The FA Women's Super League
Arsenal WomenArsenal Women2Man Utd WomenManchester United Women0

Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd: Gunners boost Champions League hopes

Manchester United boss Casey Stoney described the refereeing as "atrocious" in her side's Women's Super League defeat by Arsenal.

Jill Roord's deflected strike off Millie Turner and Lotte Wubben-Moy's header after the break boosted the Gunners' Champions League qualification hopes, as they moved to within three points of third-placed United with a game in hand.

But Stoney believed her players - Lauren James in particular - were the victims of overly aggressive tackles by Arsenal and criticised referee Amy Fearn, who sent off Gunners forward Beth Mead shortly after the hour mark for a second bookable offence.

"How you can have somebody fouled and fouled and fouled and fouled and we do nothing?" Stoney told BT Sport.

"I thought the referee was atrocious at best tonight and that's not an excuse for my team losing but we've got to improve the officiating in this league, we really have to because if Lauren James reacts to any of those she ends up off the pitch. She gets no protection. It's disappointing."

The standard of refereeing in women's football has come under increasing scrutiny, with all officials in England's top two divisions part-time.

Former London Bees boss Lee Burch, ex-England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis and Wales international Natasha Harding are among those to criticise officiating this season, but in February the Football Association said it had no plans to introduce full-time referees for at least three years.

Defeat all but ends United's chances of challenging top two Chelsea and Manchester City for the WSL title as they are nine points behind the leaders with five fixtures left.

The battle for a place in the top three and a European campaign in 2021-22 now appears to be between Arsenal and Manchester United, with fifth-placed Everton 10 points behind United.

Stoney's side dominated possession after going behind, but lacked a cutting edge in front of goal, with teenager James guilty of missing the best chance when she blasted over from just inside the box.

Wubben-Moy's thumping header early in the second half gave the Gunners a cushion before Mead's second yellow card for a lunge on Lucy Staniforth made for a nervy final 30 minutes.

Arsenal's next match is the north London derby against Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, 27 March, while Manchester United host struggling West Ham on the same day.

Line-ups

Arsenal Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 16Maritz
  • 3Wubben-Moy
  • 13WältiBooked at 79mins
  • 15McCabeBooked at 31mins
  • 10LittleSubstituted forPattenat 86'minutes
  • 14RoordSubstituted forGutat 82'minutes
  • 7van de DonkSubstituted forNobbsat 86'minutes
  • 9MeadBooked at 62mins
  • 11MiedemaSubstituted forEvansat 90+1'minutes
  • 19Foord

Substitutes

  • 4Patten
  • 8Nobbs
  • 17Evans
  • 18Williams
  • 20Maier
  • 21Gut
  • 24Stenson

Man Utd Women

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 27Earps
  • 2Harris
  • 4Turner
  • 21Turner
  • 17Batlle
  • 10Zelem
  • 14GroenenSubstituted forLaddat 82'minutes
  • 7Toone
  • 37Staniforth
  • 16JamesSubstituted forSigsworthat 62'minutes
  • 24Press

Substitutes

  • 3Thorisdottir
  • 9Sigsworth
  • 12Ladd
  • 18Hanson
  • 19Ross
  • 20Smith
  • 22Bentley
  • 28Jones
  • 32Bourne
Referee:
Amy Fearns

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenal WomenAway TeamMan Utd Women
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home10
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal Women 2, Manchester United Women 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal Women 2, Manchester United Women 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ella Toone (Manchester United Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lucy Staniforth (Manchester United Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Katie Zelem (Manchester United Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Charlotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal Women).

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lucy Staniforth (Manchester United Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ella Toone.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal Women. Lisa Evans replaces Vivianne Miedema.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Katie Zelem.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Amy Turner.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal Women. Jordan Nobbs replaces Daniëlle van de Donk.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal Women. Anna Patten replaces Kim Little.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Katie Zelem (Manchester United Women) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Caitlin Foord.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal Women. Malin Gut replaces Jill Roord.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United Women. Hayley Ladd replaces Jackie Groenen.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United Women. Jessica Sigsworth tries a through ball, but Ella Toone is caught offside.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jessica Sigsworth (Manchester United Women) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

  20. Booking

    Lia Wälti (Arsenal Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea Women1714215284444
2Man City Women17133154114342
3Man Utd Women17112435181735
4Arsenal Women16102450143632
5Everton Women177463025525
6Brighton Women176381530-1521
7Reading Women174852127-620
8Tottenham Women164481528-1316
9B'ham City Women163391230-1812
10Aston Villa Women1531111139-2810
11West Ham Women1523101634-189
12Bristol City Women1623111360-479
View full The FA Women's Super League table

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