moved above Manchester United into third in the table and they have kept five clean sheets in a row.

"We’re retaining the ball better and managing transition moments a lot better too," he said.

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Arsenal could have scored more than four as they struck the woodwork on four separate occasions.

"We had some fantastic build up play and some excellent movement and positioning and that pleased me," said Montemurro. 

"You’ll always have these games where you miss chances but you get it back in other games if you keep playing like that."

Teyah Goldie, 16, was on the bench for the Gunners for the second week running and Montemurro said: "Teyah is one who has really impressed me and I wish her all the best going forward because she is working with us a lot more and she will improve a lot before the end of the season."

Montemurro was also full of praise for Danielle van de Donk as she played in a higher role than usual.

"We’ve been working a lot on opposite areas so we get Kim to come ball side and Jill starting a bit higher and that allows DvD to run in from the other side.

"It just opens up one side for us to build and what that does is it cuts two midfielders out with one pass. Jill starts higher up, van de Donk rotates underneath and we get into those areas. So it is deliberate.

"Especially against teams that play like this and we have to pull them out of central areas and it’s worked quite well."

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