Arsenal’s Katie McCabe was the hero of the hour in a crucial Women’s Super League (WSL) match against Manchester City, despite being banned for striking an opponent with the ball. McCabe was expected to miss the game, but instead helped her team to a 2-1 victory, taking them from fourth to second place in the table. The Republic of Ireland captain had been seen on crutches and in a protective boot just four days earlier after Arsenal knocked Bayern Munich out of the Women’s Champions League. However, McCabe was back on the pitch and scored the winning goal against City, despite being set to miss Arsenal’s next match against leaders Manchester United due to her ban.
The incident that led to McCabe’s ban occurred when she struck England Euro 2022 legend Chloe Kelly on the head with the ball during a throw-in. The Gunners were a goal down at the time, and heading for a result that would have seriously dented their title chances. The 10th minute incident saw McCabe pick up her fifth yellow card of the season, when she tapped an encroaching Kelly with the ball.
Despite McCabe’s absence for the upcoming match against Manchester United, Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall has his team in the semi-finals of the Champions League against Wolfsburg, and right back in the mix at the top of the WSL table. McCabe herself remains optimistic about Arsenal’s chances, saying: “Look, we’re Arsenal. We always have that belief to compete and win trophies. We won the Conti Cup final so we’ve got a taste of it now and we want more. When you represent a club like Arsenal, you’re always going to be competing for the top trophies and I think we’ve shown that in our performances recently.”
McCabe’s goal capped off an incredible week for her, but it wasn’t all positive. Her ban means that she will miss Arsenal’s next match against Manchester United, another crucial game in the title race. McCabe’s strike on Kelly was a moment of frustration that could have cost her team dearly, but instead, she was able to turn it around and help Arsenal to a vital victory. Despite the odds being stacked against them, Arsenal remain in the hunt for the WSL title and are still in contention for Champions League glory.