February 10, 2023

We emerged victorious in our Conti Cup semi-final with a brave and determined display against the reigning champions, Manchester City.
Our Gunners battled a strong and skilful City side in increasingly arctic conditions at Meadow Park on Wednesday night. When the stalemate couldn't be broken after 90 minutes, it took some extra-time brilliance from Stina Blackstenius to book our spot in the final on March 5 - one step closer to silverware.
Jonas Eidevall's side set up as a back five for the first time this season and made five changes to the starting XI who were held to a goalless draw against West Ham on Sunday.
Our first chance on goal came in the opening five minutes, through some slick counter-attacking play. Kathrine Kuhl received a pass in the middle of the park and she played a beautiful through ball to unlock Laura Wienroither storming into the opponent's half. One-on-one with the keeper, our Austrian wingback hit a clean strike but was denied by the feet of Sandy MacIver.
Soon after, Frida Maanum won the ball back on the right wing and whipped in a dangerous cross into the area, but our forward line arrived just too late to add the finishing touch.
January arrivals Victoria Pelova and Kathrine Kuhl brought a dose of flair and close control to our first-half performance, as we looked to break through the visitors' lines.
After our initial bright spell of creativity, City settled into the game and began to control possession but whenever a shooting opportunity arose, their efforts often flew over the crossbar. When she was called upon, however, Sabrina D'Angelo proved her power and reliability between the posts on only her second start for us.
Leading the line for our Gunners, Caitlin Foord came close to putting us ahead in the closing stages of the half following Kim Little's drilled ball into the penalty box, but it remained goalless at the break.
The second half began with much the same level of energy, with the evenly-matched sides searching for a breakthrough by patiently building through the gears. The visitors continued to unleash powerful shots from range that peppered D'Angelo's goal and every time our Canadian keeper was called upon, she answered with aplomb.
With a little over an hour played, Katie McCabe's perfectly weighted delivery into the box was headed down by Foord, only for Hurtig to rattle the crossbar mere minutes after coming off the bench.
A Player of the Match performance from McCabe, with her characteristic dogged determination, lit the fuse for our Gunners and it looked increasingly likely that a goal was on the cards before the final whistle. In the dying moments of stoppage time, Sandy MacIver fumbled a save and Stina Blackstenius was ready to pounce in the six-yard box, yet City somehow managed to desperately scramble the ball away.
After a 90-minute stalemate, all it took was three minutes of extra time to grant us a breakthrough. Beginning with Maanum dispossessing City in their own half, the Norwegian

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