Arsenal all but clinch Champions League place with last gasp winner at Everton

Arsenal's Kim Little (centre) celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game during the FA

Arsenal's Kim Little (centre) celebrates scoring

Kim Little netted a last gasp penalty to move Arsenal a step closer to Champions League qualification away to Everton on Sunday afternoon. 

It means that the Gunners have all but clinched third spot and the final Champions League spot due to the vastly superior goal difference the Gunners have on Manchester United. 

Arsenal had a good opening in the 13th minute after a neat team move that allowed Jordan Nobbs to get a shot in from the edge of the area but Sandy MacIver in the Everton goal did well to tip it over the top.

The Gunners were controlling the opening stages and tempo of the match as they carved out another good opening when Vivianne Miedema floated in a cross aiming for Caitlin Foord but it was slightly over hit however Danielle van de Donk nearly got a touch to it as she was running in at the back-post. 

Joe Montemurro's side were inches away from breaking the deadlock as Everton nearly scored a calamitous own goal when Maciver had to scramble across her line to keep out a pass back from Megan Finnigan. 

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However on 22 minutes Arsenal did take the lead with Katie McCabe finishing off a fine move after she was played in at the back-post to send a chip over the Toffees keeper and into the back of the net. 

McCabe scored the winner in 2018-19 as Arsenal booked their place in the Champions League in a win away to Birmingham City was it going to be a case of Deja vu on Merseyside. 

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The Gunners could have doubled their lead when van de Donk picked out a beautiful pass into Beth Mead but Rikke Sevecke was on hand to head behind for a corner that came to nothing. 

Montemurro's side were flooding the Everton goal as Little was played in from a tight angle before the Gunners captain floated her effort aiming for the top corner just wide of goal. 

40 minutes had passed as the Gunners carved open the home sides defence once more when Mead drove into the box and cut the ball back for Foord before Finnigan came across to make the clearance. 

On the stroke of half-time Everton had the final talking point of the half as Lucy Graham tried to get onto a pass from Jill Scott before McCabe did well to shuffle the ball back for Zinsberger. 

Arsenal started the second half the way they ended the first on top with Mead being played in but the English International drilled her shot into the side-netting claiming that MacIver got a touch to her shot. 

The Gunners were seeking for that killer second goal and once again had a go on goal in the 55th minute when Miedema picked the ball up outside the box before drilling her effort wide with Foord sliding in trying to turn the loose ball home. 

A minute later Mead had a massive opportunity to put the Gunners in a comfortable position when she latched onto a through ball but dragged her shot across goal when Arsenal's number 9 should have hit the target. 

It was chance after chance for the visitors who were kitted out in their white strip as Noelle Maritz was picked out by the energetic Mead before the Swiss International had two bites of the Cherry the second time ballooning the ball over the top. 

Montemurro's troops were going to regret the missed chances as Everton found an equaliser when Izzy Christiansen whipped in a cross for Finnigan and she looped her header beyond Zinsberger into the net to end Arsenal's hopes of the WSL clean-sheet record. 

The Gunners boss then thought it was time for a change as Steph Catley returned and Jill Roord replaced Nobbs and Mead. 

Arsenal reacted strongly as the game entered the final ten minutes as they had another go on goal when Leah Williamson picked the ball up from range before drilling her effort wide. 

Just when Arsenal were pushing for a winner it was the home side who came inches away from taking the lead when Christiansen curled the ball over the bar from just outside the box. 

As the match opened up Miedema had another opening to grab the winner on 88 minutes when she met a pass from Foord but she was crowded out by a stubborn Everton defence. 

Arsenal were then awarded a free-kick as the game entered added time allowing McCabe to play a smart pass into Little who could only fire into the gloves of MacIver in what looked to be the final opportunity of the match. 

However the drama wasn't finished as in the final minute of stoppage time Arsenal were awarded a penalty as McCabe was brought down by Finnigan. 

That allowed Little to step up with the final kick off the game and drill her effort into the top corner of the net to clinch all three points for the Gunners in the most dramatic of circumstances. 

Arsenal: Zinsberger; Maritz, Williamson, Walti, McCabe; Little, van de Donk, Nobbs (Roord 79) Mead (Catley 79) Miedema, Foord. 

Unused subs: Williams, Wubben-Moy, Maier, Gut, Patten, Goldie. 

Referee: Sarah Garratt.

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