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Arsenal Men Have Lost Two Straight Heartbreakers; Arsenal Women Said ‘Hold My Beer’

The only North London club having a worse December than the Arsenal men is the Arsenal women.

Arsenal is not having a good start to the month of December. As if the men’s team hasn’t provided enough gut-punches to fans this season, the month began with back-to-back, one-goal losses to Manchester United and Everton. But the Arsenal women have managed to disappoint even more, capped by another comprehensive defeat to Barcelona.

The Arsenal women lead the FA Women’s Super League with 22 points from eight matches, still unbeaten in league play. But it’s beginning to look more and more likely that Chelsea will overtake its London rival after the Blues thwomped the Gunners 3-0 in the FA Women’s Cup final on Sunday. 

The Arsenal women were back in action on Thursday in the Women’s Champions League against reigning champion Barcelona; for the second time this year, the Gunners gave up four goals to Barça, this time failing to score in a 4-0 home defeat. 

Aitana Bonmatí opened the scoring for Barcelona, Jenni Hermoso scored in each half and Fridolina Rolfö showed why she was one of the best offseason acquisitions in Europe with this stunning strike to make it 3-0 just before halftime.

It was a second straight match in which Arsenal — which, again, is currently unbeaten in league play this season — was totally outmatched. It was even worse than the 4-1 demolition at Johan Cruyff Stadium on Oct. 5. 

Arsenal’s lone highlight of the day (of the month?) was Manuela Zinsberger’s incredible double save on Thursday.

It’s hard to believe this is the same Arsenal side that beat defending FA WSL champ Chelsea twice this fall (once in a friendly) and has been otherwise utterly dominant. In league play, the Gunners have seven wins and one draw, with a plus-23 goal difference. 

Arsenal on Thursday was again without the injured Tobin Heath, who has played just three league matches for the Gunners this season since joining in September. She’s scored in the Champions League but hasn’t been much of a factor for new coach Jonas Eidevall. 

It could get worse as Tottenham, currently fourth in the FA WSL and the only team to take a point from Arsenal in league play, is rumored to be looking to add USWNT and Houston Dash midfielder Kristie Mewis, partner of Chelsea superstar Sam Kerr. 

On the bright side for Arsenal fans, the women are still favorites to advance to the UWCL quarterfinals, needing only to do better than a 4-0 defeat to Hoffenheim in the final group-stage match on Dec. 15. They still lead the league with a critical win over primary title rival Chelsea. Arsenal could turn things around and have a stellar season.

Which is a bit more than we can say about the Arsenal men right now.

Although Mikel Arteta’s men have looked good for long stretches of the season — and don’t have any European football to worry about for the first time in decades — they’re still only seventh in the Premier League, four points out of the Top 4 after losing three of their last four. 

There’s still much to be played for this season, for both Arsenal teams. But they’ll hope their fortunes improve after a woeful start to December. 

Win, lose or draw, at least they’ll look good doing it.

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