Arsenal kept their perfect winning record up in the Women’s Super League with a resounding 5-0 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon at the People’s Pension Stadium to return to the top of the League.
Brighton started well and they created the first opening when Denise O’Sullivan clipped a bouncing shot just wide of Manuela Zinsberger’s far post from the edge of the box.
Vivianne Miedema however put Arsenal ahead in the 10th minute as she sold Fliss Gibbons a dummy on the edge of the area and placed a shot into the bottom corner beyond Megan Walsh in the Seagulls goal to settle any early nerves they might have had.
Five minutes later Joe Montemurro’s side were denied by the post as Danielle van de Donk burst down the left flank and cut the ball back to Beth Mead who saw her effort tipped onto the post from six yards out.
Arsenal were the team very much in control but the Seagulls who saw manager Hope Powell awarded September’s manager of the month had a big chance with O’Sullivan won the ball from Van de Donk but her low strike was well saved by Zinsberger down low to her right.
The Gunners goal meant that they had scored in 29 Women’s Super League games in a row their longest scoring streak in the competition since it was founded in 2011.
Montemurro then thought his side had doubled their lead when Miedema was played in but Walsh came out of her goal to clear the danger in what was an excellent piece of goalkeeping.
Arsenal were really pushing for their second when Australian international Caitlin Foord was played in by Van de Donk but her shot was well blocked by Danique Kerkdijk.
They did double their lead however when Van de Donk fired in after good work from Foord who did really well to get down the right and cut the ball back for the Netherlands international and she fired into the net across the impressive Walsh.
It was the Seagulls who had the final opportunity of the first half as Inessa Kaagman found room to shoot but her effort was well dealt with by Zinsberger.
Arsenal started the second half in perfect fashion as they made it 3-0 with Scottish International Jennifer Beattie scoring from a corner as she got on the end of a Katie McCabe corner to rise high and head beyond Walsh despite Kaagman hooking the ball out from behind the line.
Zinsberger who impressed for the Gunners in the mid-week game against Chelsea despite losing 4-1 made another fine stop to keep the Seagulls at bay on 51 minutes as the Austrian international kept out a powerful Kaagman effort from range.
On 57 minutes the Gunners then made their first change of the game as Leonie Maier was replaced by summer signing Lotte Wubben-Moy before several minutes later Viktoria Schnaderbeck replaced Jennifer Beattie who is only back from injury.
Brighton then broke forward with Welsh forward Kayleigh Green but she was denied by a perfectly timed tackle by Leah Williamson who came across to deny her a shot on goal.
On 71 minutes Arsenal had another opening when Foord who didn’t stop running found on the right crossed aiming for Miedema but her effort was well dealt with by Kerkdijk heading the ball away.
The Gunners then had the ball in the net on 73 minutes when Miedema headed in a free-kick at the back-post but the goal was ruled out after a foul by Williamson on 73 minutes.
On 78 minutes Montemurro then made another change bringing off the impressive Foord for Ruby Mace who was making her WSL debut for the Gunners.
Three was then to become four when Wubben-Moy scored her first Gunners goal since returning from America as she met a Miedema cross perfectly at the back post to flick into the empty net beyond Walsh a real moment of magic for the youngster.
Arsenal then created another fine chance on 86 minutes as Miedema picked out Republic of Ireland International McCabe who had already provided an assist before she turned in the box before firing straight at Walsh.
McCabe then had yet another opportunity as she worked her way into the box after linking up with player of the match Van de Donk before drilling the shot wide of goal.
However the Gunners did get a fifth when Miedema added her second of the game in the final piece of action in the game as McCabe intelligently flicked the ball into her and she lashed in her seventh of the season and her 49th goal in her 49th Women’s Super League game.
Arsenal: Zinsberger, Maier, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe, Gut, Wälti, Van de Donk, Mead, Miedema, Foord.
Subs used Wubben-Moy, Schnaderbeck, Mace.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Walsh, Le Tissier, Kerkdijk, Stott, Gibbons, Green, O’Sullivan, Bowman, Whelan, Jarrett, Kaagman.
Subs used; Connolly, Williams, Lee, Simpkins, Barton.