Stina Blackstenius delivered a decisive blow to Manchester City as Arsenal handed them their first defeat of the Women’s Super League campaign. The Swedish striker, who came on as a substitute, capitalized on a mistake from City goalkeeper Khiara Keating to secure a 2-1 victory for the Gunners at Meadow Park.
Arsenal took the lead in the 14th minute courtesy of Steph Catley’s powerful strike. Catley found the back of the net after some impressive attacking play from Jonas Eidevall’s side, who have now clinched three consecutive wins and are starting to build some formidable momentum.
The Gunners came close to doubling their lead in the first half when Cloe Locasse was fouled in the penalty area by Keating. However, the City goalkeeper redeemed herself by saving Kim Little’s spot-kick, pushing the ball against the post and keeping the deficit to just one goal.
City had their chances in the opening 45 minutes, with Lauren Hemp hitting the crossbar and Amanda Ilestedt clearing the ball off the line. The away side continued to apply pressure in the second half, but their luck deserted them once again as Khadija Shaw’s header struck the post from a Hemp assist.
Chloe Kelly finally found the back of the net in the 72nd minute, firing past Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger with an assist from Shaw. However, Blackstenius had the final say in the 87th minute, latching onto a long ball that Keating failed to properly track and calmly slotting in the winner.
This victory comes as a much-needed relief for Eidevall and his team following their early exit from the UEFA Champions League qualifiers and their defeat to Liverpool in their first league match of the season. City now sit in third place with 10 points, while Arsenal have also amassed the same tally and climb up to fourth in the table.