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UEFA WOMEN'S CUP QUARTER FINAL FIRST LEG
Arsenal.............3 (Ludlow 2, Fleeting 76, Little 79)
Umea IK............2 (Yamaguchi 13, Ostberg 70)
Arsenal will take a one-goal advantage into the second leg of their quarter final tie after fighting back to win an absorbing game at Boreham Wood.
However the Gunners are likely to be disappointed not to be taking a larger lead over to Sweden after squandering clear cut chances against the twice UEFA Cup winners.
Arsenal were handed a boost ahead of the kick off with the news that World Player of the Year Marta would only be on the bench for Umea due to not being fully fit.
The game could not have started any better for Arsenal as they went in front with less than two minutes on the clock. After winning a free kick around 30 yards from goal, Kelly Smith floated the ball over to the edge of the area where Jayne Ludlow planted a downward header past Ulla-Karin Rennlund and inside the far post.
Umea tried to hit back quickly with Hanna Ljungberg firing a shot just wide on the turn and Emma Byrne blocked a Mami Yamaguchi effort with her legs. However Arsenal could not hold out and Umea were back on terms in the 13th minute as a corner was half cleared and Madeleine Edlund returned the ball into the area for Yamaguchi to head home.
Ramona Bachmann drilled a shot just over the bar after cutting in from the left and past two Arsenal players but the game was to receive an unfortunate stoppage as Edlund fell awkwardly on her neck and was taken to hospital with concussion, following a 12-minute stoppage.
When the game resumed after the long enforced break, Gemma Davison shot over the bar for Arsenal who then passed up a glorious opportunity to go back in front in first half injury time. Kim Little threaded a neat pass into the area for Smith, who took the ball around Rennlund but fired over the bar with the goal at her mercy.
Arsenal started the second half strongly with Ludlow heading just wide from a Karen Carney corner and, although Bachmann wasted a good chance at the other end from Lisa Dahlqvist's through ball, the momentum was now with the Gunners.
Smith drove a 25-yard free kick straight at Rennlund before another great chance went begging. Davison and Smith combined to set up Ludlow in space with only the goalkeeper to beat but the Arsenal captain did not keep her cool in front of goal and shot horribly wide.
Back came Umea with Johanna Rasmussen sending a free kick over the bar and the Swedish side made Arsenal pay for the missed chances by going in front for the first time. Bachmann played a corner to the edge of the area and into the path of the oncoming Frida Ostberg whose shot took a deflection on its way past Byrne.
Arsenal responded by introducing Julie Fleeting as a substitute for a tiring Katie Chapman and the Scottish striker made an immediate impact. Davison was having an impressive match on the right and she made a great run to the line before sliding a low cross to the near post where Smith's shot was blocked by Rennlund and Fleeting was on hand to tuck home the rebound with her first touch of the ball.
Arsenal continued to attack and quickly won another corner on the right. In a near carbon copy of the second Umea goal, Smith passed to the edge of the area where Little evaded a challenge before drilling a low shot, Rennlund got a hand to the ball but could not prevent it finding the corner and the Gunners were in the lead once more.
Umea brought on Marta in place of Rasmussen, who had just caused a scare when her cross was clawed away by Byrne from under her bar and Niamh Fahey did well to prevent Bachmann from slotting home the loose ball. The Brazilian won a free kick for her side on the edge of the area with a somewhat exaggerated fall but it came to nothing as she shot over.
Arsenal could well have taken a two-goal advantage in the final minute of injury time as a Byrne kick was touched on by a Umea defender and released Smith on goal, she managed to lob the oncoming Rennlund under pressure but also lifted her shot just over the bar.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Niamh Fahey, Jayne Ludlow, Yvonne Tracy, Ciara Grant, Karen Carney, Kelly Smith, Gemma Davison, Katie Chapman (sub Julie Fleeting 73mins), Kim Little. Subs not used: Rebecca Spencer, Gilly Flaherty, Faye White, Rachel Yankey, Laura Bassett, Natalie Ross.
Umea IK: Ulla-Karin Rennlund, Anna Paulson, Johanna Frisk, Carolina Westberg, Frida Ostberg, Mami Yamaguchi, Lisa Dahlqvist, Ramona Bachmann, Madeleine Edlund (sub Sofia Jakobsson 38mins), Hanna Ljungberg, Johanna Rasmussen (sub Marta Da Silva 84mins). Subs not used: Carola Sjoberg, Emma Berglund, June Pedersen, Emmelle Konradsson, Emma Aberg-Zingmark.
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