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Match Report: 'I can't fault any of the players for the last two games'

London City Lionesses produced a spirited performance but were unable to upset Arsenal in the Conti Cup Quarter-Finals on Wednesday [14 February]. 

Goals from Cloé Lacasse (brace), Kim Little, and Alessia Russo were the difference between the two sides, with Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah coming closest to scoring for the hosts.

Darren Smith made one line-up change following his side’s elimination from the Adobe Women’s FA Cup at the weekend, with Izzy Groves replacing Ruesha Littlejohn in central midfield.

“We obviously set up to play defensively and to block Arsenal coming through us,” explained interim head coach Darren Smith. 

“In the first-half, two goals that we really didn’t want to concede were the difference – a penalty right on the stroke of half-time and a set-piece where our concentration dropped for a moment.”

Despite the loss, Smith was full of praise for the team.

“I can’t fault any one of them over the last two games,” added the Englishman. 

“We’ve spoken about the importance of creating a real sense of togetherness, knowing that these games were going to be really tough in terms of being out of possession, and the girls have exceeded the expectations we had of them.

“Morale is fantastic – and the players have bought into the fact that we had to play a certain way this week. The only way we were going to be competitive was by playing as a unit and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

"I think the last two performances have really shown what our principles are like and it’s about building on that at the weekend again.”



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