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Birmingham City's Veatriki Sarri celebrates scoring their second goal
Birmingham City had earned just one point in 10 WSL games this season before the visit of Arsenal

Birmingham City produced the shock of the Women’s Super League season to beat leaders Arsenal and move off the bottom of the table.

Blues led 2-0 at the break, thanks to well-taken goals from Libby Smith and Veatriki Sarri.

Arsenal, who had scored 66 goals in 22 games in all competition before the trip to St Andrew’s, were well contained in response.

Defeat ends Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the WSL season.

Blues join European champions Barcelona and WSL title holders Chelsea as the only sides to keep Jonas Eidevall’s team scoreless this term.

The result has major implications at the both ends of the table, with Arsenal missing the chance to move seven points clear of Chelsea – whose game against Tottenham was postponed because of Covid-19 cases – while Birmingham move above Leicester City, who lost to Reading.

Victory also ended a 805-day winless league run at home, having last triumphed in October 2019.

Blues, in only their third WSL game under boss Darren Carter after he replaced Scott Booth in November, had scored just four league goals before the visit a side with the best defensive record in the division.

Smith’s cool finish after racing on to an excellently threaded long ball from Lucy Quinn – having tenaciously won possession – gave the hosts the perfect start to 2022 after the winter break.

Sarri started and finished Birmingham’s move for the second goal, spreading the ball wide on the right before racing into the box to score on the rebound after Jade Pennock had an attempt blocked.

Gemma Lawley cleared off the line from what was Arsenal’s best chance to pull a goal back, as Kim Little aimed at an empty net after meeting a cut-back pass from Vivianne Miedema.

Birmingham captain Louise Quinn helped ensure the league’s leakiest defence, which had conceded 26 goals in 10 WSL games, were not breached with a excellent individual display.

Line-ups

B’ham City Women

Formation 3-5-2

  • 21Ramsey
  • 3ScottBooked at 85mins
  • 4Quinn
  • 30Lawley
  • 11Pennock
  • 10Murray
  • 7Sarri
  • 25Holloway
  • 14Finn
  • 12SmithSubstituted forEwensat 90′minutes
  • 17QuinnBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 8Robertson
  • 9Ewens
  • 19Whipp
  • 22Ryan-Doyle
  • 27Jenner
  • 29Jones
  • 32Cowie
  • 36Worsley
  • 38Wildgoose

Arsenal Women

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 16Maritz
  • 20Boye SørensenSubstituted forWubben-Moyat 63′minutes
  • 12Maanum
  • 15McCabe
  • 9Mead
  • 5Beattie
  • 23IwabuchiBooked at 60mins
  • 8Nobbs
  • 11MiedemaBooked at 79mins
  • 10Little

Substitutes

  • 3Wubben-Moy
  • 13Wälti
  • 22Schnaderbeck
  • 24Stenson
  • 29Goldie

Referee:
Lucy May

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Birmingham City Women 2, Arsenal Women 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Birmingham City Women 2, Arsenal Women 0.

  3. Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City Women) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Substitution, Birmingham City Women. Sarah Ewens replaces Libby Smith.

  5. Attempt blocked. Frida Maanum (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Beth Mead.

  6. Mana Iwabuchi (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Foul by Christie Murray (Birmingham City Women).

  8. Harriet Scott (Birmingham City Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Kim Little (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Foul by Harriet Scott (Birmingham City Women).

  11. Foul by Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women).

  12. Jamie Finn (Birmingham City Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Beth Mead (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Foul by Harriet Scott (Birmingham City Women).

  15. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Kim Little (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Foul by Veatriki Sarri (Birmingham City Women).

  18. Kim Little (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Foul by Veatriki Sarri (Birmingham City Women).

  20. Attempt missed. Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Katie McCabe.

Source: BBC

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