Arsenal held by Aston Villa on final day of WSL season

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro prior to kick-off during the FA Women's Super League match at the Mea

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro prior to kick-off during the FA Women's Super League match at the Meadow Park, London. - Credit: PA

Arsenal were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Aston Villa on the final day of the Women's Super League season.

The result sealed the Gunners qualification for next season's UEFA Women’s Champions League while Aston Villa survived relegation with Bristol City dropping into the Championship. 

Jill Roord had the first opportunity of the game inside four minutes as she span in the box before creating a chance for herself to shoot but her effort was saved by Lisa Weiss in the Aston Villa goal.

On 18 minutes the Gunners had their first real clear-cut chance when Beth Mead played in Vivianne Miedema but she fired straight at Weiss when the Netherlands international should have scored. 

Villa were keeping their discipline well, not allowing Arsenal to break through them and doing a good job of frustrating Joe Montemurro's side at Meadow Park.

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The visitors then had a half chance of their own when Jodie Hutton played a free-kick into the box but it was easily claimed by Lydia Williams as she came off her line to catch the loose ball.

Arsenal did create a good opening when Leah Williamson played a ball over the top for Kim Little who took a touch and before getting a shot away on goal that was saved by Weiss.

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Nobbs then had a shot shortly afterwards but her low effort was well blocked by Anita Asante at the heart of the Villa defence before Little flicked the rebound wide of the target from close range. 

Montemurro, taking charge of his final WSL game for the Gunners, saw his side create the final opportunity of a pretty uneventful first half when Williamson crossed for Miedema who flicked her header wide from a difficult angle at the back post. 

The Arsenal boss made his first change at the break as Leonie Maier was replaced by Steph Catley as she went to the left of a back three and Katie McCabe moved to left wing. 

But Villa started the second half brightly with Stine Larsen driving forward before the Danish international fizzed her low effort wide of the target. 

Arsenal then started to press higher with Roord driving forward into space before she cracked in a low effort that was deflected behind by Asmita Ale for a corner that came to nothing.

Villa were continuing to frustrate Arsenal as Miedema had a shot on goal after she was picked out with a low cross but her low effort was blocked by Natalie Haigh. 

Weiss then had to be alert once again as she made a fine save when Miedema rolled her marker but her effort was saved.

From the resulting corner the ball fell for Williamson who drove her effort over the bar with a thumping shot. 

On 73 minutes Montemurro made a triple change with Nobbs, Lia Wälti and Beth Mead replaced by Danielle van de Donk, Malin Gut and Caitlin Foord as the Gunners went in search for winner. 

Arsenal had another half chance when Catley had a shot from the edge of the area blocked before the ball fell for Little who turned her shot wide in a highly frustrating afternoon for the north London side. 

Villa weren't holding back however as Emily Syme led a break and skipped beyond a few challenges before her effort was blocked behind by the sliding Catley. 

Arsenal had the final talking point of the game when Roord had a shot deflected behind in stoppage time by Elisha N'Dow as the Gunners were made to settle for a point. 

Arsenal: Williams, Maier (Catley 46), Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe, Walti (Gut 73), Mead (Foord 73), Roord, Little, Nobbs (van de Donk 72), Miedema. Unused subs: Zinsberger, Patten, Maritz, Goldie.

Referee: Abigail Byrne.

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