Ruby Mace

Narrow Arsenal Reverse For City's Women

A fine second-half strike from Frida Maanum condemned LCFC Women to a 1-0 defeat against Arsenal at Meadow Park on Friday evening.
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Level until the 64th minute, a long-range effort from Gunners' forward Maanum broke the deadlock and resulted in City leaving the capital without any points. They remain two clear of the drop in the Barclays Women's Super League.

The Foxes arrived in north London with two changes to the starting XI which beat Liverpool 4-0 last weekend, with Carrie Jones and Remy Siemsen dropping to the bench, to allow strength to be added in the midfield through Molly Pike and Sam Tierney. The latter was available for selection again after serving a suspension for picking up five yellow cards. 

Lining up in a 5-4-1 formation, to limit spaces and openings for the home side, CJ Bott and Courtney Nevin played in advanced wing-back roles, while midfielder Ruby Mace dropped into a back three. In possession, Aileen Whelan and Molly Pike would offer support to the lone striker of Hannah Cain.

In the early stages, Leicester looked to push Arsenal and use the possession of the football wisely, however the Gunners looked to pose a threat on the break and had the first chance of the game, after Katie McCabe was fouled inside the box following a collision with Bott and Cain.

The Arsenal No.15 stepped up, but goalkeeper Janina Leitzig guessed right, and dived to her bottom right to deny the hosts from taking an early lead, as her defenders cleared any danger from the follow up.

Over the next 20 minutes, both teams saw possession, but it would be fair to say that Arsenal were looking the most likely to find a breakthrough as they were attacking the City backline with pace on the break.

However, the visitors were standing firm and even looked to create openings themselves, first when Cain was narrowly beaten to a bouncing ball inside the Gunners' penalty area before captain Whelan saw a curled effort blocked. 

In the first 10 minutes of the second half, it was Leicester who were threatening and they had two attempts on target with headers. The first was when Whelan flicked on a Mace free-kick before Tierney's goalbound effort from a Cain cross was caught by Sabrina D'Angelo.

In a game where both defences were standing firm, it would take something special to break the deadlock, and that's exactly what happened for the hosts little over the hour mark. 

From a throw-in, the ball made its way to Maanum, who took aim from outside the Leicester box, and she curled an effort into the top right corner, over Leitzig, to give Arsenal the lead.

Over the next 10 minutes, the Foxes looked for a way back, but the momentum had shifted in favour of the home club, and it was Maanum who continued to threaten the scoreline, coming closest with a free-kick in the 81st minute which struck the crossbar.

In the final five minutes, LCFC Women manager Willie Kirk went for it and introduced forward Siemsen, Ava Baker and Missy Goodwin. Despite a late dash to salvage a point, the scoreline was finalised after 10 minutes of added time, confirming defeat for the Foxes following a brave display in north London.

Major moment - Frida Maanum's strike

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Frida Maanum

Frida Maanum opened the scoring in the 64th minute against Leicester.

Level pegging until the hour mark, it took a spectacular effort from range by Frida Maanum to give the hosts the lead. The Leicester defence had battled hard, but a second-half goal from the Norwegian sent Arsenal on their way to three points. 

Who impressed - Sophie Howard

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Sophie Howard

Sophie Howard challenging Arsenal's Frida Maanum for possession of the football.

Despite being on the losing side, Sophie Howard once again showed her strength in the City backline. Cleaning up most of the danger, her work in the defensive back three kept Arsenal at bay until the second half.

Where do we stand - 10th

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Hannah Cain

The Wales international forward provided an attacking threat for the Foxes.

Leicester remain 10th in the WSL, and two points above bottom-placed Reading.

Coming up - Chelsea (A)

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Sam Tierney

Leicester return to London next week to face the Blues.

The Foxes are back in the capital next Wednesday (7pm BST kick-off) when they take on Chelsea in the WSL at Kingsmeadow. 

The details…

City: Leitzig; Bott, Howard, Mace, Plumptre (Purfield 57'), Nevin; Pike (Baker 85'), Green (Goodwin 85'), Tierney, Whelan (C) (C. Jones 65'); Cain (Siemsen 65').

Subs not used: Lambourne, Smith, Reavill, Robinson.

Leicester City Crest





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