Four-nil to the Arsenal! It wasn’t that easy, though.
Aston Villa were very difficult to break down but our overall quality made all the difference, eventually.
Jonas Eidevall and the team continued their perfect start, recording their ninth win on the trot in all competitions and their fourth in a row in the league, taking the solitary first place in the table.
I could tell you how great we were but I believe that nothing would be as telling as our opponents’ own words after the defeat:
Perhaps the best compliment came from Carla Ward, Aston Villa head coach, who said “I think that this is the best Arsenal team I’ve seen in the last ten years”
We are that good. We are frightening good both collectively and individually: once again, the players who came on proved to be as decisive as the ones who started the game, with Mana Iwabuchi virtually sealing the three points with her goal at the 80th minute mark and Katie McCabe adding a third before Kim Little closed the game with her second of the match and the fourth for the Gunners.
— Barclays FA Women’s Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) October 2, 2021
We need to talk about Katie McCabe’s goal, ladies and gentlemen: the way she lobbed the goalkeeper from 40 yards out was sensational, both for the technique and the reaction to a poor clearance. The Irish international didn’t think twice before attempting a very bold lob, to prove once again that the right choice isn’t always the easiest one and top players know the difference between the two.
Most importantly, top players know when to pull the trigger and Katie did, in some fashion.
Aston Villa were prepared to chase ghosts throughout the game, stay compact and try to frustrate us as much as possible, hoping to get on the players’ nerves and make them lose their focus, and were admirable in their commitment and solidarity.
They kept us at bay for an entire half, being the first team able to do so this season, and stayed loyal to their plan even when Kim Little opened the score, against showing great maturity.
We were almost as admirable in our way of staying calm, moving the ball around looking for the right spaces and avoiding any unnecessary rushed decisions. We stayed away from the trap they set up for us but I am not entirely sure that we could have broken them down without the introduction of Mana Iwabuchi, whose quick feet and mind made the difference.
Next up is Barcelona away, on Tuesday, for what will be the biggest challenge of the season so far, on par with the opening league game against Chelsea, at the Emirates Stadium.
It will be impossible to maintain this immaculate record going but, more importantly, we will soon start facing more challenging situations, where our quality might not be enough to power our way to victory.
I honestly can’t wait to see how this team will respond to adversity. What about you?
Thirty-something Italian, currently in Switzerland. Gooner since mid-ninties, when the Gunners defeated my hometown team, in Copenhagen. Twelve years ago I started my own blog (www.clockenditalia.com) after after some experiences with Italian websites and football magazines. Debate, don’t insult or you’re out.