Arsenal’s Matildas avoid unwanted WSL history with last-gasp stunner

A stunning stoppage-time goal from Cloe Lacasse rescued a point for Arsenal in a thrilling 2-2 draw away to Manchester United in the Women’s Super League (WSL).

Arsenal – who had opened the scoring thanks to an assist from Matildas star Steph Catley – were staring at a second consecutive defeat to begin the WSL season after Melvine Malard gave United an 81st-minute lead on Saturday (AEDT).

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But, Canada international and new signing Lacasse found the back of the net with a brilliant long-range strike to equalise in the 93rd minute at Leigh Sports Village.

It ensured the Gunners – who brought Caitlin Foord off the bench while Matildas teammate Kyra Cooney-Cross was an unused substitute – avoided losing four WSL games in a row for the first time in their history, having ended 2022-23 poorly.

Arsenal entered the contest on the back of an early UEFA Women’s Champions League exit in the qualifying phase and a first-up loss to Liverpool on the opening weekend in the WSL.

Though, Arsenal’s hierarchy still handed head coach Jonas Eidevall a new long-term deal in a show of faith.

Arsenal broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when Catley’s perfect pass released Stina Blackstenius, who powered past United’s defence to find the back of the net.

United, however, hit back 13 minutes later as Gunners goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo gifted the home side an equaliser.

The Red Devils thought they claimed all three points with nine minutes of regulation remaining but Lacasse’s moment of individual brilliance salvaged a point for Arsenal.