Liverpool 0 Arsenal 3: Gunners cruise to success at Reds in Women’s Super League One
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Women’s Super League One: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 3 (Miedema 29, Janssen 45, Evans 62)
Arsenal moved to within a point of Liverpool in the Women’s Super League One with a 3-0 away to the Reds.
Arsenal started the better of the sides as they created the first chance inside two minutes as Jordan Nobbs linked up well with Louise Quinn before her long-range strike was well saved by Becky Flaherty in the Liverpool goal.
Flaherty then had to be alert several minutes later as she made another good stop when Lisa Evans skipped around the Liverpool defence before her low effort was tipped behind the post thanks to the fine reactions of the Scotland under-19s keeper.
Scott Rogers side created their first opening on 10 minutes when Jess Clarke skipped her way into the Arsenal area before her strike was well blocked by the sliding Leah Williamson, the ball rebounded out to the feet of Bethany England however she could only fire over the crossbar from close range.
Liverpool then thought they had opened the scoring on 15 minutes as Caroline Weir hit a thunderous effort from 30 yards out the ball sailed over the head of Arsenal Keeper Sari Van Veenendaal but crashed off the crossbar before bouncing away to safety.
Van Veenendaal who was part of the Netherlands Euro 2016 winning team then made a fantastic save to stop Liverpool scoring as Ali Johnson played England through on goal before her low effort was well kept out by the sprawling Arsenal stopper.
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In what was a very entertaining first half the Gunners were the next to try their luck when Nobbs thought she had scored as she linked up well with Heather O’Reilly however she was denied by a last gasp tackle from Laura Coombs.
Rogers will have been pleased at what he was seeing from his side as they created another good opening on 27 minutes as Clarke scampered down the left before her cross met the head of Kate Longhurst perfectly, but she flicked her effort over the bar.
This then allowed the Gunners to start an attack from the back as they cut through the home sides midfield allowing Vivianne Miedema to get through on goal before she was brought down inside the box by Sophie Ingle as Arsenal were awarded a penalty.
It was Miedema who took full responsibility from the spot her initial effort was well saved by Flaherty however the ball fell kindly back to her feet and she lashed the rebound into the net to give Joe Montemurro’s side the lead.
Liverpool responded well to falling behind attacking immediately as England was played through by Alex Greenwood, but her strike was once again well saved by Van Veenendaal as she raced of her line.
On the stroke of half-time it was two for the Gunners when Miedema who was causing all sorts of problems for the Liverpool defence latched onto Emma Mitchell’s cross before her header crashed off the post allowing Liverpool to clear the danger the ball however was only partially cleared as it fell to Dominque Janssen and she hit a spectacular effort around Flaherty and into the net from 30 yards.
Arsenal started the second half once again on top and they could have had their third on 53 minutes when the impressive Nobbs found herself in acres of space before her effort was tipped over the crossbar by Flaherty.
Rogers side to their credit were not giving up and they should have been back into the contest on 58 minutes as Weir was played in by Longhurst before the Scottish international saw her strike cleared off the line by Quinn.
Arsenal in their changed Blue strip then went three ahead on 61 minutes when O’Reilly played a pass around Greenwood into Evans and she crashed her effort into the roof of the net leaving Flaherty only a spectator.
Liverpool were inches away from pulling a goal back on 67 minutes when Longhurst who impressed for the home side saw her shot well saved once again by Van Veenendaal before the ball bounced back out to Stoney, but her effort was cleared off the line by the sliding Mitchell.
As the tempo of the game slowed up Arsenal took control in midfield keeping possession well resulting in Liverpool tiring out the next opportunity wasn’t created until the 83rd minute when Flaherty had to be alert to make another smart save as Danielle Carter was played in by Janssen.
It was the Gunners who had the final chance of the match in added time as once again Carter was played through on goal by Danielle Van de Donk but her shot across the face of goal was cleared away by Greenwood to stop further damage being inflicted on her side.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Flaherty; Harris (Hodson 70), Stoney, Ingle, Greenwood; Longhurst (Babajide 82), Coombs, Johnson (Murray 64); Clarke, Weir, England.
Subs: Ramsey, Rodgers, Roberts.
Arsenal (4-3-3): van Veenendaal; Mitchell, Williamson, Quinn (McCabe 74), Evans; Nobbs (Kuyken 88), Janssen, van de Donk; Carter, Meidema, O’Reilly (James 78).
Subs: Moorhouse, Scott, Mead, Filbey.