Arsenal Women 2-1 Chelsea Women: Jonas Eidevall's side secure win over WSL champions in friendly

Match report as Arsenal Women beat Chelsea Women 2-1 in a pre-season friendly at the Emirates Stadium; Katie McCabe gave Arsenal first-half lead; Reanna Blades' strike looked to have sealed a draw for Chelsea; But Freya Jupp's late goal gave the Gunners the win

Lia Walti and Pernill Harder
Image: Lia Walti and Pernill Harder in action

Arsenal Women warmed up for the new Women's Super League season with a 2-1 victory over champions Chelsea.

Both sides were missing some of their star names due to their commitments at the Olympics, but it proved to be a good workout in front of an ever-building crowd at the Emirates Stadium.

After an excellent start, the Gunners, who were led by new boss Jonas Eidevall, took the lead through Katie McCabe's excellent finish (28).

Arsenal, who were forced to replace captain Jordan Nobbs early in the second half due to a nasty-looking ankle injury, were the sharper side for much of the afternoon and looked on course for victory until Reanna Blades' strike brought Chelsea level in the 80th minute.

But Eidevall's side responded just two minutes later as Freya Jupp's late strike secured Arsenal's victory as they continue their preparations for the new WSL season.

WSL opener: Arsenal vs Chelsea...

Remember, champions Chelsea kick off their title defence against London rivals Arsenal as the 2021/22 Barclays FA Women's Super League season commences on the weekend of September 3.

How Gunners secured victory over WSL champions...

Arsenal started brightly and Jordan Nobbs almost caught Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger out with a long-range chipped effort, but the ball landed on the roof of the net.

Chelsea were struggling to cope with Arsenal's pace and movement and Nobbs, who popped up on the left, went close to opening the scoring again, but her shot was comfortably saved by Berger.

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Chelsea, who were led by Paul Green in the absence of the unwell Emma Hayes, struggled to get a foothold in the game and they were eventually punished when McCabe converted Frida Maanum's cut-back in the 28th minute.

It handed the Gunners, who were given an excellent ovation by the growing crowd at the Emirates as they left the field at half-time, a deserved lead at the break and they arguably should have scored more after dominating the opening 45 minutes.

Arsenal were dealt a huge blow shortly after the restart as Nobbs, who was extremely influential for the Gunners in the first half, was forced off on a stretcher following a strong challenge from Erin Cuthbert.

The second half failed to catch alight as both sides struggled for a bit of rhythm and that was not helped when both sides made nine changes each on the hour mark.

However, the game finally burst into life in the final 10 minutes and Chelsea thought they had snatched a draw when Blades capitalised on some slack Arsenal defending to finish past Manuela Zinsberger.

The Blues then had a chance to snatch victory when Shauna Guyatt burst through on goal, but on this occasion, Zinsberger made a crucial block to keep the scores level.

It proved a costly miss as Jupp, who steered an earlier header wide, kept her composure to fire a left-footed strike past Berger to seal an encouraging victory for the Gunners.

Watch the Barclays FA Women's Super League live on Sky Sports

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Sky Sports has announced a three-year deal with the FA to become the primary broadcaster of the Barclays Women's Super League from September 2021.

In March, Sky Sports announced a three-year deal with the FA to become the primary broadcaster of the Barclays FA Women's Super League from September 2021, becoming one of Sky Sports' flagship offerings.

The deal will see Sky Sports show at least 35 games exclusively live per season and further strengthens the broadcaster's commitment to women's sport.

Sky Sports are recruiting for the best-in-class on-and-off-screen production team as part of the plan to align WSL with the broadcaster's other big sporting leagues and events.

The WSL will get the full Sky Sports treatment with lengthy build-ups and reaction to all live matches, plus daily news from the competition across Sky Sports News and Sky Sports' digital platforms.

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New Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall is hoping his side will be challenging Chelsea and Manchester City for the WSL title next season

FA Women's Super League 2021/22: Opening six fixtures

Women's Super League image

Arsenal

Sep 3-5: Chelsea (h)

Sep 10-12: Reading (a)

Sep 24-26: Man City (h)

Oct 1-3: Aston Villa (a)

Oct 8-10: Everton (h)

Nov 5-7: West Ham (h)

Chelsea

Sep 3-5: Arsenal (a)

Sep 10-12: Everton (h)

Sep 24-26: Man Utd (a)

Oct 1-3: Brighton (h)

Oct 8-10: Leicester (h)

Nov 5-7: Aston Villa (a)

WSL on Sky: Big names, derby days and inspiring girls

WSL - without reasons to watch

The Barclays FA Women's Super League has a new home this season on Sky Sports. From world-class stars like Lucy Bronze and Vivianne Miedema, to competitive derby days, there are plenty of reasons to be excited...

Back in March, Sky Sports announced a three-year deal with the FA to become the primary broadcaster of the WSL from September 2021.

The deal will see Sky Sports show at least 35 games exclusively live per season and further strengthens the broadcaster's commitment to women's sport.

The excitement has kicked up a gear with Friday's fixture announcement and there are plenty of reasons why you should watch this season...

Fantasy Football is LIVE!

Fantasy Football is LIVE!

Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back for the 2021/22 season. Create a team for free, and you could win £50,000.

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