Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea WSL: Player ratings as Sam Kerr rescues late point for Blues

Arsenal and Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw at the Emirates
Arsenal and Chelsea played out a 1-1 draw at the Emirates / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

An 89th minute Sam Kerr header rescued a point for Chelsea against Arsenal as the pair played out a 1-1 draw at the Emirates to leave the WSL title race tantalisingly poised.

Arsenal had dominated for large spells of the game, and took the lead just after the hour mark thanks to a contentious Kim Little penalty. The Gunners saw chance after chance go begging before Kerr rose highest to equalise on the cusp of full time.

The result leaves Chelsea three points clear of Arsenal at the league summit, but having played a game more.

Despite spending much of the game on the back foot, it was Chelsea who saw the afternoon's first sighting of goal. Lauren James singlehandedly created the opportunity for herself, winning the ball back on the half way line, waltzing past two challenges and driving towards goal before firing narrowly wide.

However, it would be one of very few chances carved out by Chelsea in the opening 45, with Arsenal comfortably the more dangerous side.

Stina Blackstenius was at the heart of Arsenal's first clear cut opportunity, dispossessing Erin Cuthbert and smartly playing in Lina Hurtig. The Swedish winger's tame effort was held by Zerica Musovic.

Musovic had a busy first half but was predominantly forced into comfortable saves, with Jonas Eidevall's pre-match wish for a prolific goal scorer in January evident as Catilin Foord and then Frida Maanum both fired straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper.

A fizzing Lia Walti effort was blocked by a diving Kadeisha Buchanan header and Hurtig could only find the side netting after being cleverly slotted through by Maanum as the Gunners failed to break the deadlock in the first half.

Arsenal continued to enjoy the better of the chances in the second period, Musovic tipping a looping Hurtig cross away from danger. The Chelsea keeper then kept out the former Juventus winger's header from point blank range following a superb Steph Catley cross - but again, the effort was straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper.

Musovic was finally beaten as Arsenal broke the deadlock on 57 minutes. Niamh Charles was penalised for a foul on Foord, and Little dispatched the subsequent spot kick. Replays seemed to show that the contact from Charles was outside the box.

The Gunners pushed for a second, Maanum's wicked cross wreaking havoc in the Chelsea box and Charles producing some improvisation on the goal line to keep out Foord. The Australian winger then forced a fine save from Musovic with a low drive from distance.

Fran Kirby and Eve Perisset were introduced just after the hour mark in an attempt to freshen things up as Chelsea went in seach for an equaliser. Kirby sliced wide, before Sophie Ingle fired narrowly over after being teed up by Kerr as the Blues enjoyed their best - albeit short - spell of pressure in the Arsenal half.

Catley saw a deep cross tipped onto the bar by Musovic as the Gunners continued to press for a second.

Chelsea registered their first effort in the 77th minute, but Manuela Zinsberger comfortably held Magdalena Eriksson's header, before Catley produced a stretching block to deny James.

But Arsenal were punished for not killing off the game and on the stroke of full time, Chelsea equalised. Jelana Cankovic's fabulous cross found the run of Kerr, who ran between two Arsenal defenders and headed home to snatch a draw for the Blues.

Arsenal (4-3-3)

Rafaelle Souza, Sam Kerr
Rafaelle on the ball for Arsenal / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

GK: Manuela Zinsberger - 6/10 - Off her line quickly on a few occasions to snuff out potential danger.

RB: Laura Wienroither - 8/10 - Did a really solid defensive job on Reiten, keeping the usually influential winger uncharacteristically quiet.

CB: Rafaelle - 7/10 - Lost possession in the build up to early chance for James but otherwise won plenty in the air and worked well with Williamson to keep Kerr under wraps.

CB: Leah Williamson - 6/10 - Brought the ball out from the back well on a number of occasions, and, together with Rafaelle, did a good defensive job on Kerr for 89 minutes - before losing the run of the Australian striker for Chelsea's equaliser.

LB: Steph Catley - 8/10 - Found the head of Hurtig with a wicked delivery in the second half from which Arsenal almost opened the scoring. Struck the bar with a deep cross, and produced a stunning, stretching block to deny James.

CM: Lia Walti - 6/10 - Dived in as James skipped past her and came close to opening the scoring in the early exchanges. Saw a fizzing effort deflect wide in the first half.

CM: Kim Little - 7/10 - Coolly dispatched from the spot to give Arsenal the lead. Switched play well on a few occasions, effortlessly good in tight spaces.

CM: Frida Maanum - 7/10 - Fired straight at Musovic twice in the first half. Cleverly played in Hurtig in the build up to a decent Arsenal chance, and created an opening for Foord with a wicked cross.

RW: Lina Hurtig - 6/10 - Preferred to McCabe on the right flank and really should have got on the scoresheet over the course of the match.. Saw Arsenal's first chance of the game but her tame effort was easily saved, and fired another opportunity into the side netting. Tested Musovic with a free header in the second half.

ST: Stina Blackstenius - 6/10 - Singlehandedly carved out Arsenal's first opening, dispossessing Cuthbert and smartly sliding in Hurtig.

LW: Caitlin Foord - 8/10 - Fired straight at Musovic in the first half after working the opportunity herself. Won the penalty from which Arsenal took the lead with a driving run towards the box. Drew a save from Musovic with a low drive.


SUB: Katie McCabe (81' for Hurtig) - 6/10

Chelsea (4-3-3)

Lauren James, Steph Catley
Lauren James in action for Chelsea / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

GK: Zerica Musovic - 8/10 - Forced into a number of routine saves in the first half, holding onto efforts from Foord and Maanum. Made three good saves to keep out a Hurtig header, Foord drive and Catley cross in the second.

RB: Niamh Charles - 5/10 - Beaten by Foord in the first half in the build-up to an Arsenal chance, before conceding the penalty from which the Gunners took the lead for a shoulder barge on Foord - looked hard done by, with the contact taking place outside the box.

CB: Millie Bright - 6/10 - Won a couple of important headers and made a few big clearances to cut out potentially dangerous Arsenal crosses.

CB: Kadeisha Buchanan - 6/10 - Superbly blocked a Walti effort with a diving header in the first half and made a great recovery tackle on Blackstenius in the second.

LB: Magdalena Eriksson - 5/10 - Lost track of Hurtig in the build-up to an early Arsenal chance. Saw a header comfortably saved in the second half.

CM: Sophie Ingle - 6/10 - Sent a sweetly-struck effort just over in the second half. Typically neat and tidy.

CM: Erin Cuthbert - 6/10 - Conceded possession dangerously in the early stages and was dispossessed by Blackstenius in the build-up to a clear-cut Arsenal chance. Saw a couple of chances from the edge of the box blocked

CM: Jessie Fleming - 5/10 - Largely on the fringes of the game and unable to have a telling impact. Replaced just after the hour mark.

RW: Lauren James - 6/10 - Created the game's first chance herself with a driving run from the half way line before firing narrowly wide. Looked Chelsea's most dangerous player, but limited in her opportunities to really get at the Arsenal backline.

ST: Sam Kerr - 7/10 - Sent in behind on a few occasions but the passes were usually marginally over hit and Zinsberger was off her line quickly. Teed up Ingle for a decent chance in the second half, before making a great run between two Arsenal defenders and planting a header past Zinsberger at the death to rescue a point for Chelsea.

LW: Guro Reiten - 5/10 - Kept relatively quiet by Wienroither, with her usual destructive influence limited.


SUB: Eve Perisset (62' for Charles) - 6/10

SUB: Fran Kirby (62' for Fleming) - 6/10

SUB: Jelena Cankovic (81' for Ingle) - 7/10

SUB: Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (85' for Erikkson) - 6/10

Player of the match: Steph Catley (Arsenal)