WSL: Everton 1 Arsenal 3
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal ensured they will sit at the summit of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League going into the Christmas break with a straightforward win at Everton.
A brace from Vivianne Miedema, either side of a penalty from captain Kim Little, ensured the defending champions would end 2019 with a key victory.
Arsenal were on top right from kick off, with Everton keeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela saving from Miedema and Lia Walti inside the first 10 minutes.
However, there was nothing the Finnish keeper could do about Miedema's opener on 14 minutes, as the Dutch international headed home Little's lofted cross for her 13th WSL goal of the season.
Joe Montemurro's side kept attacking in waves, with Korpela making a brave stop to smother Danielle van de Donk's effort on 23 minutes.
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And the Dutch midfielder was inches away from increasing the Gunners' lead just before the half-hour mark, as she stretched to connect with Beth Mead's low cross.
But despite their dominance, the first half ended on a negative note for the visitors, as England international Mead was stretchered off injured just before the break.
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Arsenal picked up where they left off after the interval, and a quickfire double after the restart ended any hopes of an Everton fightback.
Little converted from the penalty spot after being fouled by Chloe Kelly on 55 minutes, before Miedema tapped home her second of the game from Leonie Maier's cross two minutes later.
The Toffees improved in the closing stages, and Willie Kirk's side grabbed a late consolation, as Kelly fired home from the edge of the box after an error by Leah Williamson on 79 minutes.
Miedema said: "I am really pleased with the result and to end the year with a win. It was not an easy game at all.
"We knew that Everton would make it very difficult for us, and they did. The pitch was also difficult to play our game on, but we adjusted well and got the win and that is what is important.
"I have been really happy with my form so far this season, scoring goals to help the team and we are in a good place in the league.
"We have a break from the league now over Christmas, which is really good, and I am looking forward to some time away to relax.
"I will go home for Christmas, and I am looking forward to seeing family and recharging for the second half of the season.
"The club have given us six days off and I think the team are looking forward to it."
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Evanss, Williamson, Schnaderbeck, McCabe, Walti, Little, Mead (Maier 36), Roord, Van De Donk, Miedema. Unused subs: Nobbs, Quinn, Peyraud-Magnin, Grant, Filis.
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