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Arsenal 0 Birmingham City 2 (Linnett 49,60)
Arsenal's faltering start to the league campaign continued with a 2-0 defeat at home to Birmingham City who are the new leaders of FA WSL 1.
Kirsty Linnett's second half brace condemned the Gunners to a second straight defeat in the WSL. Arsenal had lots of possession but rarely tested Birmingham goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer and were well beaten in the end.
The game started with Arsenal trying to control possession, but Birmingham were well organised and denied the home side the early goal they craved. Clear cut opportunities were few and far between in the opening exchanges until the 16th minute when Leah Williamson's misplaced pass let in Linnett, whose low shot was saved by Emma Byrne. Five minutes later, Freda Ayisi showed neat footwork on a driving run to work herself some space, but could only steer her effort wide.
In the 36th minute, Jade Moore's cross from the right fell to Remi Allen, whose hooked effort looked destined for the corner but Byrne scrambled across to push the ball away.
Arsenal's best chance came three minutes before the break when Kelly Smith's dipping effort from distance was tipped over by Spencer.
The second period got off to the worst possible start for Arsenal when Williamson's slip gifted Linnett the freedom of the penalty box and she calmly rounded Byrne and slotted into the bottom corner.
Birmingham could have been two up five minutes later but Allen's cute finish was ruled out for offside.
But the Blues did double their lead on the hour mark. Karen Carney shifted the ball to Allen, who slid through Linnett, and the forward beat Byrne to the ball to poke home her second.
Danielle Carter couldn't adjust her feet in time to finish from close range and the substitute tried her luck from distance to no avail.
In the end, a disappointing night for Kerr's side. They have the chance to register their first three points of the season when they host Bristol Academy on Sunday.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell, Yukari Kinga (sub Christie Murray 72mins), Casey Stoney, Leah Williamson, Freda Ayisi (sub Caroline Weir 81mins), Jade Bailey (sub Rachel Yankey 61mins), Danielle Carter, Kelly Smith, Shinobu Ohno. Subs not used: Siobhan Chamberlain, Anouk Hoogendijk, Niamh Fahey, Carla Humphrey.
Birmingham City: Rebecca Spencer, Chelsea Weston, Jess Carter, Jade Moore, Aoife Mannion, Kerys Harrop, Melissa Lawley, Remi Allen, Kirsty Linnett (sub Hannah Keryakoplis 88mins), Karen Carney (sub Emily Simpkins 88mins), Jo Potter. Subs not used: Sophie Baggaley, Meaghan Sargeant, Emily Westwood, Katie Wilkinson, Cristina Torkildsen.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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