30 min: Furness smashes a shot just over for Spurs from distance, and then in the next passage of play, Kit Graham does brilliantly to fashion a bit of space on the edge of the penalty area, before blasting a left-shooted shot just wide of an upright. Zinsberger was beaten all ends up there. Can Spurs grab the opener?
28 min: Arsenal press yet again, Little clipping a good pass into the danger zone, which is repelled by the Tottenham defenders. If the hosts are going to win this match it will almost certainly be by grabbing a goal or two on the counterattack, because they are on the defensive.
26 min: McCabe now bursts down the left for Arsenal. Her cutback finds Miedema, who takes a smart first touch to make room for a left-footed shot, but a powerful low effort is deflected out for a corner. Spencer collects that corner, and the home fans can breath again.
24 min: League leaders Chelsea have gone 1-0 up against Manchester United at Kingsmeadow. Back in north London, Dean tries a very ambitious shot from all of 35 yards, but gets it all wrong. She holds her hands up in apology to a team-mate.
22 min: Karen Hills, the joint head coach of Spurs, urges her players on and issues instructions from the sidelines. They have started to grow into this match a little after Arsenal had by far the best of the opening exchanges.
18 min: The first huge chance of the match as Kit Graham storms clear of the Arsenal defence after a Josie Graham pass! The player who scored twice last time out chooses to shoot from the edge of the penalty area, but it’s straight at Zinsberger, and the Gunners can clear the danger. A Spurs goal there would have been very much against the run of play … but Graham will feel she should have done better.
16 min: Up at Anfield, Liverpool v Everton is also goalless so far. Now Mead bursts into the penalty area for Arsenal on the left and has time to try and curl a shot into the far corner, but sprays it wide. Spurs’ net-minder Spencer is far from happy with her defenders.
14 min: Now the Gunners have a free-kick just outside the penalty area. Beth Mead slams it straight into the defensive wall. It’s Tottenham’s defence which is being asked all the questions so far …
12 min: The Dutchwoman Van de Donk is at it again, passing into space behind the Spurs defence, looking for the run of her compatriot Miedema. But goalkeeper Spencer does well to advance off her line and tidy it up.
10 min: Arsenal attack again. Nobbs hits an excellent right-footed cross looking for Mead at the back post, but the recipient can’t control her header, and it loops harmlessly over the bar and on to the top of the net.
9 min: Furness embarks on a mazy run into Arsenal territory, then tries to hit an expansive pass with the outside of her left boot, and it’s intercepted by Arsenal’s defence.
Sean Purdy tweets in: “Relying on your updates after train delays from Lincoln have ****ed plans of a first WSL trip; big shout out to the platform attendant at Newark who spotted my scarf and thought a good way of passing the time in the rain was to monologue at me about David Luiz.”
6 min: Worm does well to block a cross by Evans, freed on the overlap on the right by Van der Donk – but it’s only half-cleared – and Little then hits a powerful shot straight at Spencer in the Tottenham goal. Again it’s Arsenal making all the early running.
3 min: Arsenal stroke the ball around for a while at the back, then move forward quickly with Little striding into the Spurs penalty area, but again it breaks down. In the opening stages it certainly looks like the Gunners possess the greater attacking threat.
1 min: Arsenal mount the first attack of the match and Van de Donk links well with Evans on the right, just outside the penalty area, but Van de Donk’s cross is then cleared by Spurs after a good first passing move by the visitors.
We are under way at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. By the way, the record crowd for a WSL match is 31,000, and that has surely already been surpassed today.
Ashleigh Neville is the one change for Spurs today. The Gunners are unchanged from their last outing. We are less than a minute from kick-off …
Joint Spurs head coach Amoros again – speaking to BT Sport on the sidelines: “We know we have a big responsibility coming here and playing our old rivals … we’re really looking forward to it, and all these fans are going to give us an ‘extra person’.”
Arsenal WFC coach Joe Montemurro: “It’s a historic day … and we’re looking forward to it. The ground’s the same dimensions as most grounds, so it’s about not getting caught up in the occasion, playing our football and doing what we need to do. It’s going to be a great day, and a great showcase for the game.”
The teams will be walking out any second …
Carney on the Arsenal forward line: “I’ve been very impressed with Danielle van der Donk this season. She’s always been creative, but she’s added a lot more goals to her game in this campaign. She’s a top, top player – and of course Vivianne Miedema is just class.”
A few words from Tottenham’s joint head coach, Juan Amoros, on the Spurs website:
“People use the word ‘dream’ but with us it’s been through work and more work that we’ve got here. Obviously there have been ups and downs through the years but having this opportunity to wear the badge and defend these colours in that big stadium with all our fans I think is an honour and a privilege. Yes, we’ve earned it, but now it’s a question of can we go and win it?”
Who, indeed, can go and win it? We are about to find out.
Joint Tottenham head coach Karen Hills, speaking to BT Sport: “When I first came in, we wanted Spurs Ladies’ to play in the top flight of women’s football. Four promotions on, and with a lot of hard work from a lot of people, we’re finally living our dream.”
On today’s match against Arsenal: “They’ve got great players, but so have we … I think we can produce a performance we can be proud of.”
Elsewhere in the WSL, Brighton are 1-0 up on Birmingham City, while Reading are leading Bristol City 2-0. Kick-off in north London is less than 25 minutes away.
My sources (BT Sport) tell me 45,000 fans are expected at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this afternoon.
“It’s unbelievable for women’s football,” says Karen Carney on pundit duty. “You have to give credit to Tottenham, for giving the women’s team this opportunity to come to this fabulous stadium.”
And here is Suzanne Wrack again, a piece from Friday looking ahead to this showpiece occasion – or set of occasions – around the country:
While the women’s game in the UK is enjoying its biggest-ever weekend, things are not going so smoothly over in Spain, where most of the players are on strike. Here is Tom Bassam:
Liverpool v Everton also kicks off at 3pm in the WSL. Here’s a preview by Suzanne Wrack with Everton’s Chloe Kelly:
The teams are in for the first-ever WSL north-London derby.
Tottenham Women: Spencer, Percival, Neville, Godfrey, Filbey, Worm, Peplow, Green (C), Dean, Graham, Furness.
Arsenal WFC: Zinsberger, Evans, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe, Walti, Little, Nobbs, Van de Donk, Miedema, Mead.
Over in south-west London, the teams are out and Chelsea Women v Manchester United WFC has kicked off already. Elsewhere, Man City WFC are 5-0 up on West Ham heading into the final 10 minutes.
Here’s some pre-match reading for you from Suzanne Wrack: the WSL season so far …
To say these are exciting times for women’s football would be seriously understating it; just a week ago, England’s Lionesses played Germany in front of a Wembley crowd of 77,768 fans.
Now this weekend – the inaugural, officially FA-designated Women’s Football Weekend – Tottenham Hotspur Women are getting ready to take on Arsenal WFC at Spurs’ glittering new stadium in north London – and it’s a sell-out. It’s the first north-London derby of the WSL era, following Tottenham’s promotion to the top flight for this season.
The Gunners have won their past three league matches, while a Kit Graham double saw Spurs come from behind at Bristol City in their last league outing, so both teams bring winning form into what promises to be an enthralling match. Kick-off is at 3pm – stay right here for all the build-up ahead of our minute-by-minute match updates.
On this Super-est of Sundays, Liverpool also host Everton as the WSL takes its bow on the hallowed turf of Anfield (another 3pm kick-off), while league-leading Chelsea Women’s encounter with Manchester United WFC is beginning now. Second-placed Arsenal sit just a point behind WSL leaders Chelsea, so they could go top with a win depending on Chelsea’s result at Kingsmeadow.
Stand by for Spurs v Arsenal team news, coming up soon, and much more …
Kick-off: 3pm GMT