Match Report: Arsenal 3-1 Bristol City

Arsenal returned to winning ways following the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City with a 3-1 victory over Bristol City in the Women’s Super League on Sunday afternoon.
 
Joe Montemurro’s side returned to the summit keeping their one hundred per cent win record intact after seeing off Reading and West Ham United previously.
 
The Gunners started on top and had a good opportunity on four minutes as Vivianne Miedema played a pass into Beth Mead but her effort was blocked behind for a corner by Jemma Purfield.
 
However Bristol City took a shock lead when Abbi Harrison caught Arsenal cold and unleashed a shot from range that sailed low and beyond Manuela Zinsberger and into the bottom corner of the net on 6 minutes.
 
Joe Montemurro’s side responded in a positive manner when Miedema was played in by Jordan Nobbs before she rounded Sophie Baggaley in the Robins goal but Gemma Evans cleared the ball off the line.
 
Danielle van de Donk started the game brightly and she had a good opportunity when she was picked out with a cross but her header was weak and looped into the hands of Baggaley on 14 minutes.
 
Bristol City were well organised and looked sharp on the counter attack as Purfield found herself in space however her cross was well plucked out of the air by Zinsberger before Harrison could pounce.
 
Arsenal were over hitting and misplacing too many of their passes as they had a fine situation to equalise when Van de Donk tried to play Mead in but her pass was weighted poorly and sailed into the hands of Baggaley.
 
Arsenal then wanted a penalty as Miedema controlled the ball perfectly judging that Aimee Palmer handled the ball but the referee waved away the protests.
 
On 33 minutes the Gunners created another fine opportunity when Mead tried to feed the ball into Foord but once more the pass was overhit and Palmer cleared the danger.
 
Montemurro’s side then put in their best move of the half on 35 minutes when Katie McCabe layed the ball back to Nobbs but she drilled her shot over the crossbar from just outside the box.
 
On 40 minutes the Gunners had another fine chance to equalise when Van de Donk won a free-kick on the edge of the area as Evans pulled the Dutch international back before Miedema hit the free-kick over the bar with little conviction.
 
The Gunners did level the scores three minutes later when Katie McCabe burst into the box before squaring for Nobbs who fired home from close range to a huge sigh of relief from Montemurro.
 
Mead then could have had a great chance just before the break but she was denied by Ella Mastrantonio as the Australian international came across to cut out the danger.
 
It was the Gunners who started the second half on top and they took the lead in the 49th minute when Foord turned in a cross from Beth Mead with a controlled finish as the ball bounced in front of her before she fired home.
 
Bristol City responded well however with the goalscorer Harrison as she closed down Zinsberger but the Austrian keeper got away with her clearance as McCabe swept the ball further away up the pitch.
 
Foord was putting in an impressive display for Arsenal as she broke down the flank once again on 60 minutes before her effort was well blocked by Jasmine Matthew’s but Baggaley came out to gather the loose ball.
 
Two minutes later Nobbs thought she had the third goal when Miedema floated a ball into the box for the English International and she saw her effort tipped over the bar superbly by the reactions of the magnificent Baggaley.
 
It wasn’t Arsenal’s finest performance by any stretch of the imagination but Nobbs was impressing for the Gunners as she was nearly in on goal on 72 minutes but she was denied by a superb last-ditch challenge from Evans at the heart of the Robins defence.
 
Baggaley then made a magnificent save with fifteen minutes to go as Nobbs picked out McCabe before she fired her effort across goal but the keeper parried the ball away from danger keeping out the midfielder on the follow-up.
 
Bristol City could have been back level however on 77 minutes when Ebony Salmon got in behind the defence but her low effort was well saved by Zinsberger before Wälti cleared the danger away.
 
With five minutes to go Arsenal sealed the win when Miedema was picked out by Mead and she remained calm to slot the ball across the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net.
 
It was the Robins who had the final chance of the game when Purfield curled an effort just wide of goal from outside the area.
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Williamson, Schnaderbeck, Beattie, McCabe, Wälti, Nobbs, Van de Donk, Mead, Miedema, Foord.
Subs used: Maritz, Wubben-Moy, Gut.
 
Bristol City: Baggaley, Evans, Matthews, Humphrey, Wellings, Daniels, Palmer, Bissell, Purfield, Mastrantonio, Harrison.
Subs used: Salmon, Logarzo.
Referee: Emily Heaslip

Photo: @ArsenalWFC