Arsenal started the season with a fantastic 5-0 win against Liverpool and are top of the FA WSL as other results went the Gunners way on Sunday.
Anna Miedema got a hat-trick while Kim Little and Lisa Evans also scored in the game, both assisted by Miedema.
For the season opener, Joe Montemurro had multiple injuries to contend with but still managed to make a couple of surprising choices by dropping Van Veenendaal and Mitchell.
The starting eleven was as follows: Peyraud-Magnin; Evans, Bloodworth, Quinn, McCabe; Waelti, Nobbs, Little; Van De Donk, Miedema, Mead. The available subs were Van Veenendaal, Mitchell, Samuelsson, Kuyken.
Arsenal raced to a 4-0 lead in the first half thanks to excellent and sharp passing quality mixed with superb off-the-ball movement from all 10 outfield players. It also helped that Liverpool had an asymmetrical system that left their right-sided defender, Murray, dealing with Mead and the excellent attacking full-back (for the day) Katie McCabe who set up Midema’s first goal.
Here is Kim Little’s fantastic goal:
The second half was not as inspiring as Liverpool plugged the gap on their right side by introducing a winger in Babajide and removing a centre-back, Little. As a result, Arsenal found it harder to find pockets of space and only scored once more. Miedema got her hat-trick from an indirect free-kick after Preuss had handled Bradley’s back pass.
Overall, it was a fantastic start to the campaign with five goals scored and a clean sheet for the new goalie Peyraud-Magnin. Arsenal are firing on all cylinders and it is really important to hit the ground running if we want to be in the title race.
The Arsenal Supporters Club Player of the Match was Anna Miedema after her hat-trick and two assists and it is great to see her back to full fitness. She is so much sharper and quicker than last year when she arrived injured from the Euros and struggled for the whole season.
— Arsenal Women SC (@ArsenalWomenSC) September 9, 2018
The other results on Matchday one went our way and Arsenal are top of the League, level on points with Reading, Bristol and Birmingham but with a better goal difference.
We are also two points ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City who drew 0-0 and hopefully, we can keep ahead of those two teams for the whole season.
The league now takes a break for the next round of the FA WSL Continental Tyres Group games and we will be away to group leaders Lewes who play in the Championship and are currently in the promotion places having won their opening game 3-0 away to Millwall.
As a reminder, here is our Conti cup group table. While we are away at Lewes, West Ham will be at home to Millwall and should gain another three points so we really need to win on Sunday to get on top of the group.
The next League game will be played on Wednesday 19 September and that’s Yeovil away. They are a team that should not be underestimated as we drew 0-0 away there last season and it cost us a Champions League place in the end.