Miedema rescues Arsenal point in ‘wild’ draw at Juventus

Arsenal fought back to draw 1-1 against Juventus in their Champions League match in Turin.

The Gunners, missing several players including injured England forward Beth Mead, fell behind early in the second half when Lineth Beerensteyn slotted Juventus ahead following a swift counter-attack.

Vivianne Miedema headed in from a corner to equalise just after the hour, but Jonas Eidevall’s side could not craft a late winner.

Arsenal, who had been looking to extend their 100 per cent start, stay top of Group C, two points clear of Juventus and three of Lyon, who won 3-0 away to Zurich.

Lineth Beerensteyn gave Juventus the lead on the counter attack
Lineth Beerensteyn gave Juventus the lead on the counter-attack

The Gunners made a positive start, with Miedema leading the attack as Mead is set for an extended spell out after she ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in Saturday’s Women’s Super League defeat to Manchester United.

Stina Blackstenius was played through by Frida Maanum, but saw her rising shot skim the top of the crossbar.

Juve goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, who spent a couple of seasons with the Gunners, then made a fine save after Swedish forward Blackstenius was sent clear again shortly before the break. At the other end, Arianna Caruso put the ball wide in first-half stoppage time.

Arsenal pressed again early in the second half as Australian Caitlin Foord tested Peyraud-Magnin before Lotte Wubben-Moy’s header was cleared off the line.

Sofie Junge Pedersen of Juventus Women fights for the ball with Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal during the UEFA Women's Champions League group C match
Sofie Junge Pedersen of Juventus fights for the ball with Miedema

But it was Juve who broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when Dutch forward Beerensteyn burst through on a counter-attack to slot past Arsenal ‘keeper Manuela Zinsberger.

Arsenal responded to equalise just after the hour when Miedema headed in from a corner. Miedema sent another shot on the turn over and during stoppage time almost got Foord in on goal, but the Juventus defence held out.

Walti pleased to end ‘wild game’ with point

“I think in the end, the result is maybe fair,” Arsenal midfielder Lia Walti told the club’s official website. “It feels good because we knew that we just didn’t want to lose that game. Ideally, we would have won it and I think we had enough chances.

“But it’s football. They had one chance and they took it. I think the response after that was really good. I felt like there were 10 minutes after half-time where we struggled a little bit, where it was a tough battle in midfield as well, but then I think we fought ourselves back and deserved the goal. And in the end, if we were a bit luckier in front of the goal, we could have maybe scored a winner.

“In the end, it was a bit of a wild game. It was very transitional. So it was hard to stay calm, but it was good to sometimes step on the ball and just go back again. And I think our subs today really helped us to get the draw.”

What’s next?

Arsenal’s next game is the weekend after next when they host Everton on December 3 in the Women’s Super League, kick-off 2pm.

The Gunners’ next Champions League game is the return group stage fixture against Juventus at the Emirates Stadium, kick-off 8pm.

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