Arsenal Women welcomed fans back to Meadow Park with a 3-0 win over Birmingham City, though the Gunners made their fans wait to celebrate. With the win, Arsenal remain in second place in the Women’s Super League, a point behind Manchester United.
Arsenal were completely dominant in possession from kick-off, with Birmingham frequently getting nine or ten players behind the ball to defend their penalty box. With Birmingham trying to slow the game down, it was incumbent on Arsenal to break Birmingham down. Arsenal had some early chances: Jill Roord fired over from the edge of the penalty box, and Beth Mead, making her 100th appearance for Arsenal, played a great cross that Vivianne Miedema tapped over the crossbar.
Arsenal had three excellent chances in the first half. First, Caitlin Foord was played clean through, but was denied by an excellent recovery tackle from Harriet Scott. From the ensuing corner, Beth Mead was bundled over by Mollie Green, giving Arsenal a penalty. But, Kim Little’s penalty was too close to the middle, and Hannah Hampton saved. Two minutes later, Vivianne Miedema received possession, cut onto her right foot and then her shot floated just wide of the far post.
At half time, Joe Montemurro switched Beth Mead and Caitlin Foord, putting the Australian on the right hand side. The move paid dividends on 57 minutes. After Beth Mead’s shot was blocked, Katie McCabe took possession. Her deep cross was met by Foord, who got in front of her defender and headed the ball in off the post.
Five minutes later, it was two. Foord’s cross was collected by Leonie Maier, who played the ball to Jill Roord. Roord returned the ball to Maier, who played a one-two with Little, from which Roord, from the edge of the box chipped Hampton, for her seventh goal of the season.
With a number of players returning from injury, and Manchester City Arsenal’s next fixture, Joe Montemurro made a number of substitutions, with Jordan Nobbs coming on, and Steph Catley returning from a calf injury. The substitutes disrupted Arsenal’s game, but Birmingham couldn’t take advantage, though one shot from range forced a smart save from Lydia Williams.
Malin Gut should’ve made it three after Miedema’s cross, but her shot was straight at Hampton. After Rachel Corsie handled Nobbs’ shot, Little went to her left with the ensuing penalty, beyond the reach of Hampton, ensuring that Arsenal’s captain got the last laugh.
If at first you don't succeed... put it in the other corner— Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) December 6, 2020
Little puts her earlier penalty miss behind her as @ArsenalWFC look to be back to winning ways in the league #BarclaysFAWSL pic.twitter.com/5E2PkiS9g0
Arsenal (4-3-3): Williams; Maier (Evans 64’), Williamson, Beattie (Wubben-Moy 64’), McCabe (Catley 68’); Gut, Little, Roord; Mead (Van de Donk 71’), Miedema, Foord (Nobbs 71’)
Substitutes not used: Zinsberger, Mace
Goals: Foord 57’, Roord 62’, Little (87’ pen)