Arsenal and Chelsea on cloud nine

West Ham United 1-9 Arsenal

Matt Beard and his West Ham United side were left shell-shocked after London rivals, Arsenal, romped to a 9-1 FA Women’s Super League victory at Victoria Road.

The match was highlighted as a pilot event for the return of supporters, with 734 present to see the Gunners run amock.

 Gilly Flaherty saw red for the Hammers midway through the opening period. 

Jill Roord bagged a hat-trick for the North Londoners, Vivianne Miedema twice, while Kim Little, Beth Mead, Leah Williamson and Caitlin Foord were also on target – Kenza Dali’s goal of little consolation for the Hammers: “Gilly, with the sending off, just needs to keep herself in control,” Beard told www.whufc.com.

“But when you play these top teams and those decisions go against you, it does make it harder. 

“I just said to the girls after the game that we can’t allow that to happen. It will be a big learning curve for some of our new players, and we can’t let it define our season. We need to draw a line under it and move forward.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro, told www.thefa.com: “We adjusted a little bit defensively, since the game against Reading, with a back four but the wingers stayed narrow so we could exploit the gaps that West Ham allow because they play with a five in the middle. 

“We always knew that Jill was a special player, we brought her in last year, a young talented player that probably didn’t have the performances. We challenged her this season to get physically ready for the way we want to play and then it’s about consistency. We always knew she was a special talent. 

“We should be privileged to be the first sport to be trialled with the return of crowds. A pro-West Ham crowd didn’t help us but we’ve dearly missed the crowds and hopefully, it’s a tick on the way to getting fans back.”

Chelsea 9-0 Bristol City

Champions Chelsea emphatically put Bristol City to the sword with a ruthless display at the Kingsmeadow Stadium.

Nine different players got on the scoresheet as the Blues blew away any lingering cobwebs following their opening day draw at Manchester United a week previous.

Fran Kirby, Maren Mjelde (penalty), Melanie Leupolz, Erin Cuthbert, Millie Bright fired Chelsea into a five-goal lead at the break. Bethany England, Niamh Charles, Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr ensuring the West Londoners carried on where they left off after the restart.

Speaking to www.thefa.com, Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, enthused: “I thought the team mirrored the training week we had. I thought we were consistent in training and you saw the quality in depth today.

“The fact there were nine scorers shows the diverse players we have in our group. Definitely happy with a clean sheet and happy with no injuries.

“I’m happy for all my players to score. Beth England had a wonderful season last year and I think it’s wonderful she could get on the sheet going into the international break.

“I know you have to get three points first then with as many goals as possible, I’m not sure how much that will make a difference in the season.

Everton 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs Head coach, Juan Amoros, focused on the positives following the Lilywhites single-goal setback at Everton.

Izzy Christiansen’s second-half header was enough to ensure the Toffees FAWSL side emulated the success of the Premier League team at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium later that day.

“I think we definitely improved in the second half and probably deserved something from the game but we still need to do much better,” Amoros told www.tottenhamhotspur.com

“I think we defended well and I saw some improvements from last week but when we get into the final third we need to be better, especially so we can get points against strong teams like Everton. 

“It’s always disappointing to concede in any moment of a game but in this case, to go 1-0 down early in the second half was disappointing. We need to be clinical in front of goal like they were on that occasion.”

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Brian Jeeves

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