The Arsenal Women Journal – Seventh Heaven (and Hell) – [ARS 7-0 AVL]

Goals galore for our girls, who crushed Villa with a thumping 7-0 win to wave goodbye to Meadow Park, for this season.
A last home game (the North London Derby is played at the Emirates Stadium) that saw the team surpass the 100 goals scored mark, Nikita Parris score her 50th Super League goal and – most importantly -the team keep the pressure on Chelsea, who are still ahead in the league table.

A last home game that also saw Jordan Nobbs leave the pitch in tears after another knee injury in what has been the moment that ruined the whole afternoon for those who were at Meadow Park. There were so many positives from the game, but one can’t help feeling that Jordan Nobbs’ injury means that her career at the Arsenal is over and this isn’t the way it was all supposed to end.

Jordan Nobbs off

(Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

Hopefully I am completely wrong, but I fear that her waving goodbye to the crowd was signaling exactly that.

The game itself was an enjoyable one, with Arsenal dominating very clearly from the first minute and not leaving much to the visitors, who were restricted to four shots, none on target. Things were very different at the other end of the pitch, where Vivianne Miedema scored a magnificent brace with two long-range efforts in quick succession in the first half, before Aston Villa’s goalkeeper reacted well to keep the scoreline as tight as possible, saving from Vivianne Miedema (twice), Caitlin Foord, Beth Mead and Katie McCabe.
The second half finally saw the “floodgates open up” when a fierce attempt from Vivianne Miedema hit the bar and then the ball ricocheted over Corsie to roll over the line for the 3-0, before Beth Mead, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Stina Blackstenius and Nikita Parris made it 7-0 for the home team.

We had to win and we did win, in a very convincing way, mainly thanks to Vivianne Miedema’s superior movement and technique but also thanks to Leah Williamson’s ability to hit a string of sweet, inch-perfect cross-field long passes to release of forwards. The England captain has been in superb form since she came back and the whole team looked much better with her dictating play from the last line. Her vision and composure on the ball made all the difference to find our wide players in the channels and pick their runs in behind.

BBC might have picked Vivianne Miedema as the player of the match but my choice would have been Leah Williamson, instead.

Next up is the North London Derby at the Emirates Stadium, on Wednesday night, another must-win game for our girls. With Chelsea winning very narrowly against Birmingham on Sunday night, we have no choice but to defeat our neighbors to bring the title race to the very last week of the season, when we will play West Ham at home while Chelsea hosts Manchester United.

Two games to go, fasten your seatbelts.

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