Arsenal women's player ratings vs Wolfsburg: Rafaelle & Gunners defence recover superbly to leave Champions League semi-final level

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Rafaelle Arsenal Women 2022-23
The Gunners fought back from two goals down away from home to level their European semi-final in a thrilling first leg in Germany

Arsenal made a remarkable recovery from 2-0 down away at Wolfsburg on Sunday to level their Women's Champions League semi-final tie ahead of a home leg at the Emirates Stadium.

A disastrous start for the Gunners saw Ewa Pajor punish some slack defending before Sveindis Jonsdottir benefitted from a massive error when Arsenal were playing out from the back, with the home side two up in the first 25 minutes.

But Rafaelle, the Arsenal defender whose pass Jonsdottir put into the back of the net, pulled a goal back with a brilliant header before the break, and the Gunners would make it 2-2 with just over 20 minutes to go, Stina Blackstenius capping off a lovely team goal.

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GOAL rates the Arsenal players after a terrific fightback in Germany...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defence
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    Goalkeeper & Defence

    Manuela Zinsberger (6/10):

    Couldn't do anything about either goal and didn't have too much else to do otherwise.

    Noelle Maritz (6/10):

    Needed to get closer to Jonsdottir for Wolfsburg's opening goal but she recovered well in the game to have an impact going forward as well.

    Lotte Wubben-Moy (6/10):

    Also didn't cover herself in glory for the opener but improved and played a lovely pass in the build-up to Arsenal's equaliser.

    Jen Beattie (7/10):

    Costly error playing out from the back for Wolfsburg's second goal but got a lot better as the game went on, defending well and showing qualities in the build-up play.

    Rafaelle (7/10):

    Was also at fault for Wolfsburg's second goal but would make amends in a great way with a thumping header to pull a goal back.

    Steph Catley (7/10):

    Her wonderful set-piece delivery for the first goal marked a solid return to action for the Aussie.

  2. Midfield
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    Lia Walti (7/10):

    Dictated play well in spells and competed hard in the midfield, winning every single tackle she went in for.

    Frida Maanum (6/10):

    Couldn't get into the game, really. Showed good movement to get a shot off in the box in the first half which was then turned behind for the corner that Arsenal scored from.

  3. Attack
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    Katie McCabe (6/10):

    Worked hard on both sides of the ball and grew into the game more as it went on.

    Stina Blackstenius (7/10):

    Provided bright moments even when her team were struggling, worked exceptionally hard and tapped home the equaliser after doing well to lose her marker.

    Victoria Pelova (8/10):

    Arsenal's liveliest player across the whole game, with a great performance capped off by the assist for the equaliser.

  4. Subs & Manager

    Laura Wienroither (6/10):

    Replaced Catley for the final 20 minutes and immediately got stuck in with her defensive work as Wolfsburg began to turn the screw.

    Kathrine Kühl (N/A):

    Couldn't make an impact after coming on in the final minute of the match.

    Jonas Eidevall (7/10):

    Was never going to make an impact in terms of making substitutes given the injury crisis Arsenal have, but his decision to change to a back three was a very effective one as his team recovered from a terrible start to secure a huge result.