Caitlin Foord scored twice and Vivianne Miedema and Lisa Evans added goals in the second half as Arsenal won consecutive matches in the WSL for the first time since October, beating Birmingham City 4-0.
Joe Montemurro made two changes to the team that beat Aston Villa: Lotte Wubben-Moy replaced Jen Beattie, who has a hamstring issue, and Caitlin Foord replaced Jill Roord. This led to a shift in Arsenal’s system, albeit an unusual one: rather than Foord playing on the left and Jordan Nobbs through the middle, Nobbs remain on the left hand side, with Vivianne Miedema playing slightly deeper off of Foord. Arsenal initially struggled to get to grips with their new system, and Birmingham looked to take advantage, winning a succession of corners. Crowing the penalty box, they put each corner right into the goal mouth, but Lydia Williams was able to punch each away.
Arsenal began to grow into the game. Miedema hit the post from a corner, and then shot over after collecting Jordan Nobbs’ pass. Nobbs was becoming increasingly influential, and her cross from the left hand side just escaped both Foord and Miedema
Arsenal finally made the breakthrough on 37 minutes—in odd circumstances. The cross came in from the left hand side, and Danïelle van de Donk and Ruby Mace challenged for the ball. Mace won the header, but Caitlin Foord beat Birmingham’s goalkeeper Hannah Hampton to the rebound. Her first shot was blocked by a defender, but Foord had the easy task to head the ball over the line. Making matters more confusing, the assistant referee put her flag up—only for it to quickly go down and the referee to give the goal.
Two minutes later it was two. Vivianne Miedema won the ball, and Arsenal worked the ball down to the right hand side. Noelle Maritz slipped in Mead, whose low cross was flicked by Miedema and tucked away by Foord, for her second, and ninth of the season, giving Arsenal a 2-0 advantage at half-time.
Arsenal had chances to put the game to bed in the second half, with Leah Williamson and Lotte Wubben-Moy having decent chances from set pieces, before Miedema scored Arsenal’s third. From a throw-in, she drove to the edge of the box before firing a shot that beat Hampton at her near post for her fourteenth goal of the season.
Lisa Evans put the finishing touch on the four goal victory as she did last weekend. Miedema played her in, and she finished across Hampton.
With the win, Arsenal keep within sights of Manchester United, who Arsenal play next in twelve days time. Arsenal are 6 points back of Manchester United with a game in hand, so victory will be a must.
Arsenal: (4-2-3-1): Williams; Maritz (Maier 81’), Williamson, Wubben-Moy, McCabe; Wälti (Gut 74’), Van de Donk (Roord 81’); Mead, Miedema, Nobbs (Evans 74’); Foord (Little 62’)
Substitutes not used: Zinsberger, Stenson, Patten
Goals: Foord 37’, 39’, Miedema 76’, Evans 90+3’