Arsenal Women on cloud nine after big FA Cup win

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro congratulates his players at the end of the Vitality Women's FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro congratulates his players at the end of the Vitality Women's FA Cup fifth round match against Crystal Palace - Credit: PA

Joe Montemurro said goodbye to Arsenal in style as the Gunners beat Crystal Palace 9-0 to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-final at Meadow Park. 

Montemurro announced earlier this season that he was taking a break from football to spend more time with his family and he went out on cloud nine. 

Jordan Nobbs had the first shot of the game as she picked up the ball and drove forward into the space before firing her shot wide of the target from just outside the box.

The Gunners were then awarded a penalty on six minutes when Nobbs was bundled over in the box before Kim Little stepped up and slotted into the net.

Arsenal were dominating the opening stages of the game and could have had their second when Leonie Maier played in Beth Mead who crossed low for Danielle van de Donk, but Chloe Morgan in the Palace goal made a good save with her feet. 


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Lizzie Waldie was then on hand on 14 minutes as Mead crossed once more aiming for Caitlin Foord, but Waldie did well to get ahead of the Australian and clear the danger.

Montemurro's side were inches away from a second as a van de Donk cross pass was kept alive by Mead, who pulled a ball back across goal before it took a deflection meaning that Morgan had to react and tipped the ball onto the crossbar. 

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A matter of minutes later Foord had a huge chance to double the Gunners lead when she was played in one on one, but was denied by a fine save from former Tottenham keeper Morgan. 

Van de Donk then had the net nestling as she met a cross, something Palace were struggling with, before heading beyond Morgan but the goal was chalked off for offside. 

Morgan was putting in an impressive display for the Eagles as she made another save on 30 minutes when van de Donk crossed for Nobbs who took a touch before shifting the ball onto her right foot but her effort was saved by Morgan low to her right. 

Van de Donk was causing all sorts of problems with her movement and the Netherlands international was inches away from the second as she dinked a ball over Morgan but Coral-Jade Haines was back to clear the ball off the line.

The Gunners did have their second on 42 minutes, though, when van de Donk flicked a long pass onto Mead who took her time before lashing her effort across goal and into the far corner of the net beyond the reach of the impressive Morgan. 

Arsenal were relentless with their play as Little jinked her way into the box a minute later leaving the Palace defence in her dust but her pull-back lacked quality allowing the Eagles to scramble the danger away. 

On the stroke of half-time it was 3-0 as Anna Patten played a beautiful ball into Little who drove forward into the space before crossing low for the impressive van de Donk to drill in her 45th Arsenal goal. 

Montemurro made two changes at the break as Lia Wälti and Little were replaced by Leah Williamson and Katie McCabe. 

Palace began the second half carving out the first opening when Amber Stobbs played a pass into the path of Bianca Baptiste whose effort was well plucked out of the air by Manuela Zinsberger in the Arsenal goal. 

Arsenal then created a chance of their own when McCabe powered forward before crossing for Foord but the striker could only slide her effort over the crossbar. 

The Gunners were very much on top asserting their first-half dominance when Nobbs picked up the ball outside the area on 49 minutes but her shot was well blocked by Ffion Morgan. 

Foord was making many intelligent runs and was inches away from getting Arsenal's fourth when Catley crossed to the back post but the attacker flicked her effort just wide. 

Montemurro made a further two changes on 57 minutes with Mead and van de Donk replaced by Vivianne Miedema and Jill Roord who was making her final appearance for the club before her summer move to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.

Noelle Maritz had the ball in the net for 4-0 and her first Gunners goal on 62 minutes when the Eagles couldn't clear their lines and the Swiss international drilled a powerful effort into the bottom corner. 

Maier was next to try her luck as the German international cut inside before fizzing her effort just over the top in what would have been a spectacular goal from the full-back. 

Palace were tiring as Arsenal were having wave after wave of attacks with Roord coming close to a farewell goal as the midfielder cracked her powerful effort off the crossbar. 

Four became five on 71 minutes when Foord made another dangerous run forward before picking out Nobbs who wrapped her foot around the ball to ping her shot beyond Morgan and into the net. 

Miedema made it six as Foord crossed for the Dutch international and Arsenal's top goalscorer this season made no mistake with a diving header with 78 minutes gone.

Arsenal were then in seventh heaven as Roord scored on her farewell appearance as Miedema sent in a low cross for the midfielder who took a touch and placed her effort beyond the Eagles keeper with confidence. 

As the announcement came that Montemurro was voted as Arsenal Women's Supporters' club player of the match, the eighth goal hit the back of the net. 

McCabe did well driving forward before playing a low cross into Maritz who was on hand at the near post to turn the ball into the net to add to her first goal for the club. 

The scoring was complete with the very last kick of the Montemurro era via McCabe as a free-kick was tapped off to the Republic of Ireland captain and she fired low into the bottom corner of the net to make it nine for the Gunners. 

Arsenal: Zinsberger, Maier, Patten, Catley (Goldie 71), Maritz, Walti (Williamson 46), Little (McCabe 46), van de Donk (Roord 57), Nobbs, Foord, Mead (Miedema 57). Unused subs: Williams, Wubben-Moy.

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