The International break is one of those things that divides football fans, some love it, some hate it. Me? Well I’ve grown to enjoy it. Freeing up a weekend to partake in other activities is something that I now fully appreciate and a round of golf in neighbouring Essex was thoroughly enjoyable. This break seems to have passed very quickly, the difference this time maybe due to the fact that I scored my football fix on Wednesday night.
I’ll be honest, I’ve barely seem Arsenal’s Women play this season. Why? Simply because their matches often clash with the Men’s team. But with a place in the Champions League semi-final at stake and the visit of football loving friend from the States meant it was too good to pass up. Arsenal went into the game 1-0 down after a disappointing opening leg in Munich meaning that only a 2 goal win was enough. And that’s exactly what they got.
There was a marked difference in the way the two teams set out. Bayern playing a pragmatic game hoping to nick a goal on the counter, Arsenal were having none of it. They came tearing out the blocks and after just 20 minutes we took the lead, levelling the tie on aggregate. It was a truly beautiful move, including a backheel from Leah Williamson (who was solid all night). Frida Maanum fired across goal from just outside the box and the ball soared into the top corner. Minutes later Stina Blackstenius put us ahead overall nodding into a virtually empty net following a really well worked move. From then on Arsenal were in full control and in reality Bayern deserved exactly what they got from the game – nothing. The win sets up a tie against two time winners and five time finalists Wolfsburg.
Attention returns to the Men’s team now and we look ahead to tomorrows massive tie against Leeds. Earlier in the day Man City play Liverpool, who despite speculation., I don’t expect to do us any favours so we simply must win. Leeds are in a battle of their own with every point at the bottom of the table as crucial as at the top. The club are sweating on the fitness of big Willy Saliba with it remaining unclear whether he still has a part to play this season.
As always I’ll see you all there.