Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro says he was nervous before win over Everton

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro is interviewed after the FA Women's Super League match at Meadow Park

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro is interviewed after the FA Women's Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood. Picture date: Sunday April 25, 2021. - Credit: PA

Joe Montemurro revealed he was nervous as Arsenal all but sealed Champions League football for next season with a 2-1 win at Everton on Sunday afternoon. 

Kim Little scored a last gasp penalty to win the game for the Gunners with Montemurro saying: "The pressure was on us and it was a different kind of pressure, but we knew that we had to get a result today and then we can bring it home next week.

"I was probably a little bit disappointed more than anything because we did everything right today. We didn’t set up properly for one silly little cross and throw in, and that’s disappointing, but the job is done and the character of the girls shone through."

Everton started with five at the back and if that surprised him the Australian explained: "It did surprise me. We thought that they’d be a 4-1-4-1 in the defensive phase and then push three forward, but it really surprised me because they dropped right off and we effectively had to score through a third man run through Katie McCabe from deep. 

"But I think we were very, very good in the first half and in the second half we took a little bit of time to adjust with Kim Little popping up between and then we started dominating again, but as I keep on saying, it’s all well and good creating chances, but you need to finalise the game."

Arsenal's Kim Little during the FA Women's Super League match at Leigh Sports Village.

Arsenal's Kim Little during the FA Women's Super League match at Leigh Sports Village. - Credit: PA

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The win all but seals Champions League qualification for Arsenal with the Gunners boss saying: "We know it would need to be a huge win next week for United and they are playing Everton, we have seen today how tough Everton are to break down.

"Mathematically it’s not done but we’re confident, you never want to say it’s done until it’s done but we’ve put ourselves in a fantastic position.

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"We’re disappointed we’ve conceded today after over eight games without conceding but we’re on a good run. We’ve had three games this week and probably did tire a little bit in the second half."

Little's penalty was the last action of the game on that goal.

"There’s so many words to describe how brilliant Kim is and how fantastic she is for the group, as a player and in pressure moments too. 

"That’s why she’s a world-class player, she handles these pressure moments."

On Everton's improved second half performance on whether Everton pushed on or Arsenal dropped off.

"Everton were reducing spaces a lot better and we probably weren’t quick enough in terms of changing our point of attack.

"They went for about 10 or 15 minutes, but then they dropped off and I think we started to reengage and be a bit more positive.

"But yes, I think it was Everton, they were definitely a little more brave in reducing those spaces and coming at us."

With two games of the season to go next week in the final day of the WSL season against Aston Villa before Montemurro's final game in charge against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup, on finishing the season on a high.

"We need to be in the Champions League every year and challenging, this club deserves it and these players deserve it.

"We need to be amongst the best in Europe. We were disappointed with the way the season finished last year with it being cancelled and not having the chance to make a run at the top two but we need to be on this platform every year."

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