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Blues and Gunners draw blank
 Women's Football News 30 Jun 2016
 
Blues and Gunners draw blank - 30 Jun 2016 - Women's Football NewsBirmingham City 0 Arsenal 0
Birmingham City and Arsenal stay in third and fourth place respectively in the WSL 1 table after largely cancelling each other out in a stalemate at the Autotech Stadium. 
 
The Blues have recruited busily during the mid-season break with a number of imports and two of them, goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger and Andrine Hegerberg, made their debuts whilst Alex Windell also returned to the starting line up.
 
Melissa Lawley had an early opportunity for Birmingham but dragged her shot wide of the goal whilst Arsenal's first effort on goal came shortly afterwards, Berger punching away a corner as far as Vicky Losada who drilled an effort over.
 
Losada was impressing with some nice touches in midfield and again cleared the goal with an ambitious shot from close range. Lawley continued to look lively going forward for the Blues and she raised hopes by getting in behind the Arsenal defence but Casey Stoney averted the danger as she looked to set up Freda Ayisi.
 
Berger needed to come off her line to make a smothering save from Losada as half time approached, with neither side able to make a breakthrough before the interval.
 
The clearest chance of the match so far came in the opening minutes of the second half for Arsenal, Fara Williams sliding a pass which Aoife Mannion was unable to cut out at full stretch and Asisat Oshoala was through on goal, the onrushing Berger coming out to block her shot.
 
Berger was again called into action as she palmed away a Williams free kick and Emma Mitchell fired wide from distance as Arsenal had their best spell of the game.
 
Birmingham saw the period of pressure out and then created a great chance of their own. Lawley was again involved as she clipped a delightful cross to the far post for an unmarked Hegerberg but, with only Stoney covering, the midfielder headed over the bar.
 
This was the last clear opportunity of the game and the latter stages saw both defences stand firm. Birmingham introduced Bella Linden as a second half substitute and the striker looked lively on her debut but she was unable to make an impression against the strong pairing of Stoney and Josephine Henning, whilst the Blues' well drilled defenders also kept things at the other end, with Berger showing great handling when dealing with a series of corners and set pieces into her area. 
 
Birmingham City: Ann-Katrin Berger, Alex Windell (sub Chloe Peplow 73mins), Jess Carter, Aoife Mannion, Emily Westwood, Kerys Harrop, Freda Ayisi, Melissa Lawley, Charlie Wellings (sub Bella Linden 62mins), Abbey Leigh Stringer, Andrine Hegerberg. Subs not used: Connie Scofield, Cheryl Edwards, Ashlee Brown, Sian Johnson, Sophie Baggaley.

Arsenal: Sari Van Veenendaal, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell, Fara Williams, Casey Stoney, Vicky Losada, Josephine Henning, Danielle Van De Donk (sub Dominique Janssen 78mins), Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Marta Corredera (sub Jordan Nobbs 59mins), Asisat Oshoala (sub Katie McCabe 59mins). Subs not used: Emma Byrne, Charlie Devlin, Chloe Kelly, Jemma Rose.

Attendance: 626

Photos:

(top) Asisat Oshoala in possession watched by Kerys Harrop
(middle) Emily Westwood jumps for a cross against Emma Mitchell and Casey Stoney
(bottom) Jess Carter tries to take on Katie McCabe and Alex Scott


 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
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