Arsenal firmly established themselves at the top of Group C in the Women’s Champions League with a comfortable victory over Swiss champions Zurich at the Emirates Stadium.
Jordan Nobbs scored a stunning volley to break the deadlock in the first half before Lina Hurtig curled a header past the keeper to make it 2-0.
Seraina Piubel’s strike gave Zurich hope in the 76th minute, but Hurtig doubled Arsenal’s victory two minutes later.
Jonas Eidevall’s team has made a perfect start to the European campaign with two wins from two games.
Last week An impressive 5-1 win over Lyon It put Arsenal firmly in their group and the win moved them two points clear of the second-placed side ahead of Juventus, who drew 1-1 with Lyon earlier on Thursday.
It wasn’t Arsenal’s “pretty” night in France, but it was a typical win on home soil as they broke through Zurich’s stubborn defensive block.
Defender Jen Beattie went close early on with a header but the visitors held out for 38 minutes until a moment of real quality put Arsenal on course.
Steph Catley’s curling cross from the left picked out Nobbs, making his first start of the season, and the England midfielder finished perfectly with a side volley under the crossbar.
Arsenal quickly doubled their lead through Mana Iwabuchi’s creation from Hurtig.
Japan international Iwabuchi has had to bide her time this season, coming on just seconds into last Sunday’s Women’s Super League victory over Liverpool before making her first start in this game, but has impressed in patches and been heavily involved.
He made an effort in the second half, before being substituted in the 74th minute.
Zurich had little possession but tested Arsenal goalkeeper Kaylan Marckes, making his debut, with efforts from Naomi Megroz and Nadine Riesen in the first half.
Their best chance before scoring fell to Piubel seconds after the restart, but his shot went inches wide. He made up for it late on, clearing Eleni Markou’s superb pass, beating goalkeeper Marckese and running away to the post in wild celebration.
Zurich’s goal celebrations were short-lived, however, as Arsenal stepped up another level to close out the game – substitute Stina Blackstenius’ strike bounced into Hurtig’s path and he slotted home.
“It was fantastic to be here in this fantastic stadium. It’s something you work for every day to have that opportunity,” Zurich boss Inka Grings said after the defeat.
“90% of our team still have full-time jobs, so it was a great honor for us to be here. We knew it wasn’t a vacation.
“We wanted to keep going with Arsenal and be able to score a goal and that’s what we got.”
Arsenal are unbeaten in eight games this season, winning seven of them, and are in a strong position to advance from the Champions League group stage.
Hurtig in doubles when Nobbs takes the chance
Swedish striker Hurtig joined from Juventus in August but has faced stiff competition for a starting spot given Arsenal’s attacking quality.
He has shown his ability this season, but finally got his first goals for the Gunners here.
The 27-year-old was lively from the start, linking up with Iwabuchi and Beth Mead, but couldn’t find the finishing touch.
Eventually Iwabuchi got there with a neat foot but Hurtig still had a lot to do as he readjusted his head to fire the ball past the keeper from a tight angle.
The game grew even more in the second half as compatriot Blackstenius set up his second goal and combined the two on several occasions. it’s on the bar.
Hurtig’s performance showed the level of squad depth Eidevall has this season, with Nobbs shining in a rare start with another player.
His volley was excellent and was a catalyst for Arsenal’s confidence in the game and his creativity.
She will be keen to maintain similar performance levels over the coming months as she tries to force her way into Sarina Wiegman’s England squad for the 2023 World Cup.
- 3Wubben Moy
- 7Catleyreplaced byMcCabein 58′minutes
- 23Iwabuchireplaced byBlacksteniusin 75′minutes
- 9meadreplaced byMaanumin 59′minutes
Women of Zurich
- 11the giantsBooked in 90 minutes
- 2Megazreplaced bythe pandain 89′minutes
- 10Pintherreplaced byWosin 81′minutes
- 5BernauerBooked in 36 minutesreplaced byReyin 45′minutes
- 24Duplicationsreplaced bythe pilgrimin 60′minutes
- 4the panda
- 7the pilgrim
Match over, Arsenal Women 3, Zürich Women 1.
Second half ends, Arsenal Women 3, Zürich Women 1.
Foul by Frida Maanum (Arsenal Women).
Oliwia Wos (Zürich Women) wins a free kick.
The attempt has been saved. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the center of the goal. Assisted by Lina Hurtig.
An empty attempt. Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal Women) right footed shot misses the target. Assisted by Vivianne Miedema, making a pass after a quick pass.
An empty attempt. Alayah Pilgrim (Zürich Women) right footed shot misses to the left.
Nadine Riesen (Zürich Women) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Lina Hurtig (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Nadine Riesen (Zurich Women).
Offside, Zurich Women. Alayah Pilgrim tries a through ball, but Fabienne Humm is caught offside.
Alternate, Women of Zurich. Irina Pando has replaced Naomi Mégroz.
An empty attempt. Lina Hurtig (Arsenal Women) header from the right side of the box. Assisted by Jordan Nobbs, he sends in a cross from a corner.
Corner, Arsenal Women. Nadine Riesen received the ball.
Corner, Arsenal Women. Oliwia Wos received the ball.
Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Seraina Piubel (Zürich Women).
Alternate, Women of Zurich. Oliwia Wos replaces Viktoria Pinther.
Goal! Arsenal Women 3, Zürich Women 1. Lina Hurtig (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.
The attempt has been saved. Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal Women) shot from the right wing to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jordan Nobbs.