Monday, 18 October 2010

Arsenal on cloud nine

UEFA Womens Champions League – Round of 32

Arsenal 9
Yankey 19, E. White 23, Little 26, 42, Davison 51, Nobbs 55, Sampanidis og 79, Carter 84, Ludlow 90

ŽFK Mašinac 0
(Arsenal win 12-1 on aggregate)

Davison jumps for joy, while her team-mates mob Ellen White
Laura Harvey praised her strongest ever Arsenal squad as they eased to a 9-0, 12-1 aggregate win over ŽFK Mašinac and into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Despite playing in their off-season, Rachel Yankey, Ellen White and a Kim Little double put the hosts four up by half time to put the tie well beyond the Serbs.

Not content with this, the home side scored five more in the second period, with Gemma Davison, Jordan Nobbs and an own goal from Hristina Sampanidis making it seven.

Two late efforts from Danielle Carter and Jayne Ludlow sealed the rout, and Arsenal now face Spanish outfit Rayo Vallecano in the next round.

For manager Harvey, it was a pleasing day at the office.

She said: “Not conceding’s always good, but as we were four up at half time, it was nice to enjoy ourselves in the second half.

“It’s been tough recently, not playing consistently, then having to play a Champions League game.

“But we’re pleased with how the players we’ve brought in are playing, and they’ve added an extra quality.

“This is the most competition we’ve had for a while, our bench is the strongest it’s ever been.

“It’s difficult to put your finger on a starting XI and this keeps the performances high.

“It’ll be tough against the Spanish as they’re in season, so I’m going out there to see them next week.”

The home side dominated throughout, playing an attacking brand of football which no doubt pleased the on-looking England coach Hope Powell.

Yankey was enjoying a lot of the ball in the opening exchanges, and had a couple of half chances before opening the scoring.

After a quarter of an hour, the England international sprayed a super 40-yard ball out left to Davison, who cut inside to return the ball to Yankey, but her powerful left-footed drive was well saved by Allysa Clark.

Moments later, Little showed decent trickery on the left of the area, before finding Yankey, who was once again foiled by Clark.

Despite her heroics, Clark was powerless to stop the breakthrough and, 19 minutes in, Ellen White’s right-wing cross found Yankey, who netted at the second attempt.

The hosts were finding their rhythm, and four minutes later doubled their advantage.

Ellen White played a neat one-two with Little on the edge of the box, before firing past a helpless Clark ten yards out; her defence failing her once more.

With the tie all but over, Arsenal’s approach was anything but relaxed as they continued to pass the ball with flair and purpose, and this brought about their third of the afternoon just before the half-hour.

Little powers through for her first of the day
Following a passage of neat passing, Little picked up the ball from just inside the opposition’s half and after a mazy run, she finished emphatically into the left-hand corner.

Three minutes before the break, Davison found Little inside the six-yard box and she powered home her second.

On 51 minutes, the hosts had their fifth when a short corner found Davison on the edge of the box, and after hurdling a challenge, she curled a delightful effort into the top right-hand corner.

Four minutes later, substitute Nobbs got in on the act, rifling home from the right side of the penalty area after the ball ricochet off a ZFK defender.

To further add to coach Perica Petrovic’s woe, his side had to play the final 18 minutes with ten players, Ivana Kostic seeing red for a second yellow after a cynical lunge on live-wire sub Carter.

With just over ten minutes remaining, the ladies got number seven when Little’s menacing ball from the right was turned into her own goal by Sampanidis, while Carter bundled home a eighth six minutes from time.

An injury-time ninth came when Yvonne Tracy squared for Ludlow to tap home the easiest goal of the afternoon to end a miserable day for the visitors.

“We want to offer our congratulations to Arsenal. At this moment we are not at their level,” said Petrovic.

“Our team is very young, and they need to work hard to reach the standards Arsenal are playing.

“In the first leg, we matched them physically, but today we never reached the same standards.

“We hope we will be able to play at their level as we are the best team in Serbia, but it may take two or three years before we are there.”

Arsenal: Byrne, Houghton, F. White (Tracy 56), Flaherty, Fahey, Davison, Ludlow, Grant (Nobbis 45), Yankey (Beattie 68), Little, E. White.
Subs not used: Spencer, Carter, Bruton, Fay.

ŽFK Mašinac: Clark, Kostic, Sampanidis (Smiljkovic 89), Dimitrijevic, Nikolic, Vujosevic (Trisic 45), Pavicevic (Ristic 63), Stojanovic, Lilic, Krstic, Radojicic.
Subs not used: Marinkovic, Stankovic.

Referee: Marina Mamayeva
Attendance: 325
Star player: Gemma Davison, Arsenal left-winger

No comments: