Arsenal hammer Manchester City to go top of the league

Arsenal v Manchester City - FA Women s Super League - Meadow Park Arsenal s Kim Little hidden celebrates scoring their side s second goal of the game with team-mates during the FA Women s Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood. Copyright: Dominic Lipinksi
Arsenal v Manchester City - FA Women s Super League - Meadow Park Arsenal s Kim Little hidden celebrates scoring their side s second goal of the game with team-mates during the FA Women s Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood. Copyright: Dominic Lipinksi

Arsenal have entered their long run to Christmas the best manner by defeating title rivals Manchester City 5-0.

Arsenal v Manchester City - FA Women s Super League - Meadow Park Arsenal s Kim Little hidden celebrates scoring their side s second goal of the game with team-mates during the FA Women s Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood. Copyright: Dominic Lipinksi
Arsenal v Manchester City – FA Women s Super League – Meadow Park Arsenal s Kim Little hidden celebrates scoring their side s second goal of the game with team-mates during the FA Women s Super League match at Meadow Park, Borehamwood. Copyright: Dominic Lipinksi

That’s seven wins out of seven games this season for Arsenal under new boss Jona Eidevall, including two home wins against our title rivals Chelsea and City.

The Gunners are three points clear of the Blues and, more importantly, six points clear of the Citizens already.

For the first time ever, Arsenal had a full bench of senior players with nine players available.

In previous instances, there was always one or two Academy players included.

Also, there used to be only five substitute allowed on the bench, back when the FA WSL started and before it got increased to seven and now the nine allowed.

Jonas Eidevall selected the following starting XI: Zinsberger; Maritz, Williamson, Beattie, Catley; Wälti, Maanum, Little; Mead, Miedema, McCabe.

The bench was of the highest quality with Williams, Schnaderbeck, Patten, Wubben-Moy, Nobbs, Foord, Parris, Iwabuchi and Heath.

It was pleasing to see City, rather than Arsenal, on the receiving end of an injury hoodoo with City missing eight players in total, many of whom were at the Tokyo Olympics.

It is also quite strange to see young Ruby Mace, who was an up-and-coming youngster with great hopes attached at Arsenal being reduced to bench warmer at City.

I am sure they will give her a chance, sooner or later, but it is quite clear that right now Gareth Taylor does not have the same trust in Ruby than Joe Montemurro or Carla Ward did.

City’s poor start to the season is well documented, with them having played no pre-season games before a crucial Champions League run that ended with them being eliminated from the tournament before the lucrative and prestigious group stage.

In contrast, Jonas Eidevall and his troops are seven for seven and he seems to have found a formula to best his opponents while rotating players with a view to properly managing their loads.

Up next is the North London Derby in the FA Women’s Cup quarter-final from the 2020/21 season, followed by the now rescheduled Aston Villa away game.

Then, it’s the BIG game in the Champions League Group stage opener – Barcelona away.

There is no doubt that the twenty senior players will all end up being used and we can hope Simone Boye-Sorensen will be back soon, so that a strong squad will allow the club to compete for the five trophies available.

The managerial change during the summer has been very positive with Eidevall taking over and implementing a style that is improving the weaknesses that were present under Joe Montemurro.

The Australian manager was very successful with his ball possession attacking football and the Swedish coach is now evolving the Gunners style in a more pragmatic way, but still keeping the Arsenal DNA with attacking football at the heart of the vision