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Beth Mead double sends Arsenal Women top of the league

Two goals from Beth Mead, and goals from Kim Little, Vivianne Miedema and Dominique Bloodworth put Arsenal a point clear of Manchester City.

Arsenal Women v Bristol City Women - FA WSL Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

Arsenal have returned to the top of the FA Women’s Super League after beating Liverpool 5-1. First half goals from Kim Little and Beth Mead gave Arsenal a comfortable half-time lead, before Joe Montemurro’s side opened the floodgates in the second half.

Arsenal started brightly, and Kim Little should’ve put the side ahead from a knockdown by Beth Mead, but her left-footed shot went into the side netting. Some questionable keeping by Pauline Peyraud-Magnin gave Liverpool a half-chance, as the Arsenal keeper punched Katie McCabe, rather than the ball. Arsenal, though, were able to clear.

On twenty minutes, Arsenal went ahead. Vivianne Miedmea dropped deep, played the ball wide to McCabe, and her cross was turned in by Little.

Two minutes later, it was two, with Miedema provider: her cross was squeezed in by Beth Mead at the far post. After some delay the goal was given; the assistant referee seemed to think the ball had gone through the side netting into the back of the net, but the referee gave the goal.

Arsenal didn’t create much more in the first half, but kept Liverpool at bay, ensuring Peyraud-Magnin didn’t face any shots. In the second half, the Gunners went up the gears. Miedema was again the provider for Mead; her slipped ball played Mead in, and while the England international was likely trying to cross the ball, the cross/shot ended in the top corner to make it 3-0. After the match, Mead said that “I can’t claim it (on her crossed goal). It took a bobble but my England (against Brazil in the SheBelieves Cup) one I claim.”

Arsenal again scored after a further two minutes, with Dominique Bloodworth, the holding midfield player, getting into the box to head in Veje’s cross.

Liverpool got a goal back after Veje fouled Daniels in the penalty box, but Miedema finally got on the scoresheet after being provider for much of the afternoon, with a superb individual effort that sat down three Liverpool players before she chipped her shot. It was Miedema’s twentieth goal of the season, to send her back on top of the scoring charts.

There was further good news for the Gunners, as Danielle Carter made her second appearance of the season, and Jessica Samsuelsson and Viki Schnaderbeck both made their first appearance of the season after long-term injuries. For Schnaderbeck, it was her club debut, coming 10 months after signing for Arsenal. With Arsenal missing so many players through injury throughout the season, and still without Jordan Nobbs, Tabea Kemme, Emma Mitchell and Lia Wälti, it’s good to see some depth returning to the squad.

With the win, Arsenal move a point ahead of Manchester City, with a game in hand. Arsenal face Manchester City on the final day of the season, but if they win their three fixtures proceeding that game, Arsenal will be champions. One more win will see Arsenal return to the Champions League.