Thursday, June 20, 2024

Lia Wälti and Beth Mead react to 4-1 victory over Chelsea

Following Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Lia Wälti and Beth Mead stopped in the mixed zone to talk to reporters. Here are the full quotes with thanks to Suzy Wrack for sharing the audio with us.

Lia Wälti

On the performance…
It was our day today, we were on top of them and won the battles and were clinical in our counter attacks and that’s why we deserved to win today.

On whether she was surprised by the margin of victory…
In a way because Chelsea usually doesn’t give us that much space. But I am not surprised by the quality and the talent of our team. So far this season we haven’t really showed our full quality, today was a day when things worked well.

On the crowd…
They play a massive, massive part. Even going onto the pitch you can feel that again. We said in the huddle, ‘we are not going to lose this game! We are going to do everything for all these people coming out today. It is incredible where the club is pushing the women’s game and it’s great that we can be a part of it.

On her pass to Russo for the third goal…
I think I knew where she was standing and I had pressure on the ball and I had to get rid of it but I knew where she was going to and she made a perfect run and a perfect finish.

On Lauren James’ stamp on her…
It’s all good, that is all part of football.

On the importance of the win…
These big games go a long way to decide who is going to be on top. We have to take each game, Spurs next week is going to be really difficult but this is a happy three points for us and a very important one.

On what was said at half-time as Arsenal led 3-1…
We guessed they were going to change something based on the first half performance so we said we were going to have to adapt pretty quickly. But we wanted to keep the aggression high, win the battles and play in the spaces to create counter-attacks and I think that’s exactly what happened. Maybe the first 10-15 minutes of the second half we were a bit shaky but that’s normal in a top game, they have so much quality and you can’t avoid everything.

Beth Mead

On the feeling around the squad…
Great performance from us, amazing atmosphere, a great day to be an Arsenal fan.

On playing Spurs twice next week…
We’ve put ourselves in a good position at the moment, we have a lot of confidence and we have worked hard to get to this point so hopefully we can bring that to the Tottenham games.

On whether Arsenal can win the league…
I hope so but it’s a long season and there are a lot of competitive teams but we have a lot in this team to do well.

On opening the scoring…
It was pretty nice, especially in this atmosphere but I was just happy I got it on target and it was great to see it hit the back of the net, I was really excited about that one.

On Chelsea being below par…
I think we made them have a poor game, we were aggressive, we were intense and everything about our game was what we have wanted to implement throughout the season. That’s our goal now, this is our level and we have to keep it there. I don’t think you ever expect four goals against Chelsea but we have the quality in the team to do that.

On scoring against Chelsea again…
It’s not a bad feeling, I am really happy to get on the scoresheet and help the team today.

On the record WSL crowd…
It was incredible, the fans have been insane over the last year or so and over a longer period of time. We’re getting more people in, nearly sold out, the energy really helped us to get the result today. It’s a competitive atmosphere, the Chelsea fans boo us, the Arsenal fans cheer us it’s a really nice atmosphere to be part of.

On whether she is feeling back to her best…
I am happy with where I am at the moment, I think I have a lot more to give but with each game I have more confidence, more fitness, more rhythm and I am in a really good place. I don’t really want a mental rest, it’s a tough rehab and you have your ups and downs with it and days like today make it all worthwhile.

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Henkamp

Anyone know why Viv is not getting even some few minutes right now?

Fun Gunner

This game was a bit intense for Miedema – she is quite a bit further back than Beth in her recovery, had to have an additional operation after the first one. We were winning, didn’t need more goals, so JE held her back. Is my guess.

Henkamp

Ah, I see. Thanks for the insight.

Suz

Imagine the terrible weather today may have also been a factor. No need to take risks with Viv’s recovery.

Chrishgooner

Well done every player, staff member and fan for a magnificent display.
I’m so glad Ms Hayes felt bullied today. Next time she might actually show humility.

Peter Story Teller

She might but I bet she won’t! The worst loser in the league!

Fun Gunner

Both players were excellent. Credit to Walti for her line-breaking pass on top of her usual methodical and intelligent tidying up, and credit to Beth for her defensive shift on top of her incisive attacking play.
I’m so glad that the players have got to the stage where the roar of a 60,000 crowd is experienced wholly as support, not as pressure. We’re ahead of most if not all other WSL teams in that area.

Henkamp

A midfield of Pelova and Lia is a treat. I love the way they can subtly wiggle their bodies to get out of tight situations. It’s a mark of really intelligent players.

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