Leicester City 0-4 Arsenal: Jonas Eidevall’s Gunners reclaim top spot in the Women’s Super League


Stina Blackstenius’ goal against Leicester was his fourth of the season in the WSL, making him Arsenal’s top scorer.

Arsenal continued their perfect start to the Women’s Super League season by comfortably beating bottom side Leicester at the King Power Stadium to return to the top of the table.

Jonas Eidevallen’s Gunners dominated from the start and twice came close in the opening two minutes before Frida Maanum fired ahead with her fourth goal in five games.

Caitlin Foord headed in Beth Mead’s cross, before Steph Catley headed home from a corner for Arsenal to add a third before the break.

A second-half goal from Stina Blackstenius sealed their sixth win in six WSL games – and extended their record 14th consecutive league victory during last season’s remarkable run.

The Gunners face their nearest challenger next on Sunday, who could reclaim top spot but would need to beat third-placed Chelsea by four goals.

A seventh defeat has left Leicester, in their first game under new boss Willie Kirk, rooted to the foot of the table without a point and with just two goals.

No fear, no problem

A few eyebrows may have been raised with Arsenal’s decision to let the WSL’s leading goalscorer Vivianne Miedema go for good. a leave of absence “rest and recharge” this week as they seek their first title since 2019.

But while the Gunners have relied, perhaps too much, on the talismanic Dutch striker in recent seasons, they now have plenty of wealth at their disposal when it comes to goals.

Eidewall has hailed the “significant” impact of match playmaker Maanum, who has played a key role in the Gunners’ recent impressive displays.

“I’m very happy for him because he’s done a lot of work behind the scenes to really be able to achieve these things for the team,” he told BBC Sport.

“That’s good for the team and it’s very good for him.

“From a coach’s point of view, I like to see a lot of the goals we’re scoring now and you can see a pattern in the goals.”

Strikes from Foord and Catley mean 10 different Arsenal players have scored in their opening six games, and Leicester had no answer to the Gunners’ dual threat from open play and set pieces.

Arsenal set the tone after 30 seconds, Maanum’s 20-yarder forcing a smart save from Kirstie Levell and, a minute later, Blackstenius’ shot was deflected onto the bar by a Foxes defender.

Maanum broke the deadlock with a neat finish with the outside of his right boot after Levell had cleared a Blackstenius cross, and Foord quickly doubled the lead from close range after Mead’s fine run.

In pouring rain, Catley’s corner evaded everyone in the six-yard box before Blackstenius curled Levell’s ball over Lotte Wubben-Moy to add Arsenal’s fourth.

Arsenal could also afford the luxury of a rare Mead miss late on, having eased up for much of the second period having already won the game.

A difficult undertaking awaits Kirk

First dugout games aren’t much scarier Kirk, who He took over for Lydia Bedford in midweek, he will take some positives from the way Leicester competed against the high-flying visitors.

“It’s not a game you pick for your first game,” Kirk told BBC Sport.

“That’s the best team in Europe this season and as far as I’m concerned, I don’t think they’ve had to work hard to achieve their goals, which is probably the most disappointing thing.

“We worked really hard for 90-plus minutes. I thought that was very evident to see. I think we’ve got a little bit of fitness, so it’s going to get better going forward.”

They had a great chance to halve the 2-0 lead when CJ Bott headed into the Arsenal box, but was denied by a brilliant save from Manuela Zinsberger.

Missy Goodwin’s late 20-yarder also forced Zinsberger’s fingertip, but while Leicester once again failed to trouble the scorers, they defended gallantly to hold on to defeat and stay just three points behind Reading and Liverpool in their fight to stay top. .

Leicester survived last season despite losing each of their first nine games in their debut WSL season, but have now picked up just one point from the last 42 available this campaign and at the end of last term.

The eleven

Leicester City Women

training 5-4-1

  • 28level
  • 13Simonreplaced byJonesin 69′minutes
  • 22Plumptre
  • 5McManusreplaced bypikein 62′minutes
  • 15Howard
  • 2Vance
  • 4BottBooked in 43 minutes
  • 10Whelan
  • 3Tierney
  • 23Purfieldreplaced byGoodwinin 70′minutes
  • 7Flintreplaced byO’Brienin 69′minutes

replacements

  • 1lanbourne
  • 6Brougham
  • 8pike
  • 12Jones
  • 16Jones
  • 20Goodwin
  • 27O’Brien
  • 32the baker
  • 44Scofield

Arsenal Women

training 4-3-3

  • 1Zinsberger
  • 26Wienroitherreplaced byMaritzin 67′minutes
  • 3Wubben Moy
  • 7Catley
  • 15McCabe
  • 13Wälti
  • 12Maanum
  • 8Nobbsreplaced byIwabuchiin 68′minutes
  • 9mead
  • 25Blacksteniusreplaced bybeattiein 82′minutes
  • 19Fordreplaced byquicklyin 67′minutesreplaced byAgyemangin 77′minutes

replacements

  • 5beattie
  • 16Maritz
  • 17quickly
  • 18Marckes
  • 23Iwabuchi
  • 40Williams
  • 59Agyemang
  • 61Earl
  • 62Reid

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