Author Topic: Arsenal admit early stutters  (Read 841 times)

Offline redrobin

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Arsenal admit early stutters
« on: October 18, 2007, 05:03:57 PM »
Arsenal admit early stutters
Thursday 18 October 2007

Arsenal LFC are through to the UEFA Women's Cup quarter-finals as second qualifying round Group B1 winners, but the holders were frustrated by their performance in their last game against ASD CF Bardolino Verona.

Final-day draw
The English champions had booked their progress one game early by defeating Alma KTZH 4-0 and SV Neulengbach 7-0, but on Tuesday were held 3-3 by Bardolino. Arsenal led 2-0 before seeing their advantage wiped out and although Kelly Smith struck after 85 minutes, the Italian side fought back to equalise in added time. Arsenal topped the group on goal difference and will now meet Group B4 runners-up Olympique Lyonnais over two legs next month, but manager Vic Akers had mixed feelings.

Lyon test
"We've finished the job but certainly not in the manner we would have wanted," he said. "Some of the individual errors and some performances were poor and I think we weren't at our game." As for Lyon, Akers added: "It will be a tough game. I have always said they will be a side to look out for. If we play anything like we have [against Bardolino] then we will undoubtedly get beaten. I think the character will show through, people will get their mind set and we will get back and ready for that."

'Kick up the bum'
Smith, like the majority of the Arsenal lineup, only returned at the end of last month from the FIFA Women's World Cup where England reached the quarter-finals, but was making no excuses. "It's a big kick up the bum for us, we have to look at ourselves and our own individual performances," she said. "But we've got to dig deep, and work hard in training and get back to the top of our game. If we play like that against Lyon it could be embarrassing for us."

Chat show
Still, the World Cup performances and Arsenal's European success has boosted women's football in England, and Smith's personal profile rises again this week when she goes on the BBC's popular 'Friday Night with Jonathan Ross' chat show. "I think it will be an experience, obviously it is great coverage for myself, Arsenal and England," Smith said. "He's probably going to make fun of me, but it's good for the women's game to get out there and into the media."