Arsenal are back to the top of the Women’s Super League after a 5-0 win against Brighton and Hove Albion, with two goals from Vivianne Miedema, and goals from Danïelle van de Donk, Jen Beattie, and Lotte Wubben-Moy.
Brighton have already taken points off of one of the big 3 this season, and started well, hemming Arsenal into their own half. From that pressure, they could’ve taken the lead: Denise O’Sullivan won the ball from Van de Donk, and her shot left Manuela Zinsberger stranded. Luckily for Arsenal, the shot went just wide.
Without Jill Roord, Jordan Nobbs, and Kim Little, Arsenal were always going to suffer some loss in creativity. The Gunners, though, made up for it with their set pieces. A short corner ended up with Lia Wälti, who fed the ball to Miedema. Miedema cut away from her defender, and from the edge of the box, fired a swerving shot past Megan Walsh to put Arsenal 1-0 up after 10 minutes.
Brighton had some good half-chances, with Zinsberger saving from Inessa Kaagman, but Arsenal scored a second 10 minutes before half time. Caitlin Foord did well down the right hand side to drive past Maya Gibbons, and then, from the end-line, picked out Van de Donk at the top of the box who made no mistake.
Arsenal were in full control and the match was over as a competitive contest three minutes after half-time. Beattie met Katie McCabe’s deep corner, and despite the best efforts of the Brighton defence, the goal was given.
Arsenal’s fourth was a first goal for Lotte Wubben-Moy, on as a substitute. Miedema did well down the left, beat her defender, and then sent in a deep cross that Wubben-Moy volleyed home from a tight angle.
Miedema would get her second goal in injury time. McCabe beat three, dinked a cross, and Miedema waited for the ball to come down before finishing—her 49th goal in the WSL, in her 49th league game.
- With Chelsea and Manchester City playing at time of writing, this was not only a crucial win for Arsenal, but also a big win in terms of goal difference: Arsenal’s goal difference is now 20, after four games.
- There is some bad injury news: Noëlle Maritz suffered an “impact” injury and is being assessed by a specialist. While vague, seeing a specialist is never good. Arsenal now have 6 players out, though should hopefully get one or two back next week against Spurs.
- With a more defensive midfield, somewhat out of necessity, Arsenal really targeted the wide areas. All of the goals from open play came from play from wide, and Arsenal continually utilized the width presented by Foord, and with McCabe overlapping from left back. The rotation of Arsenal’s front three allowed Miedema to drift wide, and she set up Wubben-Moy’s goal.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger; Maier (Wubben-Moy 57’), Williamson, Beattie (Schnaderbeck 59’), McCabe; Gut, Wälti; Mead, Van de Donk, Foord (Mace 78’), Miedema
Substitutes not used: Williams, Denton
Goals: Miedema 10’, 90+3’, Van de Donk 36’, Beattie 48’, Wubben-Moy 82’