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Conti Cup round-up: Spurs pay penalty after six-goal thriller
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Matthew Hill
Arsenal are in prime position to reach the Conti Cup quarter-finals after beating Tottenham on penalties
Arsenal are in prime position to reach the Conti Cup quarter-finals after beating Tottenham on penalties

Arsenal gained an edge on rivals Tottenham in Conti Cup Group D by edging a bonus point penalty shootout following an entertaining 3-3 draw.

The Gunners fell behind on three occasions at Meadow Park with Martha Thomas and a Jessica Naz brace cancelled out by strikes from Stina Blackstenius, Frida Maanum and an Amy Turner own goal.

Draws in the competition's group phase are followed by spot kicks and it was the home side who held their nerve best — Jen Beattie's penalty sealing a 4-3 success.

The bonus point leaves the Gunners top of their pool on seven points and could prove crucial, with the five group winners joining Chelsea in the quarter-final stage alongside only the two best-performing runners-up.

Aston Villa are well-placed to qualify having made it three wins from three in Group A with a thumping 5-1 victory over Durham.

England forward Rachel Daly was the star of the show, notching a second-half hat-trick to add to earlier strikes from team-mates Rachel Corsie and Adriana Leon.

Amy Andrews netted an 87th-minute consolation for the second-tier visitors, who were well beaten but still have taken a respectable seven points from four outings.

A Championship side could yet top the group however with Sunderland registering a 3-0 win over Blackburn to keep their fate in their own hands.

The North East outfit know if they beat Villa in their final game on January 24, they will usurp their more illustrious opponents into top spot.

Liverpool's hopes of progression may already be over but the Reds will still have enjoyed their 2-1 win over local rivals Everton.

Goals from Sophie Roman Haug and Yana Daniels proved enough for Matt Beard's side to take the points, with Toni Duggan's late goal nothing more than a consolation for the Toffees.

In the night's other game, already-eliminated pair Bristol City and Reading played out a 1-1 draw before the Royals prevailed in a shootout.

Conti Cup Wednesday results in full:

Aston Villa 5-1 Durham

Arsenal 3-3 Tottenham (Arsenal win 4-3 on pens)

Everton 1-2 Liverpool

Blackburn 0-3 Sunderland

Bristol City 1-1 Reading (Reading win 5-4 on pens)


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