Vivianne Miedema took control of the all-time WSL goal record as Arsenal beat Tottenham 6-1. The win leaves Arsenal as the only team in the league with a 100% record, and puts them two points clear of Everton and Manchester United at the top of the table.
For all their success thus far in the league, Arsenal haven’t been fast starters. Brighton could’ve taken the lead last week, Bristol City did two weeks ago, and West Ham and Reading enjoyed decent opening periods against Arsenal. Today, though, Arsenal were dominant from kick-off, pushing their full backs high. Today’s right back, Viki Schnaderbeck, won a free kick near the corner of the 18-yard box. The position was nominally a crossing position, but rather than cross, Katie McCabe surprised Becky Spencer and flashed her shot in off the far post to give Arsenal the lead after just four minutes.
Three minutes later it was two—and the record setting goal for Vivianne Miedema. From the left, she beat one, and then played a one-two with Danïelle van de Donk. The return was perfectly weighted, and Miedema’s left footed shot across the goal from an acute angle was perfect too, kissing the inside of the post after beating Spencer.
Arsenal made it three after fifteen minutes. Miedema came short, creating space for Caitlin Foord to burst into, and Leah Williamson’s long ball found her, leaving the Australian with the simple task to pass the ball past Becky Spencer. The rout was very much on, and Miedema missed a fantastic chance, sending Katie McCabe’s hard cross wide. Miedema would get a second, though, on 36 minutes. From a free kick, Miedema made a run, and McCabe, rather than shooting, passed the ball around the wall to her. Miedema took her shot, which deflected off Alanna Kennedy and past Spencer at her near post to make it 4-0.
Five minutes later it was five, and it was a superb goal. Arsenal won the ball back, and Malin Gut drove forward before laying the ball off for Miedema. Miedema played Foord in, who, one on one with Spencer, unselfishly returned the ball to Miedema for the hat-trick.
At half-time, with a 5-0 lead, it looked as if Arsenal could go on to get double figures. Tottenham though, played better in the second half, and won a soft penalty when McCabe was alleged to have pushed Leon over. Manuela Zinsberger saved Dean’s penalty, and the follow-up was put over the bar.
Foord would make it 6-0 just after the hour mark, with Beth Mead’s cutback finding the Australian, whose shot dinked off of Ashleigh Neville and over a despairing Spencer. Tottenham would get a late goal, with Leon scoring from a corner, but it was scant consolation.
- Vivianne Miedema is incredible. She’s now scored 52 WSL goals in 50 games—10 goals this season—and the third goal sums her up. A player who is involved in all facets of the game, and is a fantastic creative player, not just a goal-scorer. She’s assisted 21 goals to go along with her 52 goals, and she doesn’t take penalties.
- Caitlin Foord scored twice, and got another assist—she’s now scored or assisted in every league game. Everything Foord is doing right now is very sharp, and her partnership with Miedema is growing, epitomized by the fifth goal: Foord didn’t even have to look to know Miedema was going to be open for the tap-in.
- Malin Gut had a very strong game in midfield alongside Lia Wälti. Her passing is very good, as you would expect for an Arsenal midfielder, but her movement off the ball is very intelligent, and she does a lot of things very capably.
- The concession of the goal was sloppy—Leah Williamson’s backpass was overhit to Zinsberger, who couldn’t control, leading to the corner. While not blotting the Arsenal copy-book, it was certainly an avoidable goal.
- Katie McCabe, Beth Mead, and Foord all have five assists, which leads the WSL. But unlike the latter two, McCabe has put up those numbers from left back. Her delivery, both from set pieces and crosses in open play, is very, very good, and she created an exceptional chance for Miedema today.
- Everton drew at home to Brighton, and Manchester City drew away at Reading, and Arsenal are now 7 points clear of City, who are in 5th.