Following up with the news of new contracts for Jordan Nobbs and Danielle Carter, the Arsenal Ladies provided us with more greatness today as they beat Glasgow City 3-0 in the first leg, the home leg, of their Round of 16 matchup with Glasgow City.
1-0 Stephanie Houghton 14'
2-0 Danielle Carter 43'
3-0 Own Goal (Ellish McSorley)/Ellen White 63'
I mentioned earlier this was the home leg for Arsenal, so while the three goals are wonderful and lovely, more important is the clean sheet. Should Glasgow City have some kind of offensive explosion, which isn't going to happen but bear with me, and take the lead 3-0 in the next leg, all Arsenal needs is one simple away goal and they're onto the next round.
As the score line indicates, Arsenal was firing on all cylinders, and all of this was despite the poor weather conditions during the match. The first goal of the day came from a Rachel Yankey corner, one of Arsenal's TEN on the day, that Steph Houghton was able to finish. Captain Houghton and Yankey were both making their return to the starting lineup after being left out of the XI in the second leg thrashing of Kairat last round.
Arsenal peppered the goal with shots all game long, ending the game with a 24 to 3 advantage in attempts on goal over Glasgow, and an advantage in shots on goal as well, Glasgow City had 0 to Arsenal's 9.
Just before halftime Arsenal added to their lead with a bit of a poacher goal from Danielle "New Contract" Carter. (Ok so that's not really a nickname that's going to stick but did you know she got a new contract? Brand new information, I know.) Houghton sent in a cross that two of City's defenders managed to miss and Carter was right there to finish her 17th goal in 15 games. Carter almost made it 18 in the second half, when one of her shots hit the top crossbar.
Now if you're wondering why I've give the third goal to both Ellish McSorely and Ellen White is because the UEFA website says McSorely scored an own goal for Arsenal's third, whilst Arsenal.com claims Ellen White "sent a looping header" over the keeper. Who actually scored it we will never really know, regardless, Arsenal got a third goal in the net and we're happy about that.
Speaking of happiness, KELLY SMITH. Our queen entered the game in the 76th minute, replacing Danielle Carter. This is the first action Smith has seen in seven very long months as she had been dealing with a shin injury. While she didn't score or anything, she still ran about on the field without looking to be in complete pain, and that is a win.
All in all, it was good to see Arsenal go out and put their foot on the gas pedal, knowing a lot of people are counting them out of this year's Champions League already. They did just what they needed to do in the home leg, and now there's not much pressure on them to finish things out in the away leg. All signs point to Arsenal finding themselves in yet another UWCL quarterfinal.