McCabe strike sees table-toppers Arsenal poised to snatch title

WSL1 Review

Arsenal left it late but Katie McCabe grabbed a goal for the Gunners against Birmingham City to keep her team a single point clear at the top of the Women’s Super League.

The hard-fought victory means Joe Montemurro’s side stay top of the pile, just ahead of second-placed Manchester City who have it all to do if they are to snatch the title despite a 2-1 win over Liverpool.

Now the Gunners only need six points to secure the league title — with three Women’s Super League fixtures remaining.

Birmingham were resolute through the game and stuck to their task with plenty of character but McCabe undone them on 79 minutes with a cool finish. City keeper Hannah Hampton was the hero before that when she tipped Vivianne Miedema’s first-half header onto the bar.

League leaders Arsenal now look poised to a claim their first league title in seven years an added bonus from this victory is that they have guaranteed Champions League football for next term.

And so, for Danielle van de Donk it made perfect sense to stay with Arsenal and she committed her future to the club before this encounter when she signed a new long-term deal. The Holland star, who has bagged 12 goals in 22 starts and has provided six assists, was full of praise for coach Montemurro; he is obviously a huge contributing factor to her signing a new contract.

She told the official club website her reasons for penning the deal when she said: “First of all it was the team. I really like the team and I think it’s just going to get better. Also, our manager Joe is amazing and I learn a lot from him. We want to win prizes and I think we’ve got something good going on. We just need to continue it.

“Under Montemurro, I’ve become more of an inside the box player! I haven’t really scored outside the box but I think I’ve got a bit more complete. There’s a lot of work to do yet, but he’s definitely helping me to get better.

“I just want to just win prizes, that’s basically it. I don’t care about anything else. I just want to get better, win prizes and be at the top.”

Meanwhile, Montemurro says he is overjoyed that one of his key players has agreed to sing an extension. He added: “We are absolutely delighted that Danielle has committed her future with us.

“She is a very talented and skilful player, a player that you wouldn’t want to play against yourself. She brings a world class attitude and quality that are vital to our team.”

The news follows goal scorer McCabe giving the club a boost when she signed a new deal last week. The Eire ace has made 58 appearances for Arsenal since joining in December 2015 from Irish side Shelbourne Ladies.

She joined Glasgow City on loan in August 2017 for the second half of the Scottish Women’s Premier League season and since her return to the squad she has grabbed eight goals and chipped in the valuable contribution of 11 assists, too.