Arsenal were frustrated by former coach Joe Montemoro’s Juventus, as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night.
Vivianne Miedema’s header ruled out Lyneth Berenstein’s opener as a spirited Juventus maintained their unbeaten start to the group stage. Arsenal remain in the driving seat to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals as group winners despite dropping points.
With a slew of injuries to their first-team regulars, Arsenal began a 4-2-3-1 formation with a fresh look, with two sitting midfielders and Jordan Nobbs deployed on the right wing.
Despite the new system, Arsenal dominated for long periods of the first half and it was a pity they weren’t leading at half-time, Stina Paxtenius coming close to breaking the deadlock on three occasions.
Having enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, the Arsenal striker had her team’s first clear vision of goal midway through the first half, but cut the bar after being superbly picked off by Frieda Mannum.
Blackstenius was again quickly sent across goal by Maanum’s excellent pass, but this time the Arsenal forward was blocked by Pauline Peyraud Magnin, who was quickly off the line to block with her legs.
The stretching Blackstenius was then a mustache wide to give the Gunners the lead, but was unable to connect just as Caitlin Foord’s sinister delivery flashed across the face of the goal.
Juventus showed flashes of quality on the counter-attack, and had the clearest vision of goal in the first half, as Barbara Bonanci crossed for Ariana Caruso, who was just wide.
Perod Magnin was busy again in the second half, parrying away from Foord’s attempt at the near post after the Arsenal winger was picked off by Jordan Nobbs.
Arsenal continued to press for the opening, Lute Woopen Mooy’s header being cleared off the line by Lisa Boatin. It proved to be a decisive tackle, moments later, Juventus took the lead. Taking advantage of a superb pass from Christiana Girelli, Berenstain slashed past Arsenal’s backline and finished cool.
Arsenal equalized on the hour mark, as Miedema ended their uncharacteristic run of six matches without a goal by rising high to head in a corner kick from Maenum.
The striker netted almost a second after creating an opening for herself with some trademark quickness, but fired narrowly.
Peraud Magnin jumped in with a decisive stop and both feet in injury time to keep out Foord as Juventus hung on to hold on to a point.
GK: Pauline Peraud-Magnin – 7/10 – Really busy and impressive first half; She raced from her goal to thwart Blackstenius, blocked McCabe’s free kick attempt, and again blocked Blackstenius with an excellent stop with her legs. In action again in the second half to deny Foord.
Right-back: Martina Lenzini – 6/10 – Considering one slip-up by Foord in the first half, and had a really good fight with the Arsenal winger.
CB: Martina Rosucci – 8/10 – Made a significant, extended interception cutting off a Blackstenius cross in the second half, gamely blocking Foord’s effort with a header. Huge defensive display.
CB: Cecilia Salvaj – 7/10 – He blocked Miedema’s blistering effort in the first half and helped Juventus thwart Arsenal’s attacking line.
Left-back: Lisa Boatin – 7/10 – brilliantly deflected Wubben-Moy’s header off the line moments before her side took the lead. Put in a big defensive move.
CM: Sofie Junge Pedersen – 7/10 – Insert a great move into midfield, bursting with energy until the 90th minute and covering every piece of turf.
Midfielder: Arianna Caruso (82min for Bonfantini) – 5/10 – Juventus’ best first-half goal vision came close, otherwise it didn’t have much impact on proceedings.
Midfielder: Julia Grosso – 7/10 – Not close enough to Miedema to score Arsenal’s equalizer, losing in the air to the Arsenal forward. Otherwise break play well and hit the ball well.
Right wing: Barbara Bonancy (82′ cantor) – 5/10 He made a precise cross over Caruso’s head for Juventus’ best chance in the first half. Otherwise he was kept very quiet by McCabe.
Forward: Cristiana Girelli – 7/10 – Two non-goal attempts saw them saved in quick succession by Wubben-Moy and Catley in the first half. He regained possession and played a superb cross in Juventus’ opener.
Left-back: Lineth Beerensteyn (90min for Duljan) – 8/10 – You had one of Juventus’ brightest moments in the first half, riding two Arsenal challenges as you raced into the box to win a corner. He opened the scoring with a great shot and a great finish, and was the most dangerous attacking player in Juventus.
SUB: Sofia Cantor (82 min for Bonansea) – 6/10
SUB: Agnese Bonfantini (82 minutes for Caruso) – 6/10
SUB: Evelina Dolgan (90 ‘Berenstein) – N/A
GK: Manuela Zinsberger – 6/10 – He hasn’t been called into action frequently and can do little about Juventus’ opening game.
RM: Laura Wienroither (79′ for Maritz) – 5/10 – Beat Berenstein quickly as she slashed past Arsenal’s defense in Juventus’ opener. I had a bit of a bad time against the energetic Juventus winger. He had to get injured in the second half.
CB: Lotte Wubben-Moy – 6/10 – Girelli’s goal-lacing attempt blocked in the 45th half, almost broke the deadlock from a corner kick but saw a header come off the line. He cut off Gerelli’s opening pass for Juventus.
CB: Steve Catley – 6/10 – In Gerrelli’s shot way in the first half, there’s always danger with her shots from corners. Go left to back after introducing Beattie.
Left-back: Katie McCabe – 6/10 – Lost once in the first half but she’s pretty strong. Move to the right wing after the front of my house.
CM: Lia Walti – 7/10 – Lost to Girelli in the middle of the park in the build-up to Juventus’ opener – One splash on a great, compound performance.
CM: Frida Mannum – 8/10 – Blaxtenius sent him on goal with a pair of fine passes in the first half. He delivered a corner delivery from which Arsenal leveled.
RM: Jordan Nobbs (64min for Beattie) – 5/10 – She played a great cross for Ford early in the second half and full of energy, but was the player who struggled with Arsenal’s formation change, unable to really make his mark on the game in her out of position the favorite.
AM: Vivian Miedema – 7/10 – In her first start for a month, she saw a quick hit from the edge of the dead box in the first half. He rose high to close in on Arsenal’s equaliser, very close to adding a second after producing some impressive runs.
LM: Caitlin Foord – 6/10 – Delivered a sensational display across the face of goal that was too close to be buried in the first half, kept at the near post in the second half by Peyraud Magnin.
Forward: Stina Blackstenius – 6/10 – He could have had a hat-trick in the first half but it was denied by the crossbar and Beraud Magnin stopped, before not being able to stretch enough to deflect Foord’s cross.
SUB: Jane Petit (64 minutes to Nobbs) – 6/10
SUB: Noelle Maritz (79 minutes for Wienroither) – 6/10