Chelsea get revenge for drubbing, but Hayes tips Arsenal for the title
Boss: ‘They’ve got a game in hand – it’s theirs to lose’
17 January, 2019 — By Steve Barnett
Former Parliament Hill School pupil Emma Hayes saw her Chelsea side beat Arsenal 2-1 at the weekend
CAMDEN-born coach Emma Hayes says Chelsea are “building momentum” and are “a team in the ascendancy” after watching her side beat Arsenal on Sunday to blow the Women’s Super League title race wide open.
Scotland midfielder Erin Cuthbert scored twice as the Blues ran out 2-1 victors over the Gunners at Meadow Park, gaining at least a little revenge for the 5-0 drubbing that Arsenal handed out in the reverse fixture.
“We were the better side all over the park, for long spells, and I’m just disappointed we didn’t end the game a lot sooner,” said former Parliament Hill School pupil Hayes.
“At 2-0 they’re still in it, and then Kim Little gets down the side and puts it in for Vivianne Miedema to pull a goal back. I don’t know how many they’ve scored this season, but they’re exceptional if they get a chance – and we limited them to very few.
Vivianne Miedema scored for Arsenal in the defeat against Chelsea
“You’ve got to nullify their threats, which are all over the pitch, and if you make it difficult for them to shine, you’ve got a chance in the game. We’re tenacious in our defending, our energy levels are good, confidence is high and we’re building off successive wins.
“All of a sudden you can see we can compete for a Champions League spot. That wasn’t possible before the game, it was a must-win moment.”
The result saw the Gunners knocked off top spot, with Manchester City moving a point clear courtesy of their
3-1 victory over West Ham. The north Londoners have a game in hand, however, and Hayes says her old club should still win the title – if they can handle the pressure.
“I still think winning the title is very much in Arsenal’s hands. They’ve got a game in hand, so it’s theirs to lose,” added Hayes, who won a quadruple as Vic Akers’ assistant at Arsenal in 2007.
“This was a match where it was great to see what Arsenal were like managing pressure. Now I know they’re going to feel what it’s like to be number one. I’ll be interested to see how they manage it throughout.”