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‘We played some of our best football this season’ | Interview | News

Despite the scoreline, Joe Montemurro was full of pride for his team’s performance against Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Our head coach accepted that we lost concentration in key moments, but was encouraged by some of our passing play and movement in the final third.

We spoke to Montemurro after the final whistle – and here’s what he had to say:

on the game being very transitional…

We needed to protect the our defensive area because of their front four and what that does is naturally opens a big space between your defence and your midfield. We had to be careful of that and all in all, I think we dealt with it ok but clearly the scoreline doesn’t reflect that.

on his side seeing more of the ball in the second half…

We wanted to exploit the opposite side and the quicker we swung the ball around there the more we tended to find space on either side. It was about getting the ball out there much quicker and playing the diagonals and we were able to expose them a few times that way.

on whether the scoreline is harsh on us…

I can only say I am very proud of the girls, I think we played some of the best football we played all season. I know it’s difficult to sit here and say that and we got caught on a corner very early for the first goal and the game changes, so it is what it is.

on Jordan Nobbs and Kim Little not being in the squad…

It was about just giving them a bit more time to recover properly. They both have small hamstring issues and we just need to make sure we don’t take any silly risks at this stage but the Brighton game might be too soon for them.

on six consecutive defeats to Chelsea…

Each game against Chelsea brings a different story but I can’t sit here and make excuses. All we can do is keep playing our football. If I am going to be judged on results against Chelsea then I will be judged on results against Chelsea, it’s as simple as that and I’ll have to take that medicine. But I want to keep these players believing that they are a good footballing side and they showed that tonight and with things going our way a little earlier we can get it done. But look, we keep reviewing, we keep coming in with the belief that we are progressing.

on losing in the Conti Cup as opposed to the WSL…

When we put on an Arsenal shirt we try to win every game and we want to keep playing good football. In the scheme of things there is a focus on the league and we know the schedule is tough this year, we’ve played more games than any team in the WSL [because of the Champions League in August]. Again, it is what it is and we need to keep the confidence high ahead of the game against Brighton which is very, very important.

on the fact that the game wasn’t broadcast anywhere…

All games should be shown, or streamed somehow. The more we have women’s football on television, the more we expose the great sport that it is and this was a really, really good game today. Chelsea have brought in some of the world’s best players and people want to see them, there should be a standard that these games are shown.

on the Brighton game on Sunday…
We need to worry about what we need to do because Brighton are a very well organised and they’ve already taken points off a super squad like Manchester City. We expect a very difficult game and they have some elements that can definitely unlock you.

on Manu Zinsberger’s performance in goal…
She made some great saves tonight and that’s a great confidence boost for her, we know she’s a world-class goalkeeper. I’ve heard some comments, some ifs, buts and maybes, but her distribution and the way she was starting the play was really giving them trouble. They struggled to deal with us building from the back and spreading their strikers out so we could get out wide. She had a great game and I’m really happy for her because she works so hard.

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