Arsenal cruise through to the quarterfinals of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, knocking Liverpool out. The two sides, both leaders of their respective leagues, met in the fifth round of the competition at Prenton Park on Sunday. The Gunners put four past the home team, with three goals in the first half including stunners by Katie McCabe and Caitlin Foord. Captain, Kim Little also got on the scoresheet.
The start of the first 45 minutes was relatively evenly contested. Liverpool fans were loud and clear and were almost rewarded with a chance for Leanne Kiernan to open the scoring, but Rafaelle Souza recovered well to deny her.
The visitors found the breakthrough in the 19th minute as Souza got her first assist for the club. She slid the ball through a small gap in Liverpool’s backline for Foord, whose shot found its way in despite Rachel Laws getting a palm on it.
Kiernan was causing problems for Arsenal as she danced through the midfield. She took the ball off Steph Catley in a dangerous position before driving into the box, but her shot was just wide. Kim Little’s header was then denied by Laws, who made a great save at close range.
In the 31st minute, the yellow shirts attempted a clever corner, one that was clearly practiced in training. It seemed to have not been successful at first as the delivery was headed away by Kiernan but the ball fell irresistibly for McCabe. The Irish captain struck it sweetly on a one-time volley, adding yet another badge of honour for scoring such goals.
Just two minutes later, McCabe played her part in Foord’s brace. She flicked the ball on for the forward, who turned to face the goal and take the half volley on and made it 3-0.
Liverpool showed no backing down in the second half, bringing on Rachel Furness and Megan Campbell as the game passed the hour mark. Katie Stengel had a chance to get one back for her team in the 65th minute, but her header was strayed wide after a, inviting cross from Yana Daniels.
Arsenal made it 4-0 in the 68th minute through skipper, Kim Little. There were calls for offside, but the lack of VAR meant Liverpool could not make their case.
Despite the score line, The Reds put up a great fight until the end and the game only proved that promotion to the WSL is imminent and will be well deserved. The battle in midfield between Furness and Little was one to watch. Arsenal await to hear who they will face in the quarterfinals, with possibilities of facing National League side, Ipswich Town or WSL rivals, Chelsea. Liverpool will continue their domination of the Championship next week away at London City.