Arsenal grabbed all three points at the Emirates this afternoon after two goals scored in injury time to beat Aston Villa 2-1.
The Gunners went into today’s game hunting for their first Super League win of the season. After a more positive result against Manchester United last week, where the points where shared, it was crucial they kept the momentum going and secured the victory in front of the 35,829 supporters at the Emirates today.
However, it looked seemingly unlikely at half time as they found themselves one-nil down to the Villains courtesy of Maz Pacheco, whose uncontested header from a corner found the home side’s net.
But after another challenging half, Villa’s first win of the season was prevented by a dramatic end, as 12 minutes of stoppage time gave Caitlin Foord the chance to slip the ball through to Katie McCabe whose strike rocketed past Domselaar who stood little chance of denying the equaliser.
A tense couple of minutes followed, as Blackstenius was found through on goal and looked likely to put the Gunners ahead, only to hit the far post and keep the score level.
But this would soon seem irrelevant as moments later, new signing, Alessia Russo fired from just outside the 18-yard box to send the Emirates into chaos and save Arsenal from their second home defeat of the season.
Almost more positive than the win itself was the return of star player Beth Mead, who had been sidelined for 11 months with an ACL injury. Her impact was undoubtedly an immediate one as she entered the pitch in the 88th minute and set up Russo’s crucial winner.
Despite a busy transfer window, Jonas Eidvall’s side have struggled to get the expected results so far this season with a disappointing early exit from the UEFA Champions League against Paris FC, followed by an opening day defeat against Liverpool on home turf. It is clear that despite the new additions, injuries were still having a large effect on the results.
This made Beth Mead’s homecoming even more promising, for what could be a possible turning point for Arsenal’s season. As Eidvall praised his team’s ambition post-match, he stated “We started the fire now. Now we need to keep it going. It’s a really important week and it’s a really important game to do that.”
Today gave fans hope that despite the discouraging start, we are at the beginning of a long season and this team has the fight to still make it a great one.