Kerr strikes at the death to save Chelsea

Sam Kerr has rescued a vital point for Chelsea in Europe's biggest women's club match so far this season with a 90th-minute goal snatching a 1-1 draw at title rivals Arsenal.

The Matildas captain had been a peripheral figure for much of Sunday's top-of-the-table Women's Super League London derby, overshadowed by compatriots Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley.

Foord won a contentious 56th-minute penalty converted by Arsenal captain Kim Little that looked to have won the match for Arsenal.

For a crowd of around 45,000 at the Emirates Stadium, that would have been the perfect appetiser for the men's North London derby later on Sunday afternoon.

Both Aussies went close to adding a second as Arsenal, who are bidding to break Chelsea's three-year stranglehold on a title the Gunners last won in 2019, tried to seal the match.

But instead Kerr, timing her jump superbly, rose behind England captain Leah Williamson to head in Jelena Cankovic's cross and snatch an equaliser.

"It is a big goal in the title race," said Kerr. "We needed something. Jelena came on and put in a great ball, I had been waiting for it for 15 minutes and I kept my cool.

"I pride myself in staying in the game for those moments at the end and it came off."

"What she has, not many have," said Chelsea manager Emma Hayes of the irrepressible Kerr.

"I don't think anyone in the world can score the number of goals she has throughout her career.

"She doesn't lose focus, she stays confident, she knows it will only take one chance. So often top players switch off. Not Sam."

"They had a moment of brilliance, a very good cross, very good run," said Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall ruefully.

The goal kept Chelsea three points clear, though Arsenal have a game in hand.

The match was both teams' first since the winter break, which arrived with Chelsea on a 15-match unbeaten run - all of them won, bar a draw at Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Arsenal had also won their Champions League group, ahead of holders Lyon, but wobbled before Christmas with two defeats and the loss of key players to injury.

They looked fresh, though, as they dominated the first half with Foord a constant threat troubling Nimah Charles.

Kerr, leading a lonely existence at the head of the Chelsea attack, was frequently sent to chase balls over the top, but each time Arsenal keeper Manuela Zinsberger beat her to it.

The breakthrough came when Foord and Charles tangled on the edge of the box and the referee judged it was both a foul and inside the area. With no VAR in the women's game, Chelsea's protests were to no avail.

Soon after, Charles partially redeemed herself when she cleared off the line from Foord. Catley then had a cross turned onto the bar by keeper Zecira Musovic.

But Arsenal began to retreat as Chelsea threw on a series of attacking players, and Kerr punished them with her 11th goal of the season.