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Man City 1-1 Arsenal: Tobin Heath scores late equaliser to rescue draw for leaders Arsenal

By Emma SandersBBC Sport at Academy Stadium

Tobin Heath's stoppage-time equaliser denied Manchester City victory over Arsenal in the Women's Super League after controversy for the game's opening goal.

Heath, a former Manchester United forward, fired it past young goalkeeper Khiara Keating to make it 1-1 in the 92nd minute.

Khadija Shaw had earlier given City the lead, slotting in from close range after the referee touched the ball in the build-up to Lauren Hemp's cross.

It sparked frustration on the sidelines from Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall, who believed play should have been stopped, and City came close to extending their lead through Caroline Weir and Hemp later on.

But Arsenal responded in added time - Heath pouncing on a loose ball and keeping her composure to drill it past Keating from the left.

The result means Arsenal sit two points clear at the top from Manchester United - on a day rivals Chelsea were also held to a goalless draw at Brighton.

Heath returns to torment old rivals

Arsenal were heading for a sixth defeat in seven games in all competitions before Heath salvaged a draw and she celebrated wildly, sliding on her knees and racing away to the corner flag.

The Gunners, who have been in poor form in 2022, had come close through Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema earlier in the half, but City had the better chances.

Jess Park missed a glorious opportunity when she raced through one-on-one in the second half - goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger making a crucial save from close range, before also denying Hemp and Weir.

Both teams had looked cagey in the first half with neither taking too many risks - Arsenal particularly wary of the pace from City pair Park and Hemp on the break.

Young City goalkeeper Keating's mistake meant Alex Greenwood had to hook a clearance off the goalline, before Keating recovered to block Miedema's shot from a tight angle at the near post.

Park fizzed another effort over and Miedema almost got on the end of a Kim Little pass for Arsenal, but City defender Demi Stokes hooked it away just in time.

There were also headed chances for Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton, but it was a game of fine margins.

Arsenal's lead at the top of the table has shrunk since the turn of the year and they will be frustrated not to take advantage of third-placed Chelsea's dropped points at Brighton.

But given City's chances and the fact the hosts led until injury time, it will be a welcome point for Arsenal.

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall confirmed centre-back Leah Williamson's half-time substitution was not due to injury - her replacement was new signing Rafaelle Souza, who looked assured on her debut.

'We've been on the wrong end this season'

Lauren Hemp
Lauren Hemp provided the assist for Khadija Shaw's goal after a touch from the referee had played it into her path

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor said his side "were not convinced" it had hit the referee in the build-up to their goal but if it had, it was "nice" to have fortune go their way.

In September, Spurs forward Rosella Ayane grabbed a controversial late winner against City after she clearly handballed it.

And here at the Academy Stadium, a kind ricochet off the referee allowed Demi Stokes to play in Hemp, who slid it across the box for Shaw to poke home.

Taylor said: "If that was the case that it did hit the referee, I thought our build-up play for the goal was good. After that, the quality of Hemp into Bunny Shaw... It was a great goal.

"We've been on the wrong end of that this season - on many occasions with refereeing decisions - so it was nice, if that was the case, that one went our way."

Arsenal boss Eidevall admitted he was "not happy" with the goal, but said "everyone makes mistakes" and it was part of football.

"I'm much more for trying to raise the standards around referees," he added.

"I know I get animated on the sidelines but I tried to be a referee when I was younger in youth football and I was not very good!"

Eidevall said the result "helps to create belief around the processes" he is continuing to implement at Arsenal since his arrival in the summer.

"Before the season started we said we wanted to improve the way we played against the best teams," he added. "That was one of the areas where Arsenal had struggled in previous seasons.

"Today I felt we had good spells and obviously Manchester City did as well, but we also created and forced them to be deep in their half. It is important to have that perspective. I think this will make us strong."

Line-ups

Man City Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 35Keating
  • 20Bronze
  • 6Houghton
  • 5Greenwood
  • 3Stokes
  • 17LosadaSubstituted forWeirat 57'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 24WalshBooked at 90mins
  • 10StanwayBooked at 16minsSubstituted forCoombsat 88'minutes
  • 16Park
  • 21ShawSubstituted forWhiteat 74'minutes
  • 15HempBooked at 33mins

Substitutes

  • 7Coombs
  • 8Scott
  • 11Beckie
  • 12Angeldahl
  • 18White
  • 19Weir
  • 30Mace
  • 31Pilling

Arsenal Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 16Maritz
  • 6WilliamsonSubstituted forCarvalho Souzaat 45'minutes
  • 3Wubben-Moy
  • 15McCabeBooked at 32mins
  • 12MaanumSubstituted forWältiat 63'minutes
  • 8NobbsSubstituted forBlacksteniusat 72'minutes
  • 10Little
  • 14ParrisBooked at 55minsSubstituted forHeathat 63'minutes
  • 11MiedemaBooked at 83mins
  • 9Mead

Substitutes

  • 2Carvalho Souza
  • 5Beattie
  • 13Wälti
  • 20Boye Sørensen
  • 22Schnaderbeck
  • 24Stenson
  • 25Blackstenius
  • 26Wienroither
  • 77Heath
Referee:
Abigail Byrne
Attendance:
2,355

Match Stats

Home TeamMan City WomenAway TeamArsenal Women
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home14
Away10
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City Women 1, Arsenal Women 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City Women 1, Arsenal Women 1.

  3. Booking

    Keira Walsh (Manchester City Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Kim Little (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Keira Walsh (Manchester City Women).

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester City Women 1, Arsenal Women 1. Tobin Heath (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Ellen White.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rafaelle (Arsenal Women) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tobin Heath.

  10. Booking

    Caroline Weir (Manchester City Women) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Kim Little (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Lauren Hemp (Manchester City Women).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City Women. Laura Coombs replaces Georgia Stanway.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Lia Wälti (Arsenal Women).

  15. Post update

    Caroline Weir (Manchester City Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Caroline Weir (Manchester City Women) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Georgia Stanway.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Caroline Weir (Manchester City Women) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stephanie Houghton.

  18. Booking

    Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women).

  20. Post update

    Jessica Park (Manchester City Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal Women118213162526
2Man Utd Women1273227131424
3Chelsea Women107122762122
4Tottenham Women126331311221
5Man City Women1262429191020
6Reading Women116141514119
7West Ham Women114521612417
8Brighton Women125161216-416
9Aston Villa Women12417826-1813
10Everton Women11326919-1011
11Leicester City Women132011726-196
12B'ham City Women131111834-264
View full The FA Women's Super League table

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