WSL: Arsenal 4 Bristol City 0

Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Vivianne Miedema’s hat-trick helped Arsenal Women move within two points of WSL leaders Manchester City after a 4-0 win over Bristol City at Meadow Park on Thursday.

Three second-half goals helped Joe Montemurro’s side get back to within striking distance with games in hand on the leaders, now failing to win just two league games this season.

Defeat for City left them in fifth and damages their chance of reaching the top four as the season heads towards a close.

Arsenal very nearly took lead after 10 minutes when a corner was played short to Kim Little, who had only one thing on her mind, cutting inside and curling an effort at goal only to see it come back off the post.

But they didn’t have to wait to wait much longer to see the net bulge as Miedema found herself with space in the box, slotting the ball under Sophie Baggaley and into the bottom right corner.

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Danielle van de Donk thought she had made it 2-0 after Miedema’s disguised pass put her through on goal but Gemma Evans recovered just in time to make a goal-line clearance.

Bristol City came close hen Ella Rutherford whipped a free-kick into a dangerous area but was unable to find a team-mate.

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Gunners winger Katie McCabe could have scored twice in the space of five minutes after being picked out by at the back post but failed to get a threatening shot from either chance.

Tanya Oxtoby’s side showed renewed vigour after half-time and nearly pulled level when Lucy Graham got on the end of a free header but couldn’t direct her effort on target.

Just as the hour mark arrived Arsenal went double-Dutch as Dominique Bloodworth’s incisive pass found Miedema in the box once more and she made no mistake for her second goal.

McCabe was licking her lips when she beat the offside trap and neatly finished to make it 3-0, before van de Donk teed up Miedema to complete her hat-trick with 15 minutes remaining.

The Dutchwoman’s third was her 19th league goal of the season making her the top scorer this season with five games left to play.

Long-term injury victim Dani Carter came off the bench to a standing ovation and nearly finished the game in style as a 30-yard effort clipped the top of the crossbar.

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