Juventus 1 Arsenal 1
Arsenal’s unbeaten start to their Women’s Champions League campaign continued as they hit back to draw a superb game with Italian champions Juventus at Allianz Stadium thanks to Vivianne Miedema’s powerful header but manager Jonas Eidevall felt his side had enough chances to win the game.
Netherlands striker Miedema’s goal was her first since September and comes after she was given a rest by both her club and her country over the international break earlier this month to minimise any risk of burnout after a busy period of fixtures, with that decision appearing to pay dividends as the Women’s Super League’s record goalscorer looked sharp, lively and venomous in the box.
Despite staying top of Group C at the halfway point in the group stage, the English side may well be frustrated not to have taken all three points, having looked the stronger side for large parts of the contest, especially in a first half where they excelled despite the absences of injured stars such as Mead, England skipper Leah Williamson and midfield playmaker Kim Little. Stina Blackstenius struck the woodwork for Arsenal, before Lotte Wubben-Moy saw an effort cleared off the line.
“We could have won, given the chances we created, but sometimes football is like that,” Eidevall said. “I’m happy with the performance. Given the injuries, I’m extremely proud of the team.”
After Saturday’s gut-wrenching 3-2 defeat at home to Manchester United in the WSL, and off the back of the news that England’s Beth Mead suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury in that game, a tough week for Arsenal look set for another bad turn when they fell behind to a counter-attacking goal. Miedema’s Netherlands team-mate Lineth Beerensteyn showed sufficient pace to escape from Laura Wienroither and then demonstrated good composure to find the bottom corner against the run of play.
But Arsenal levelled when Miedema did well to meet Frida Maanum’s right-wing corner and peg back the team managed by their former head coach Joe Montemurro to keep Arsenal deservedly on course for the quarter-finals.
Juventus (4-3-3): Peyraud-Magnin 8; Lenzini 6, Rosucci 6, Salvai 6, Boattin 7; Caruso 7 (Bonfantini 6, 82), Pedersen 5, Grosso 6; Bonansea 6 (Cantore, 82), Girelli 6, Beerensteyn 7 (Duljan, 90+5)
Subs not used: Aprile (gk), Forcinella (gk), Gama, Cernoia, Lundorf, Zamanian, Arcangeli, Schatzer, Sembrant
Yellow cards: Pedersen, Beerensteyn
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger 6; Wienroither 6 (Maritz 6, 79), Wubben-Moy 7, Catley 6, McCabe 7; Maanum 7, Walti 6; Nobbs 7 (Beattie 6, 64), Miedema 8, Foord 7; Blackstenius 6
Subs not used: Marckese (gk), Williams (gk), Iwabuchi, Agyeman, Reid
Yellow cards: Blackstenius, Walti
Referee: Iuliana Demetrescu (Romania)