Saturday, May 25, 2024

Report: Arsenal 5-1 Watford (inc goals)

Arsenal: Zinsberger, Fox, Ilestedt, Wubben-Moy, McCabe, Wälti, Pelova, Mead, Miedema, Foord, Russo

Subs: D’Angelo, Williams, Beattie, Maanum, Lacasse, Blackstenius, Codina, Cooney-Cross

Arsenal are through to the 5th round of the Women’s FA Cup after dispatching Championship side Watford 5-1.

Jonas Eidevall made two changes from Arsenal’s last game before the winter break, with Vivianne Miedema making her second start since returning from her ACL injury, and new signing Emily Fox making her debut.

Arsenal had a good early chance. After a period of possession, Pelova slipped a through ball for Miedema, but the Watford goalkeeper Jacqui Goldsmid was able to smother the ball behind for a corner.

The pattern of the game was set, though, with Arsenal in comfortable possession and Watford playing a low block with all ten of their outfield players behind the ball.

After five minutes, the pressure paid off. Pelova was unimpeded, and when she shot from the edge of the box Goldsmid could only parry in front of her, and Alessia Russo put the rebound away to put Arsenal ahead. 1-0.

Arsenal continued to dominate, with Fox and Mead combining to win a corner. The corner was taken quickly, Mead crossed to the top of the penalty area, and Pelova’s dummy set up Lia Wälti, who placed a curled strike into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 inside fifteen minutes. 2-0.

Miedema had a chance to make it three. Mead’s free kick found her unmarked, but she could only shoot straight at Goldsmid. But Arsenal, who have underperformed relative to the dominance and chances they’ve created this season (sound familiar?) kept the pressure on, playing quick one and two touch passes.

Ilestedt really ought to have made it 3-0, heading over from close range from McCabe’s corner.

Arsenal had more good chances to make it 3-0. Arsenal loanee Michelle Agyemang was stripped of possession at the edge of the Watford penalty box, but Russo dragged her shot wide.

Still the third wouldn’t come, as Miedema, with Goldsmid off her line, could only hit a shot that was easily blocked, and then Russo hit the bar from Miedema’s cutback. Miedema, though, was heavily involved, and set up another good chance. She skipped around a challenge in the box, and found Foord with her low, but the Australian’s shot screwed wide of goal, meaning at half time, it was remarkably only 2-0 to Arsenal.

Arsenal started the second much as they ended the first. The excellent Pelova set Mead away, and her low cross found Foord, whose first time shot was saved by Goldsmid by her near post.

Then Miedema had a chance. Good work from Fox saw her go to the byline and cutback for Miedema, but under pressure from Katie Reid, another Arsenal loanee, her left footed shot went into the side-netting.

With some of the pace coming out of the game, Eidevall made a quadruple substitution shortly after the hour mark, with Cloé Lacasse, Stina Blackstenius, Frida Maanum, and Kyra Cooney-Cross coming on for Foord, Russo, Miedema, and Wälti.

Blackstenius’ impact was instant. Pelova’s excellent through ball found the Swede’s run in behind, and her finish was clinical, finally giving Arsenal the third goal. 3-0.

Blackstenius then nearly turned provider, as her flick for Maanum led to a good strike that was parried behind for a corner as Arsenal looked for a fourth. Pelova then played in Lacasse, but her shot was saved by Goldsmid.

Watford got a goal back. Wubben-Moy’s underhit pass was intercepted, and Agyemang pounced on the mistake and finished through Zinsberger’s legs to make it 3-1 with just over 10 minutes left to play.

Arsenal, though, would respond. Good pressing from Maanum won Arsenal a corner, and from a successive corner, Ilestedt headed McCabe’s delivery beyond Goldsmid to make it 4-1.

With a minute left of normal time, Maanum would make it 5. From the right channel, Blackstenius’ cutback was deflected into Maanum’s path, and she calmly slotted the ball into the net. 5-1.

Codina then replaced Wubben-Moy as the matched entered five minutes of additional time. There’d be another chance for Blackstenius, as she smartly met Lacasse’s cross, but Goldsmid would deny her with a sharp reaction save. Blackstenius would then play a dangerous pullback, but the ball evaded Maanum.

There was concern at full time, as Mead went down after a challenge as the final whistle blew, but she would be up on her feet in the post-match huddle.

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Al M

Good to see Viv back
Simple victory against a poor side. Usual Arsenal display complete with missed simple chances and shambolic defensive moment

Fun Gunner

Thanks very much, Aidan Gibson. Much appreciated. Excellent though Pelova was, my player of the match was Lia Walti who is now back to her best. Positives were the pace of passing and the number of excellent chances we created, but our finishing is still too poor. The shot spamming was still there but mercifully for only a short period. The substitutions were excellently timed. And woo-hoo, goals from set pieces. And another varied array of goalscorers, which is wonderful. Two of the five goals were from midfielders which is great considering that we have bemoaned a lack of firepower… Read more »

Bill Hall

Can one or two of the ladies go and show the men’s team how to take free kicks into the box and corners 😉

Henkamp

Good to see a match report for the ladies. Well done, blogs.

Giuseppe Hovno

really pleased to see these match reports! feels like it was only a few weeks ago I posted here complaining about the lack of them. I’m sure it has been in the works for longer than that but i’m chuffed!

Ewmhop

Really appreciated getting a match report! Hope these are now standard on arseblog 🙂

Iamtheantisp*r

Huzzah for the match report! Been waiting for these, so thank you all at Arseblog!

Ian Donovan

Can’t believe you didn’t mention the excellent Emily Fox ‘Kids from America’ chant! 😆

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