A dominant performance from Arsenal wasn’t enough against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium as a late Sam Kerr equaliser forced a 1-1 draw in the Women’s Super League on SundayKim Little’s penalty on 57 minutes looked to have won the game for Jonas Eidevall’s side against the WSL leaders, but Kerr’s 89th-minute strike meant Chelsea retained their three point lead at the summit.
Only having bested Chelsea once in their last seven meetings in the league, Arsenal were quick out of the blocks, getting forward and testing the stability of the visitors’ backline.
The home side lacked a clinical edge despite their impressive build-up play with many of their early attempts aimed squarely at Chelsea goalkeeper Zecira Musovic.
Chelsea grew into the game as the half went on, committing more bodies forward in attack. However, Emma Hayes’ side could not muster an effort on target during the first half with Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger untroubled.
Revitalised by the break, Arsenal again hit the ground running at the kick-off and began to work Musovic, forcing the Swedish goalkeeper to make a a couple of smart saves.But the goalkeeper could not deny Little from the penalty spot on 57 minutes.
Caitlin Foord tumbled into the box following contact with Niamh Charles which was seemingly made outside the box but Emily Heaslip was swift to point to the spot.
Little sent Musovic the wrong way and calmly dispatched into the right-hand side of the net.
Arsenal continued to press their visitors but between Musovic, the woodwork and fine margins continued to labour looking for the elusive second goal.
The best chance for the visitors, an long range effort from midfielder Sophie Ingle which flew comfortably wide of Zinsberger’s right upright after the hour, typifying their frustrations.
A trio of late attacking changes for Chelsea highlighted their last attacking push with Arsenal’s one-goal lead far from insurmountable, as they brought about the away side’s first shot on target on 85 minutes.
But Chelsea found one last chance and punished Arsenal for their wasteful forward play.
Jelena Cankovic’s inch-perfect cross was met by Kerr’s header which looped between Zinsberger’s gloves and the crossbar a minute from time to salvage a late point for Chelsea, the only moment of real quality Chelsea could muster over the 90 minutes but the most decisive.
With only stoppage time to find a winner, neither team had the time to mount a strong enough attack and the two rivals were forced to share the spoils in their first clash this season, keeping the table set as it was with Chelsea three points clear of Arsenal having played one more match.