WSL: Brighton & Hove Albion Women 0 Arsenal Women 4
PUBLISHED: 14:49 28 April 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal Women secured their first WSL title in seven years with a 4-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion Women on Sunday.
The win ruled out a potential title-deciding game on the last day of the season against Manchester City Women in May.
Vivianne Miedema continued her impressive form to get Arsenal on their way before setting up Katie McCabe to double the score.
Beth Mead then got on the scoresheet with an outstanding finish with Danielle van de Donk closing the scoring minutes later.
The title-clinching win began in familiar fashion for Arsenal, with a Miedema goal.
Stealing the ball just outside the Brighton box, she looked up and unleashed an unstoppable shot which crashed in off the crossbar seven minutes in.
The goal was her 31st in all competitions and 22nd in the WSL this season.
Arsenal hit the bar again moments later but didn't have the same luck as Lisa Evans, who was freed down the right, had her cross bounce off the upright into Brighton possession.
Arsenal continued to dominate after the goal but Brighton set up to frustrate them.
Joe Montemurro's side were able to put together good passing passages, but Brighton kept very compact, limiting them access to their box.
The Gunners stayed on the front foot, however, and doubled their lead through McCabe just after the half-hour mark.
Miedema claimed her 10th WSL assist, dinking the ball through as McCabe raced across from the right. The winger then lifted the bouncing ball over Hourihane into the Brighton goal.
Arsenal almost went into the break three goals up but Hourihane extended well enough to tip Van de Donk's curling effort over the crossbar.
The introduction of Ellie Brazil at half-time helped Brighton going into the second-half.
Growing in confidence, Hope Powell's side began to stream forward and were able to create chances of their own.
Brazil came close with a volley but Kate Natkiel came even closer with a curling shot but Sari Van Veenendaal was alert to the danger and pushed it wide.
Following those chances, the game struggled to find much rhythm as neither Arsenal or Brighton could properly settle on the ball.
That helped in Arsenal's quest for a third, however, which came from a broken field of play.
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After some intricate passes in midfield, the ball was played into Mead's path as she was cutting in. Taking the ball in her stride, she let fly from outside the box and the ball nestled in the top corner.
Within minutes, Arsenal were four up with Van de Donk getting herself on the scoresheet after a Miedema cross pinballed around the box and the ball fell to her. Able to stay calm under pressure, she placed the ball past Hourihane to grab her 11th WSL goal of the season.
Brighton remained a threat until the end, earning a free kick just outside the Arsenal box but couldn't breach the Arsenal defence as the title celebrations began.
Sari Van Veenendaal – 7 – Alert
Lisa Evans – 7 – Willing
Leah Williamson – 6 – Steady
Louise Quinn – 6 – Aerial
Katrine Veje – 6 – Energetic
Dominique Bloodworth – 7 – Presence
Kim Little – 7 – Orchestrator
Danielle Van de Donk – 8 – Spark
Beth Mead – 8 – Pinpoint
Vivianne Miedema – 8 – Powerhouse
Katie McCabe – 8 – Versatile
Viktoria Schnaderbeck – 6 – Composed
Dan Carter – 6 – Option
Janni Arnth – 6 – Distributor