Arsenal recover from title failings with Champions League masterclass

Alex Scott 03

Following the 7-1 thrashing meted out to SSHVSM Kairat in the first leg in Kazakhstan, the Arsenal Ladies followed it up with a resounding 11-1 in the Boreham Wood fixture, making it an 18-2 win on aggregate.

After the first leg result, Arsenal’s qualification to the round of 16 was never in doubt, but as it happened, they were obviously not satisfied with a six-goal lead and had to add 11 more to that total. Katie Chapman was the stand-in skipper following an injury to Steph Houghton and the team dominated Kairat from the first minute.

A flurry of chances in the opening quarter of play should’ve seen more goals than Danielle Carter’s first, but it was a combination of good defending and keeping from Kairat and a bit of luck. However none of that could prevent Arsenal from scoring more once they started. Carter got an astounding four goals (14”, 54”, 58”, 63”), Kim Little a hat-trick (32”, 51”, 67”) while Jordan Nobbs bagged a brace (34”, 82”) and Ellen White (25”) and substitute Caroline Weir (72”) each got a goal apiece.

The first two goals of Kim Little’s hat-trick were penalties. When she put the ball past Kairat keeper Zheleznyak in the 32nd minute for her first, she also became just the 10th player to score 30 goals in the Women’s Champions League. The Gunners Town team would like to congratulate her on this feat, as well as 18-year-old Caroline Weir who was playing only her second Champions League game and scored a fantastic debut goal.

Here is the photo gallery from the 11-1, a very enjoyable vlog from our very own Alex Scott on the recent Continental Cup final and highlights from that cup win for those of you who missed out on watching it, as well as a quick look ahead to the FAWSL 2 that will be in operation as of 2014.

As pointed out before, there is still much to look forward to this season as Arsenal face Glasgow in the Round of 16. The Scottish Premier League champions won 3-1 against Belgian side, Standard Liege for a 5-3 aggregate victory. They are a tough prospect and Shelley Kerr insists that her team (comprising of Scots Kim Little, Caroline Weir and Emma Mitchell) know what sort of performance is needed from them for a place in the quarter-finals.

“Since the draw was made, everybody in Scotland seems to have been desperate for this game to happen. Glasgow have proved what a good side they are for a long time now and I’m not surprised they’ve made it through to the last 16. It will be a tough tie for us, but we’ll prepare for it as professionally as we would to face any team and we’ll focus on ourselves. The fact that I’m Scottish is not an issue. My responsibility is to manage Arsenal and I’ll be trying to manage them into the last eight.”

Glasgow boss, Eddie Wolecki Black was similar wary and appreciative of his colleague.

“Arsenal have a lot of quality, let’s not kid ourselves on … Shelley’s a very good coach and they’ll be well organised. It’s pleasing we’ll be meeting Arsenal. It’s a pity it wasn’t a bit later on, that’s the only thing. But I think we just relax and enjoy tonight rather than worry about what problems they’re going to give us.”

The round of 16 matches will be played on November 9/10 and November 13/14, prior to which there is an international break with World Cup qualifiers.

Before I sign off, I want to share a lovely piece of writing by June Pan (who wrote this fabulous piece for Gunners Fair a few months ago) on women’s football, fans, narrative, identity and meaning. Go give it a read, you won’t regret it!

Until next time,

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

Anushree Nande

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