First half goals from Caitlin Foord and Vivianne Miedema and a second half strike from Katie McCabe were enough as Arsenal Women ran out 3-0 winners against Tottenham. The result keeps up Arsenal’s 100% record against Spurs in the WSL, and keeps Arsenal 3 points back of Manchester United in third, with a vastly superior goal difference and a game in hand.
The match may have been played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but it was very much Arsenal’s turf. The Gunners won the same fixture last season 2-0, but in different circumstance—with fans present, Tottenham kept Arsenal out for over an hour, and had some fairly presentable chances. On this occasion, it was completely different. Arsenal were dominant; not only territorially, but in creating chances. The triangle of Katie McCabe, Jordan Nobbs, and Vivianne Miedema on the left-hand side were creating openings.
Arsenal had good early chances; Danielle van de Donk couldn’t put away McCabe’s excellent cross, and Miedema took a second too long to get a shot off. But after probing down the left, Arsenal took the lead from the right. Jordan Nobbs came into the middle, smartly turned, and played the ball outside to Caitlin Foord on the right. Foord drove inside, played a one-two with Noëlle Maritz, and then smartly finished with her left foot, for her 10th goal of the season.
Nobbs was becoming increasingly influential. Afterwards, manager Joe Montemurro said it was something that Arsenal had worked on:
It was something we worked on in the week and when you’ve got the quality of Jordan who knows when to time those runs inside it’s very hard to mark. If the ball goes to Jordan, great, if not it goes to Katie McCabe.
From a central position, Nobbs was denied twice with long range efforts by Becky Spencer. From an ensuing corner, McCabe’s left footed corner was met brilliantly by Miedema, whose left footed volley went into the roof of Spencer’s net to make it 2-0.
At this stage, Arsenal began pouring it on: McCabe shot just wide from 25 yards, and Miedema shot wide from the edge of the box before the half-time whistle went.
At half-time, Arsenal had had 19 shots to Spurs 1, and the pattern kept up for the second half. Katie McCabe put the finishing touch just after the hour mark. McCabe intercepted Abbie McManus’ pass, drove into the box, and finished with a rasping effort into Spencer’s far post.
Spurs put the pressure on after the match was essentially over as a contest, with Manuela Zinsberger making a remarkable triple-save to keep her clean sheet, but even then, Arsenal had chances for a fourth, with Roord’s shot from the edge of the D curling just wide as full-time approached. By that time, though, the points had been safely in Arsenal’s hands.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger; Maritz (Patten 75’), Wubben-Moy, Wälti, McCabe (Maier 70’); Van de Donk, Little; Foord (Gut 71’), Roord, Nobbs; Miedema
Substitues not used: Williams, Williamson, Goldie
Goals: Foord 26’, Miedema 35’, McCabe 61’