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Arsenal 2-1 Everton: Mead bags winner as Gunners edge past Toffees
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Beth Mead netted Arsenal’s winner on Saturday afternoon
Beth Mead netted Arsenal’s winner on Saturday afternoon

Beth Mead scored a first-half headed winner as title-chasing Arsenal claimed a nervy 2-1 Super League victory over Everton to move level on points with leaders Chelsea.

Caitlin Foord had given the Gunners an early lead which was cancelled out by Katja Snoeijs.

Mead restored Arsenal’s advantage just before half-time, with the home side guilty of wasting numerous chances to finish the game.

Netherlands international Vivianne Miedema was back in the starting line-up for Arsenal after a number of substitute appearances on her return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Manager Brian Sorensen named an unchanged Everton team after Meadow Park passed a morning pitch inspection.

Mead rattled the crossbar from the centre of the 18-yard box after six minutes with Arsenal’s first chance on goal.

Three minutes later the Gunners were off the mark as Victoria Pelova collected the ball to the right of the Everton goal and cut it back for Foord to tap in from close range as she took her league tally for the season to three.

Alessia Russo should have doubled their lead after 16 minutes but she sent Emily Fox’s cross inches wide from close range.

Everton enjoyed a spell dominating possession midway through the half and their patience paid off as they equalised after 24 minutes.

Snoeijs went on a run, picked up Karoline Olesen’s pass and was left unmarked to slot the ball past goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger from outside the box.

At the other end, visiting goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan made a great save to keep out Mead’s effort around the half-hour mark and was well-placed to repel Foord’s shot nine minutes before the break.

Everton defender Clare Wheeler did well to thwart another effort from Foord as half-time approached before Miedema saw her close-range shot saved, with the visitors battling for every ball.

But Arsenal’s pressure paid off as Lia Walti floated the ball into the box with a precise cross for Mead to head home at the far post on the stroke of half-time.

The hosts pushed to extend their lead when the second half began but, as Fox crossed the ball in, it failed to find Russo at the far post and sailed wide while Elise Stenevik put in a sliding challenge to block Foord.

The Gunners were enjoying another spell of dominance so Sorensen made a triple change – bringing on Megan Campbell for Emma Bissell, WSL debutant Rikke Madsen replacing Heather Payne and Olesen making way for Lucy Hope – as Everton changed their game plan.

England forward Russo had a strong second half but failed to find the back of the net as she had one effort cleared – close to the goal line – before sending a second just wide.

Perhaps a concern for boss Jonas Eidevall, she was substituted late on after a challenge from Hanna Bennison left her needing treatment.

Miedema was replaced after 70 minutes as she continued to build on her match fitness, Norway international Frida Maanum replacing her, but the home side were finding it frustrating as they could not build on their lead.

Everton pressed for a late leveller, with substitute Toni Duggan heading wide, as the minutes ran down but the hosts held on to keep the pressure on leaders Chelsea.


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