The WSL is back.
After what feels like a very long off season the WSL is back and what a way to kick off the 2021-22 season than a home game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. After a quiet pre-season and a lot of new additions, it was back to business.
Our Lilywhites have played two pre-season friendlies, one against Arsenal in the Mind Series and against Celtic at ST George’s park. We don’t believe our Lilywhites have had enough time to gel the new players but with some of the talent that Skinner and her team have brought in the team should hopefully adapt very quickly.
Tottenham: started with a 4-3-3 with Kopela in goal, Ale in at right-back, Bartrip and Zadorksy in the centre of defence with Neville in at left-back. The midfield was made of Percival, Green and Clemaron, while the front three were made of Naz down the right, Williams in the centre and Graham down the left.
Birmingham: went for 4-3-3 with Ramsey goal, Smith in at right-back, with Lawley and Quinn in the centre of defence with Holloway in at left-back. The Birmingham midfield was made of Pennock, Robertson and Whipp while the Birmingham front free was made of Sarri down the left, Ewens in the centre and former Tottenham favourite Lucy Quinn down the Right.
Tottenham started the game the strongest out of the two teams but was unable to create any clear chances except for a shot wide from the left by Naz in the 8th minute. Tottenham kept threatening the Birmingham goal and in the 16th minute Josie green came close after a wonderfully whipped in ball by Neville, but Green was unable to get the ball around Ramsey in the Birmingham goals as both players clashed.
Tottenham continued to control the midfield and dominated possession, a clever pass by Zadorksy in the 20th minute found Kit Graham but her effort went just wide of Ramsey’s goal. Birmingham’s first chance of the game in the 25th minute after wonderful play by Lucy Quinn in the Birmingham half found Whipp down the left-wing who cut the ball back but the Birmingham effort was just wide of Korpela’s goal. Tottenham kept pushing for an opener and in the 30th minute it was Kit Graham again who tested Ramsey in the Birmingham goal with a shot from distance but her effort was a little soft and gathered easily in the end by Ramsey.
Tottenham finally got their breakthrough in the 40th minute when Graham played a one-two from the corner with Percival before whipping in a cross into the Birmingham box, Clemaron missed the header as the ball went straight in past Ramsey to give Tottenham a deserved lead. Tottenham kept on the pressure and could have easily had a second on 45th minute after a foul from Robertson on Naz. Graham took the Tottenham free-kick from distance almost catching Ramsey off guard but the Birmingham keeper palmed away before the ball was put out for a corner.
Tottenham came out in the second half unchanged, like in the first half, Tottenham came out dominant and controlled the midfield but was unable to create any chances to threaten Ramsey’s goal. Tottenham’s first chance of the second half came in the 51st minute when Kit Graham broke from midfield twisting and turning Louise Quinn before shooting with her left but her effort was too hard and flew over the Birmingham crossbar. Tottenham’s first substitute of the game came in the 52nd minute when new signing Tang replaced Kit Graham. Tottenham kept up the pressure as Birmingham struggled to get out of their half and when they did they were quickly stopped in their tracks by Josie Green and Ria Percival.
Tottenham’s first clear chance of the second half came in the 62nd minute when Birmingham was caught short playing out the back with an interception by Josie Green, the ball fell to Tang who shot from the edge of the box but her effort went just wide of Ramsey’s right-hand post. Less than a minute later Tang came close again when Ramsey’s goal kick reached the halfway line and was strongly headed by Clemaron to Tang who shot again from the edge of the box this time her shot going just wide of Ramsey’s left-hand post.
After having a solid performance in midfield, Josie Green decided to get in on the act and came close in the 68th minute after Naz found Green down the right before shooting from distance but her effort was straight into Ramsey’s hands. Tottenham should have had more than one goal with all their chances and in 72nd minute Naz came close for Tottenham after a wonderful 1-2 with Tang before taking on Jamie Finn in the Birmingham defence but only managed to shoot straight at Ramsey. Birmingham had a rare attack on 79 minutes with Sarri shooting from Distance but Kopela was alert and made a comfortable save to prevent the equaliser.
Tottenham’s third substitute came in the 80th minute with Angela Addison coming on for Josie Green. Addison had an immediate impact on the game and came close to doubling Tottenham’s lead just 3 minute after coming on. Birmingham tried to come out of their half but the ball was intercepted by Neville before being picked up by Addison who used her speed to take on the Birmingham defenders and shot from distance but her effort just scraped the top of the bar before going over for a Birmingham goal-kick. Two minutes later it was pocket rocket Angela Addison who again came close for Tottenham after latching onto a ball by Jessica Naz and taking on Gemma Lawley and shooting with her left but her effort just hit the side netting. The 4th official signalled for a minimum of 4 minutes and this is when we saw Birmingham try to snatch a later equaliser but Korpela was solid in the Tottenham goal preventing the visitors from grabbing a point at the death.
Player of the match.
The player of the match for us goes to Molly Bartrip. She was solid in defence and didn’t put a foot wrong all game and was superb in covering both flanks when needed. Bartrip looks to have settled quickly and is becoming the perfect partner for Zadorksy in defence.
Post match analysis.
Tottenham dominated Birmingham from start to finish and we certainly saw a different Tottenham to that, that we had seen last season. Having the crowd at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium gave the team a much-needed boost and in all fairness should have come away from the game with more than just 1 goal. The introduction of Angela Addison in the second half proved again why she should be a regular starter and had 3 clear chances on her own. Clemaron had another solid performance in the midfield as the creative midfielder which Tottenham hugely missed last season. Other standout performers were Amita Ale down the right and Molly Bartrip in the centre of defence who both looked like they had been playing at Tottenham for years rather than being new recruits. We have to remember to not get too over excited as this weekends match to Manchester City will be a different type of class and a game that Tottenham will need their shooting boots on if they want any type of result at the Academy Stadium. For now we can enjoy the victory and hope for many more top performances as our Lilywhites go to top last seasons end of season standings.
Tottenham take on Manchester City next Sunday September 12th at 18.45 live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.
hours minutes seconds
Manchester City vs Tottenham