A last-minute goal from Amanda Ilestedt sealed a thrilling turnaround for Arsenal, resulting in a 2-1 victory against Southampton in the Women’s League Cup on Thursday. This triumph not only marked Arsenal’s second win in the competition but also propelled them to second place in Group D, on par with leaders Tottenham with six points.
Despite their determination to clinch a seventh League Cup title, the defending champions encountered a challenging match in their quest for victory. Southampton managed to take the lead in the 55th minute with Molly Pike’s well-executed right-footed shot. Nevertheless, Arsenal swiftly retaliated as Frida Maanum skillfully scored from just beyond the six-yard area.
Despite an early setback, Arsenal controlled the ball, maintaining a 59% possession rate, and attempted 13 shots on target, surpassing Southampton’s nine. In the final minutes of the match, Ilestedt, with an assist from Maanum, headed the decisive goal from a cross delivered by the Norwegian, securing an exhilarating triumph. This goal also signified Ilestedt’s inaugural achievement for the team after recently joining Arsenal in the summer. At present, Southampton occupies the third position in the standings, having emerged victorious in two out of their first three matches while suffering a single defeat. Conversely, Durham achieved a captivating triumph of 8-7 in a penalty shootout against Sheffield United following a 1-1 draw. This outcome propelled Durham to the forefront of Group A, surpassing Aston Villa, who still have a pending game.
During the first half, Durham gained an advantage as Amy Andrews skillfully lifted the ball above Sheffield’s goalkeeper, Eleanor Heeps. Even though Sheffield made an effort in the second half, Jess Sigsworth successfully equalized the score in the 81st minute, resulting in the game going into a penalty shoot-out. Naoisha McAloo became the star for Durham by saving three penalties, securing her team an additional point.
As a result of this win, Durham now have a one-point advantage over Aston Villa in the league standings, whereas Sheffield experienced their third loss of the season.