Heath’s 92nd-minute strike leaves City without their seventh straight win
Arsenal’s reserve player finished off a ball in the area to score the equalizer and save a point for the leaders.
The cityzens were unable to continue their winning streak and it seemed that Khadija “Bunny” Shaw’s solitary strike midway through the second half was enough to give Gareth Taylor’s side the victory. Without a doubt, it would have been a deserved victory for the game offered by the two teams.
Despite the great performance of our team, especially a very inspired Khiara Keating, the three points vanished in the final moments.
2,355 spectators braved the cold Manchester night. It was an emotional gathering with heartfelt tributes to the late Official Supporters Club member Ian Taylor. He was recognized with applause and black armbands were worn to commemorate him.
The big news for the team was the sensational performance of young goalkeeper Keating in what was her biggest challenge so far against Arsenal.
With three vital points at stake, nerves surfaced in the first moments of the match: the lack of communication between Keating and the captain Steph Houghton almost allowed Beth Mead to score the first goal, but Alex Greenwood was able to clear the ball down the line.
A minute later, Keating had to go all out when Vivianne Miedema shot acrobatically, but the goalkeeper was able to deflect the ball.
After these first two attempts by Arsenal, City took a step forward. Young Jess Park attended Lauren Hemp for her to meet Manuela Zinsberger.
After some unclear chances from both teams, especially through aerial play, Vicky Losada was about to score her fifth goal in five games but her shot missed the target.
On the other side, Keating emerged imperial. First he thwarted two chances from Mead and Miedema and then he pulled reflexes to avoid a Greenwood own goal and prevent Miedema from scoring the rebound.
Later, Park failed to capitalize on two big chances: first, he fired directly at Zinsberger, then volleyed too high.
However, the best was yet to come. In the 65th minute, Hemp, in a great personal action down the left flank, put in a precise cross so that Shaw only had to push the ball in. Tremendous play that did justice to what was being seen at the Academy Stadium.
Hemp was able to extend the lead, but an extra touch allowed Zinsberger to foil his attempt. After, Caroline Weir he came close to scoring twice, but the Arsenal goalkeeper was very attentive.
The six minutes of added time provided a heart attack ending. In one of the last actions of the match, Tobin Heath found himself with a ball inside the area and crossed a formidable shot to establish the definitive tie at 1.
City remains fifth in the WSL, two points below the Champions League spots. Arsenal follows first with 26 points.
CITY | Keating, Stokes, Greenwood, Houghton, Bronze, Walsh, Stanway (Coombs, 88′), Losada (Weir, 57′), Hemp, Park, Shaw (White, 74′).
BENCH | Pilling, Angeldahl, Beckie, Mace, Scott.
ARSENAL | Zinsberger, Wubben-Moy, Williamson (Souza, 46′), Nobbs (Blackstenius, 72′), Mead, Little, Miedema, Maanum (Walti, 63′), Parris (Heath, 63′), McCabe, Maritz.
BENCH | Stenson, Beattie, Schnaderbeck, Boye, Wienroither.