Defining week for Cooney-Cross as Arsenal boss reveals struggle ‘nobody external knows’: Tillies Tracker

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From the Women’s Super League to the Damallsvenskan and Division 1 Feminine. KEEPUP has you covered with all the Australian women’s football action beyond the A-Leagues.

Big praise caps a huge week for Kyra Cooney-Cross

This week may have turn out to be be a breakout moment for Kyra Cooney-Cross at Arsenal.

A-Leagues graduate Cooney-Cross was lured from Swedish outfit Hammarby IF following her exploits during the Matildas’ historic FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final run in a transfer reportedly worth £140,000 ($A270,000) in September.

The 21-year-old was named in the starting XI for the 3-1 midweek Conti Cup victory over Bristol City and she backed that up with her first start in the Women’s Super League on Monday (AEDT) in a 6-2 win at Leicester City.

FOORD STUNNER: Matildas star headlines Arsenal’s wild 12-minute blitz

Cooney-Cross was deployed in midfield alongside Victoria Pelova as Arsenal overturned a two-goal deficit with a stunning four-goal blitz in 12 minutes, headlined by Caitlin Foord‘s stunning goal.

Prior to the game, ex-England international Izzy Christiansen – who won titles with Birmingham City, Manchester City and Lyon – heaped praise on former Melbourne Victory sensation Cooney-Cross.

“She’s a player I know and I’ve seen a lot. I know she has a massive future ahead of her,” Christiansen said on Sky Sports, having worked on the World Cup in Australia for Channel 7.

“She is the complete midfielder for me.

“The way that she plays and the intensity that she plays with the ball at her feet is unlikely many others in the game.

“I think Lia Walti brings that stability but Cooney-Cross coming into the team, having the likes of Lia Walti, Kim Little and Frida Maanum to learn from as a midfielder.

“For me Kyra Cooney-Cross coming into this team is a big opportunity for her to show what she’s about.

“If she can play a single pivot role as a no.6, I think that’s where she is at her best because she can really start dictating play.”

After the game, Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall shared an insight into Cooney-Cross’ journey to this point.

“It is about what you do with the time, nobody is really waiting for the chance, you work really hard for it,” he said via Arseblog News.

“That is what being a professional footballer is about so you’re ready when the opportunity arises but it’s also the hard part because it is easy to not apply yourself well in training.

“Kyra has been great, she has had illnesses and small injuries that have disrupted her rhythm a little bit. Nobody external knows about that but it takes a little bit more time and she has had to settle.

“So even if she has made those matchday squads, the journey to those matchday squads might not have been ideal. But it is great to see her playing well now.”

He added: “I thought it (the performance) was a great representation of the way Arsenal play football and the midfield with Pelova and Cooney-Cross were phenomenal today running the play with the ball, movement and being brave on the ball.”

Courtney Nevin played for Leicester, while Remy Siemsen made her return to the bench following an injury lay-off.

Gorry farewells Vittsjo

Katrina Gorry is preparing for a new chapter after saying goodbye to Vittsjo in Sweden, where she has spent the past two seasons in the Damallsvenskan.

The Matildas midfielder played her final game for Vittsjo and she capped it with a goal in their 2-0 win over KIF Orebro on the last weekend.

Gorry converted a 50th-minute penalty – her fourth goal of the season in a match that fellow Australia internationals Clare Polkinghorne and Charlotte Grant also started.

“To my @vittsjogikofcl family, THANK YOU. Thank you for giving me this opportunity, for welcoming us with open arms and for taking care of our little girl,” she wrote on Instagram.

“Thank you to our incredible supporters, to my team, to our coaching staff and most of all our incredible Nannie’s. This has become our home for the last two years but it’s time to say goodbye and set off on a new adventure.

“I came here with a six-month-old and I’m leaving with a bilingual two-year-old, a beautiful fiancé and people that will hold a place in our hearts forever.”

Also in Sweden, there was heartbreak for Aivi Luik‘s Hacken.

Hacken routed Pitea 4-0 but they fell agonisingly short of the title on goal difference to Hammarby.

Elsewhere, Amy Sayer completed the entire game as Kristianstad drew 3-3 at Linkoping.

In Norway, Larissa Crummer came on at half-time in Brann’s 3-2 loss to Lyn.

Aussie part of history in the WSL

Three Australians were part of history in the WSL this weekend, though only one was on the winning side.

For the first time ever, Brighton and Hove Albion conquered Manchester City 1-0 in the WSL thanks to Lee Geum-min’s winner.

Mary Fowler and Alanna Kennedy both started for City, who had never lost to Brighton and had only once failed to win in their 10 previous league meetings.

SAM SCORES: Kerr back doing what she does best for high-flying Chelsea

But South Korea’s Lee snapped that drought as Aussie defender Charlie Rule came off the bench for the Seagulls.

“To pick up a clean sheet [against City] is huge, to manage halves the way we did is huge and the adaptability of the group, to ebb and flow between different shapes in games and trust in each other and build upon those moments is really critical,” said Brighton boss Melissa Phillips.

City head coach Gareth Taylor, whose team tasted defeat for the first time in 27 matches at home, added: “It’s so difficult, everyone thinks and expects us to win and of course we do, but it’s difficult.

“If you don’t take your chances and aren’t tight at the back it can happen to anyone.

“It’s not a nice feeling, you want to win and our proud home record has gone, but we need to regroup and go again. Sometimes it’s just not your day no matter how much you knock on the door it doesn’t go for you.

“I’m just disappointed in how we played and dealt with in those moments. We were just off the pace, half a yard too heavy or short, all those bits. It wasn’t our normal clicking game modes today.”

City’s defeat saw them lose second spot to Arsenal, who are three points behind defending champions Chelsea.

Sam Kerr found the back of the net as unbeaten Chelsea defeated Everton 3-0.

Kerr scored five goals in three games for the Matildas during their recent AFC Olympic Games qualifiers in Perth, but the superstar striker scored just her second goal of the WSL season on Monday (AEDT).

The A-Leagues legend produced a trademark goal to double Chelsea’s lead after Jessie Fleming had put the league leaders ahead away to Clare Wheeler’s Everton.

Wheeler completed 90 minutes for the beaten Toffees.

Mackenzie Arnold conceded five goals as West Ham lost 5-0 away to Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Teagan Micah was absent from Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

“Teagan Micah, she got a calf niggle away on international duty and unfortunately she broke down on Tuesday at training, so she won’t be available again this weekend,” Matt Beard said before the game.

Elsewhere in Europe, Hayley Raso scored her second goal of the Liga F season as Real Madrid crushed Real Sociedad 7-1.

Raso only scored one league goal for Manchester City last season and she has already bettered that tally with her new club Madrid this term.

Madrid are second in the table, three points behind rivals Barcelona.

In France’s Division 1 Feminine, there is no stopping Ellie Carpenter‘s Lyon.

Carpenter played 65 minutes as the defending champions made it seven wins from seven games via a 5-0 rout of Montpellier.

Lyon are top and three points clear of Paris FC, who had Sarah Hunter as an unused substitute in the 6-1 dismantling of Saint-Etienne.

Clare Hunt played the full game as Paris Saint-Germain overcame Dijon 5-2.

Alex Chidiac was a 90th-minute substitute for Tigres UANL in the opening leg of their Mexican Apertura Liga MX Femenil quarter-final – a 3-1 triumph.