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Brighton 0-3 Arsenal Women: Gunners maintain 5 point lead

Three first half goals won the match for Arsenal.

Brighton & Hove Albion Women v Arsenal Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Two goals from Stina Blackstenius and a goal from Beth Mead saw Arsenal Women run out 3-0 winners against Brighton. The goals, scored in a fourteen minute period in the first half, ended the game as a contest, with Arsenal keeping their 5 point lead in the WSL, having played two more games than Chelsea.

Chelsea had won their match with a late winner from Sam Kerr, but the result didn’t phase Arsenal at all, who started strongly. Lotte Wubben-Moy forced an excellent save from Megan Walsh, who then made a stunning double save from a Vivianne Miedema half-volley and then saved a point blank header from Blackstenius on the rebound. Miedema then went close again, with Walsh again denying her, before Beth Mead’s shot flashed just wide on 26 minutes.

Walsh had made several brilliant saves in Brighton’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea earlier this season, but Arsenal finally made the pressure tell. From the goal kick after Mead’s shot, Arsenal won the ball back. Leah Williamson played the ball forward, Miedema controlled, turned and played in Foord down the right, whose cross across goal was tucked in by Blackstenius.

Seven minutes later, it was two. Miedema’s counter-pressure saw her seize on a loose Brighton pass. Miedema drove into the box, attracted two Brighton defenders, and having been held up, played a delicious little ball behind for Mead to run onto and slot past Walsh—another combination for a goal this season between Mead and Miedema.

Blackstenius then went close with a header from a Catley cross before she scored her second four minutes before half time. Foord received possession from Catley on the left, and her cross was deflected into the path of Blackstenius, who headed home to make it three.

Blackstenius even had the chance for a first half hat trick, only for her header from Catley’s corner to hit the joint between the bar and post.

Arsenal’s intensity dropped off the in the second half, but unlike last week against Birmingham, they kept Brighton at bay. Indeed, there were chances for Arsenal to add to the lead: Miedema shot straight at Walsh, and Katie McCabe, on as a substitute, saw her shot saved by Walsh, and Nikita Parris hit the side netting with the rebound.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Zinsberger; Maritz (Wienroither 70’), Williamson, Wubben-Moy (Beattie 87’), Catley; Wälti, Little; Mead (Parris 78’), Miedema, Foord (McCabe 70’); Blackstenius (Nobbs 78’)
Substitutes not used: Williams, Maanum, Boye, Iwabuchi

Goals: Blackstenius 27’, 41’; Mead 34’