12 min: Now Mewis finds Kelly down that right side and she cuts in, seeing a dangerous effort deflected wide off McCabe. Mewis is running the show so far. It’s a corner, but Little clears near the edge of the box.
10 min: Stanway shoots wide after a fine switch from Bonner. A theme of City’s work so far has been slightly rushed stuff in the final third.
9 min: Now Kelly clips McCabe, who takes a painful one as she lands. That’ll be run off, though. Still City in the early ascendancy.
7 min: City build patiently, and very slickly it turns out, from the back but Kelly’s cross-shot from the right is wayward and dips over the bar.
5 min: Miedema lays back a wayward pass from halfway and Mewis can glide towards the box, but from 25 yards out her chip is neither fish nor fowl. It’s possible she was seeking White but it drifts out.
4 min: Otherwise it’s a slow-ish start, Arsenal taking some time to get on the ball. City so far slightly the sharper.
2 min: Lucy Bronze, in only her second game back at City, is involved down the right and Mewis works half a sight of goal at the edge of the area. But she drags the shot wide.
Peeeeep! Off we go!
This heavyweight clash starts with Arsenal, traditionally attired if you allow for red shorts, kicking off and shooting from right to left – via a slightly botched knee-taking.
The teams are now stepping out at City’s Academy Stadium …
The Arsenal men’s team are also in action tonight, in the Carabao Cup against Liverpool. Paul Doyle has the MBM for you:
If we are looking purely at league form, it’s Arsenal who will have their tails up despite City’s big-name summer signing spree. The Gunners have two wins from two and have scored 15 (FIFTEEN) goals. City dropped points at home against Brighton and have not quite clicked yet. Perhaps tonight is the night …
“Shame that Lisa Evans is out – injury, according to medical authority Dr Twitter – so dow to someone else to score customary the hat-trick,” writes Charles Antaki, beating me to Arsenal’s major piece of team news. “But otherwise a terrific lineup, including surely the WSL’s best midfielder Kim Little?”
Completely agree, Charles. The amazing thing is that she just gets better and better, too.
US World Cup winner Sam Mewis makes her third City appearance – and her compatriot Rose Lavelle will make her long-awaited debut if she comes off the bench. Don’t forget this great interview with Mewis by Suzy Wrack from a few weeks back:
at 1.55pm EDT
Manchester City: Roebuck, Stokes, Bonner, Houghton, Kelly, Stanway, White, Weir, Bronze, Mewis, Walsh. Subs: Bardsley, Taieb, Coombs, Scott, Beckie, Morgan, Park, Lavelle, Greenwood.
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Maritz, Williamson, Schnaderbeck, McCabe, Little, Van de Donk, Nobbs, Mead, Miedema, Foord. Subs: Stenson, Mace, Beattie, Maier, Gut, Wubben-Moy, Walti.
Up for the cup! And this is a mouthwatering semi-final in such a hectic, fast-forwarded FA Women’s Cup finale. Weren’t the quarters only a few days ago? Well, yes: Arsenal smashed Spurs on Saturday, Manchester City were given a surprisingly close call by Leicester the following day and now they mean in what, on paper, you’d be forgiven for calling the *real* final.
It isn’t that, of course – not least because Everton, who secured safe passage to next month’s final by beating Birmingham last night, are so good. But it’s still a showcase of many of the good, exciting things that are happening in English women’s football at the moment. Can City, the holders, get to within a game of retaining the famous trophy? Or can Arsenal, the runaway record 14-times victors, edge nearer to their first FA Cup since 2016?
Soon we will know. Join me, for kick-off is shortly upon us!
at 2.05pm EDT