Chelsea Women 2-1 Arsenal Women: Blues leapfrog Gunners into second

Chelsea Women 2-1 Arsenal Women: Blues leapfrog Gunners into second as Beth England and Maria Thorisdottir overturn Danielle Van de Donk opener

  • Reigning champions Arsenal took an early lead courtesy of Danielle Van de Donk
  • New Lioness Beth England equalised after the break from an assist by Fran Kirby
  • Defender Maria Thorisdottir’s late goal ended run of 11 straight wins for Arsenal
  • Chelsea went second in the WSL as Arsenal lost their perfect start to the season

When a rampant Arsenal side demolished Chelsea 5-0 on their last trip to Kingsmeadow in October 2018, Blues boss Emma Hayes claimed ‘defeats like that are hard but necessary’ as their 25-game unbeaten run came to an end.

Hayes must have feared a similar humiliating fate when their London rivals, who are the reigning champions, struck an early blow on Sunday. But her resilient Chelsea side had other ideas.

The Gunners took the lead inside 10 minutes when Vivianne Miedema charged towards the Chelsea defence before feeding fellow Dutch international Danielle Van de Donk to slide a low drive into the bottom left corner beyond Ann-Katrin Berger.

Beth England equalised for Chelsea after 57 minutes as Chelsea ended Arsenal’s winning run

England deservedly drew Chelsea level as the Blues exorcised a 5-0 defeat to Arsenal in 2018 

 Chelsea moved up to second and edged two points behind leaders Manchester City Women

Arsenal had a 10th-minute lead through Dutch midfielder Danielle Van de Donk’s precise strike

Norway defender Maria Thorisdottir was the unlikely hero with a winner five minutes from time

Ji So-Yun – who became more influential as the game progressed – came close to levelling midway through the first-half when Chelsea’s efforts to push their opponents out of shape almost paid off.

After weaving through the Arsenal defence, the 28-year-old South Korea midfielder curled a powerful left-footed shot narrowly wide of the target.

Chelsea midfielder and summer signing Guro Reiten rattled the bar with a spectacular effort from 20 yards moments later as Arsenal desperately tried to hang on to their lead in the latter stages of the first half.

Five days after notching her first senior goal for the Lionesses against Portugal, Phil Neville’s new kid on the block, Beth England, sent the 4,149-strong Kingsmeadow crowd wild just before the hour mark.

Arsenal arrived having won their first three Women’s Super League matches of the new season

England forward Fran Kirby produced a clever pass for the goal that broke Arsenal’s resistance

Chelsea remained unbeaten after four games with a thrilling win over the reigning champions

Capitalising on a Jen Beattie error, Fran Kirby squared an inch-perfect ball to the waiting England newcomer who pounced from close range. Hayes’ hardworking side had earned their just rewards.

Off the bench and on to the scoresheet, subs Ramona Bachmann and Maria Thorisdottir combined to put Chelsea in front five minutes before the final whistle. 

Hitting a fierce ball first time with just enough curl on it to beat Manuela Zinsberger, defender Thorisdottir proved Hayes’ unlikely hero.

The win sees Chelsea move above the Gunners into second spot, just two points behind leaders Manchester City. They end their north London rivals’ 11-game unbeaten run in the FA WSL in the process.

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