Arsenal cruise to Champions League triumph over HB Koge
- Credit: PA
Arsenal cruised to a 5-1 victory over Danish side HB Koge in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
A second half blitz saw the Gunners come away with all three points as their place for second spot in the group tightened as Barcelona beat Hoffenheim 4-0.
It was a performance that required patience from the Gunners, but they eventually got the job done despite Nikita Parris missing a first half penalty.
Caitlin Foord had a go on the volley from outside the box inside 6 minutes, but the Australian saw her effort zip over the top of the crossbar as she caught the ball cleanly.
Arsenal started the game as expected on the front foot, creating another opportunity on 10 minutes when Jordan Nobbs played a cross into Simone Boye Sørensen who headed her effort wide of the target from close range.
The Gunners were then handed the perfect chance to take the lead from the penalty spot, when Frida Maanum floated in a ball aiming for Foord but Kaylan Marckese pushed it away.
However, Foord kept the situation alive before pulling the ball back for Parris who was taken down by a careless Cecilie Floe Nielsen tackle, Parris stepped up to take the spot-kick however it was saved by Marckese who guessed the right way.
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With 22 minutes on the clock the Gunners had another fine opportunity to break the deadlock, when Leah Williamson played in a fantastic cross for Vivianne Miedema whose header was well saved by Marckese as she flew across her goal.
Arsenal did make their early pressure pay, when they took the lead on 27 minutes via Steph Catley who whipped a stunning free-kick into the top corner of the net after Parris was taken down just outside the box.
Arsenal were in complete control of the game with Williamson nearly adding to her goal tally this season, when Maanum whipped in a low free-kick but the defender just couldn’t connect in the middle as the ball rolled wide.
Williamson who has raised her game by several levels this season came close to doubling the lead a few minutes later, when the Gunners number 6 met a corner but it was well saved once more by the impressive Marckese.
Arsenal had the final goal scoring chance of the first half via Maanum who received the ball in the box before dipping her effort over the top of the crossbar.
Arsenal began the second half in the ascendancy,and had the opening chance when Foord fizzed in a low cross for Miedema who couldn’t get a clean connection on the ball allowing the keeper to make a routine save.
The home side then had a rare chance to equalise on 56 minutes, as Maddie Pokorny raced onto a ball over the top before spotting Lydia Williams off her line but lobbed the ball over the bar.
Marckese was having a great night for the Danish side in goal as she made another fine save to keep out Miedema who jinked her way into the box before cutting on to her right foot and unleashing a powerful drive from close range that the keeper somehow kept out.
However it was 2-0 for the Gunners on 62 minutes as Parris fired in following Maanum prodding the ball across the face of goal as HB Koge failed to clear their lines and Parris rifled her effort into the net.
That was to be Parris last involvement as she came off for Beth Mead and Maanum was also replaced by Kim Little.
On 65 minutes Miedema had a big opportunity to get herself on the scoresheet as she had another strike at goal that was well dealt with by the Inspired keeper.
Eidevall did see his side make it 3-0 on 69 minutes as Nobbs hit a stunning shot from outside the box ,but the ball cracked off the crossbar before falling for the onrushing Foord to head into the net.
HB Koge didn’t allow their heads to drop, and they pulled a goal back after a defensive mistake when Catley played the ball back that lacked power allowing Pokorny to get onto the end of it as she skipped past Williamson and slotted into the bottom corner beyond Williams.
Eidevall then made a further two changes a minute later as Catley was replaced alongside Maritz as Anna Patten and Katie McCabe came on.
Marckese was having the game of her life ,as she made yet another outstanding save on 84 minutes as Nobbs got a shot in from close range however, the keeper got down very quickly to make the save.
The Gunners did have a fourth though on 85 minutes with Patten finding the net with a stunning finish after Foord fizzed in a low cross for the substitute who finished superbly into the top corner.
Four became five four minutes later when Nobbs got in on the act when Miedema played a wonderful cross field ball for Foord who in turn crossed for Nobbs to fire first time into the bottom corner.
Arsenal had the final opportunity of the game in added time as Miedema stuck a free-kick over the bar from just outside the box.
HB Koge: Marckese, Faerge (Nowak 90), Svendsen, Guldbjerg, Obaze, Markvardsen (Romero 82); Pokorny 7 (Kramer 82), Jankovska, Sajewich (Ostenfeld 76), Floe Nielsen, Carusa (Hornemann, 90).
Unused subs: Vingum Andersen, Solgaard Sorensen, Uhre NIelsen, Walter, Brahe Andersen, Wik, Adler.
Arsenal: Williams, Maritz (Patten, 72), Williamson, Boye Sorensen, Catley (McCabe 72); Maanum,(Little 63), Walti, Nobbs, Parris (Mead 63), Miedema, Foord.
Unused subs: Zinsberger, Cull, Wubben-Moy, Iwabuchi, Goldie.