Arsenal Women show class to leave Lewes on cloud nine as duo hit hat-tricks in cup
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Vivianne Miedema and Kim Little fired hat-tricks as Arsenal Women showed their class and superior fitness to beat Lewes 9-0 in the FA WSL Continental Tyres League Cup.
The Gunners showed Super League quality to lead 6-0 at half-time and scored three more times in the second period at the Dripping Pan to hand their Championship opponents a second defeat in the competition.
After the opening goal from Danielle van de Donk – as she converted a Little cross – the Gunners settled into a fine rhythm of passing and movement that pinned the hosts back.
Arsenal keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was a bystander for much of the first half as her team-mates, led by Lisa Evans out wide and Jordan Nobbs pulling the strings centrally, dominated.
The second goal was unlucky for Lewes as Amy Taylor made a fine block on Miedema at Faye Baker’s left-hand post, only for the ball to bounce straight back off the Arsenal forward and in.
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Katie McCabe made it 3-0 with a close-range finish before a flurry of free-kicks and two penalties put the Super League side out of sight.
Miedema’s instinctive finish made it 4-0 and Little completed a dead-ball hat-trick with two first-half penalties – after fouls on van de Donk and Miedema – and a second-half free-kick that rebounded in off the left post.
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The second penalty, awarded on the stroke of half-time, looked harsh on Natasha Wells, who collided with Miedema after the Arsenal player appeared to trip on the ball.
Lewes continued to work hard, Kate McIntyre and Leeta Rutherford making blocks and chasing down the opposition, but Arsenal’s ability to move the ball quickly, with players swapping positions at will, gave the visitors complete control.
The hosts did make inroads into the Arsenal half late on, winning two corners and two free-kicks which briefly threatened.
However, Arsenal saw off the danger, capping an impressive display with Evans’ cool finish, Miedema’s powerful left-footed effort completing her treble and Little’s 68th-minute free-kick from the edge of the box.
Arsenal assistant coach Aaron d’Antino said: “We were pleased with the girls’ attitude and endeavour, from the first whistle to the last. Obviously it was a great team performance.
“We give the players a lot of freedom in the attacking half. If they see space and identify areas they can exploit, they have the freedom to do that. That’s a part of the discipline needed for the 90 minutes and it was good to see.
“We spoke about keeping focused at half-time. If we want to take things to the next level we have to maintain that intensity and execute our style of play for the 90 minutes.”
Arsenal: Peyraud-Magnin, Mitchell, Walti, Little, Bloodworth (Quinn 62), Nobbs, McCabe, Samuelsson, Miedema (Mead 62), Van de Donk, Evans. Unused subs: Van Veenendaal, Williamson.
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