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Ireland skipper fires Arsenal back into Champions League as they close in on title

It’s been a week to remember for Katie McCabe.

Match-winner Katie McCabe celebrates scoring yesterday.
Match-winner Katie McCabe celebrates scoring yesterday.

IRELAND CAPTAIN KATIE McCabe was Arsenal’s hero yesterday with an all-important goal just days after pledging her long-term future to the Women’s Super League club.

The Gunners secured Champions League football for the first time since 2013 as a 1-0 win away to Birmingham City saw them close in on the English top-flight title.

Dubliner McCabe’s brilliant left-footed strike in the 79th minute was enough to seal the deal. After cutting inside from the right, the 23-year-old beat her marker and found the bottom left-hand corner with a powerful, but placed, finish.

In doing so, she guaranteed top-level European football for the first time in seven years at Meadow Park next season. Ireland’s youngest-ever captain wasn’t the only member of Colin Bell’s side flying the flag — Louise Quinn was instrumental for Arsenal in defence as per, putting in a terrific 90-minute shift. 

“It was one of our big objectives for the season and what we’ve been working for,” Joe Montemurro remarked on his side securing a Champions League opportunity.

“We want to be the best team in England and the best team in Europe and you have to be competing at that level and it’s an honour to bring the team back after five years away. All credit goes to the staff, the players and the belief they have created in the group.”

The Gunners are sitting top of the table and in a pretty nice position ahead of their final three WSL fixtures, needing just six points to secure the crown.

With Everton next up at home on Sunday, 21 April after the international break, they’re in pole position with 45 points and a game in hand. Manchester City are second on 44 while 2018 champions Chelsea are next on 38.

McCabe signed a new deal with the Londoners last Tuesday, three years after making the move across the water from Shelbourne.

She has now scored nine goals and made 11 assists in 26 starts in all competitions this season. 

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Enjoyed that one today🤩🔴 @arsenalwfc

A post shared by KatieMcCabe (@katie_mccabe11) on

“I want to say thank you to the fans that have come out, so loud as ever,” the match-winner said in a video afterwards.

“And yes, Champions League football – back in it. Let’s go Arsenal.”

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Emma Duffy

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