Arsenal earn first win of 2021 with second-half rout of Aston Villa


Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 4 Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro said his team had “started the ball rolling for a really good run” after scoring four second-half goals to claim their first win of 2021. Several postponements, combined with a run of one point from three games that dashed their title hopes, had meant Montemurro’s side had not won since Dec 20. More than two months later, they got back to winning ways with a patient and classy performance at the Banks’s Stadium. They had to wait a long time to open the scoring against a Villa side playing with five at the back. In the first half Arsenal enjoyed near-total domination of possession, but found it difficult to break down the hosts’ well-organised defensive shield. When the visitors did get shots away, they initially found Germany goalkeeper Lisa Weiss in good form. She did brilliantly to tip Noelle Maritz’s strike away from the top corner, before keeping out a close-range effort from Vivianne Miedema, after Beth Mead had earlier drilled a low shot just wide. Miedema and her Holland team-mate Danielle van de Donk both volleyed over the bar as Arsenal created good chances shortly after half-time too. Villa’s Elisha N’Dow fired narrowly over at the other end with the hosts’ best moment, almost immediately before the opening goal. The breakthrough came when England forward Mead’s right-wing cross was turned home by Miedema, the season’s top scorer moving level with Manchester City’s Ellen White as the joint leading goalscorer in WSL history on 55 goals. England playmaker Jordan Nobbs, who was lively in a wider role than usual as one of the front three, soon added the second on the rebound after Weiss saved a low Miedema shot. Arsenal’s third came from a moment of real quality, as the Republic of Ireland’s Katie McCabe drilled home a powerful rocket of a strike from 25 yards, before substitute Lisa Evans headed in from McCabe’s well-placed cross from the left to add the fourth late on. Montemurro’s fourth-placed side could have won by more, with Maritz hitting the bar and Mead curling wide in a dominant display.

Original Source: Yahoo!

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