Arsenal brushed aside Tottenham Hotspur in a 3-0 victory in this afternoon’s North London Derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spencer; Zadorsky (C), Green, Davison, Dean, Worm, Graham, Kennedy, McManus, Ayane, E. Morgan
Substitutes: Mikalsen, Harrop, Peplow, Williams, Cho, Addison, Naz, Quinn, Godfrey
Zinsberger; Wubben-Moy, Maritz, Walti, McCabe, Little, Roord, Van de Donk, Nobbs, Miedema, Foord
Substitutes: Williams, Patten, Maier, Williamson, Goldie, Gut
From the first whistle it was clear this was Arsenal’s game to play. Dominance down the left from Katie McCabe didn’t ease and caused many of problems for Spurs from the off. A high line and a high press from Arsenal smothered the home side and kept them mostly in their own half.
Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk were Becky Spencer’s biggest enemies early on. Shots from the left, right and outside the box were plentiful. Arsenal’s Irish left-back had two smashed attempts by the 20th minute, they skimmed past the post keeping Spurs in it.
The persistence of the away side was soon awarded. Exquisite 1-2 play from Noelle Maritz and Caitlin Foord ended with the latter’s name on the scoresheet in the 25th minute. The domination didn’t slow despite the advantage.
Corners in the home end of goal didn’t come up short, thanks to Arsenal’s pressure on goal. Just ten minutes after Foord, Miedema volleyed home what will no doubt be the goal of the weekend. McCabe’s corner was pinpoint – Miedema gained a yard and that was enough. Left foot into the net.
Spurs fell victim to Lotte Wubben-Moys exceptional reading of the game many of times. Attempt after attempt to catch the defence out slowly disregarded. With Lia Walti playing beside her, she had the freedom to execute the forward runs she likes – resulting in great play.
Maritz was also keeping it solid at the right, even having her say on the goal and assist next to her name.
Tottenham gained some fight coming out into second half of the North London derby. Esme Morgan and Gemma Davison were a driving force going down the right, the finishing touch was missing. Long balls into Kit Graham were unlucky not to be utilised, Walti was just a yard quicker.
Despite Tottenham regaining some control, the third for Arsenal was in the net by the hour mark. A misplaced pass was latched onto by McCabe and she slotted it past Spencer. The move started off with Miedema dropping back – a key passage in play.
Tottenham came extremely close to claiming one back when Josie Green played substitute Rachel Williams into the box with a great long ball. Manuela Zinsberger was first to it and took the clash to prevent the goal. It was clear Spurs were still hoping to gain something from the fixture. With the 80th minute nearing there was plenty more football being played in Arsenal’s half.
Ten minutes pre-whistle, Zinsberger pulled off a magnificent triple save to keep her sheet clean – two of them still on the ground. Rachel Williams tried taking it round her but she was too slow. If it wasn’t for the Austrian’s instant reflex, Spurs would’ve clawed one back.
As she had done all game, Jordan Nobbs made a fantastic run down the left thanks to a Miedema ball. She had one thing on her mind – a goal. A sweet chip almost made it four, but it went just right of Spencer’s post. The Gunners looking more threatening than the last few minutes. Chances from van de Donk and Jill Roord soon followed.
The match finished 3-0 to Arsenal after a wonderful showcase of passing and dominance away from home. Spurs were unlucky not to upset the clean sheet but they just couldn’t finish it. From back to front, the Gunners ran each department of the North London derby.
Right-back machine Noelle Maritz put in a magnificent display. Her control of the game from the back kept Spurs out and her runs forward resulted in an assist for the first goal by Foord. Solid, demanding and positive.