Looking back: Arsenal Women claim first WSL title in seven years
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This week marked the one-year anniversary since Arsenal Women claimed their first Women’s Super League title since 2012.
On a warm April 28 afternoon at Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium, in front of what was then a Super League record crowd of 5,265, the Gunners sealed Joe Montemurro’s second trophy as boss.
It took just six minutes before Arsenal hit the front as Vivianne Miedema claimed her 22nd goal of the season as she rifled in a strike from range that cannoned off the underside of the crossbar on its way into the net.
Katie McCabe doubled the advantage after 30 minutes as Miedema turned provider, as the Republic of Ireland captain tucked the ball beyond Marie Hourihan in the Seagulls goal.
In a first half completely dominated by the Gunners it could have been three when McCabe, Beth Mead and Danielle Van De Donk all linked up before the Dutch international saw her effort superbly tipped over by Hourihan.
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Louise Quinn could have added a third on the stroke of half time when she got on the end of a corner before looping her header over Irish teammate Hourihan, but Victoria Williams was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Hope Powell’s Seagulls carved the first chance out of the second half when Danielle Buet – now Bowman – curled a shot in from range, but Gunners keeper Sari Van Veenendaal got down low to tip the ball away from danger.
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Arsenal did get their third on 70 minutes when Mead scored with a thunderbolt from range as she skipped beyond Kirsty Barton before thumping in a strike into the top corner of the net.
Six minutes later it was 4-0 when Van De Donk completed the scoring, as Miedema was played in out wide and her cross to McCabe was only half-cleared by the Brighton defence with the ball falling to Kim Little who laid it back for Van De Donk to curl her effort beyond Hourihane.
Montemurro, speaking to BBC Sport, said: ““It’s an amazing achievement to win the league title after that long, and doing so in the way we did it was very pleasing.
“I’m already thinking about what’s to come to be honest and creating a base on which to build on.
“Man City and Chelsea have set the bar over the past three or four years and Arsenal need to be at that level.
“We put some strategies and long-term planning in when I arrived and I’m happy that the title has come a little earlier than I thought.”
Miedema told Sky Sports: “I came to Arsenal to win the league but I don’t think I’ve realised what we’ve done yet.
“I’m happy we’ve done it and we’ve done it with a 4-0 win. Joe (Montemurro) changed a lot when he came in, so he has to take a lot of credit, but more than anything he really made us believe in ourselves.”
Arsenal: Van Veenendaal, Evans (Jensen 80), Williamson (Schnaderbeck 71), Quinn, Veje, Little, McCabe (Carter 77), van de Donk, Bloodworth, Mead, Miedema. Unused subs: Mitchell, Kemme, Harper.