Player ratings as emphatic win marred by another Gunners injury
Despite soaring to a four-goal lead before half-time, Arsenal’s emphatic triumph over Everton in the WSL on Wednesday was marred by yet another player being forced off on a stretcher.
Coming off a 7-0 loss to Chelsea, Everton boss Brian Sorensen made three changes, including bringing young Lionesses goalkeeper Emily Ramsey back into the side. With Caitlin Foord and Lia Walti making their way back from respective injuries and illnesses for Arsenal, Jonas Eidevall kept the back three unchanged following their comfortable win 4-0 win against Brighton last time out.
Arsenal were looking to solidify their place in the top three, whilst Everton were hoping to restore some pride and close the gap on fifth-place Aston Villa; both teams were vying for the all-important three points as the WSL closes in on the final two rounds of fixtures.
But within 13 minutes, Arsenal had completely derailed the Toffees, punishing them with four goals.
The Gunners were trying to play on the counter, with Foord progressing towards the final third, but a cynical foul on the Australian winger from Everton’s Karen Holmgaard sees her entered into the book early on.
Arsenal were the more aggressive side in the first 20 minutes with the link-up between Frida Maanum and Victoria Pelova, returning to her favoured right-wing position, once again proving dangerous as the visitors pressed for the opener.
In the reverse fixture, Ramsey had held Arsenal to just a 1-0 win, proving her talent between the sticks. That became apparent once again as she did well to calmly deal with Arsenal’s early set pieces and attempts on goal.
Even with the sides looking fairly evenly matched, Arsenal broke the deadlock after a switch-off from Everton allowed an unmarked Foord to steal the opener as frustrations started to mount. Once again, lapse in concentration from the Toffees was punished as it had been against Chelsea.
Within seconds, Everton’s opportunity to equalise was looking dangerous following a mistake from Lotte Wubben-Moy. But, to the Gunners’ delight, she made the miles up to get back. Overall, Everton were struggling to take the few chances presented to them.
Arsenal skipper Katie McCabe’s strike from distance doubled the lead just after the half-hour mark as Everton failed to clear their lines and once more punished.
Within minutes, Arsenal grabbed the game by both hands and sealed their win before half-time had even rolled around. McCabe cut inside far too easily, playing in Stina Blackstenius who had her initial shot deflected by Ramsey. But it fell to a lurking Foord for her second and the team’s third.
Adding insult to injury, minutes later a set-piece saw Maanum swing the corner in to find Wubben-Moy who manages to get in front of Everton skipper Nicoline Sorenson to take Arsenal to 4-0 before half-time.
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The emphatic start to the game was swiftly marred by a nasty ankle injury to Lia Walt. Not only did it leave Swiss captain being stretchered off, Everton forward Aggie Beever-Jones received a red card for the challenge, reducing the hosts to 10 players and presenting even more of a mountain to climb.
With the injury flattening the game, Everton had a shot rattle the woodwork. Ramsey was also tested once again by an advancing Jodie Taylor, but the young ‘keeper did well to clear the attempt.
Although the sting was gone, Katja Snoejis at least earned Everton a consolation, scoring her fourth goal in four games. While it did not change the outcome of the game, it was a testament to the pressure Everton put on Arsenal in the second half, despite being a player down.
GK: Manuela Zinsberger – 6/10 – Had little to do during the game, cleared attempts well.
CB: Lotte Wubben Moy – 8/10 – Did well to recover from silly mistakes; ability to get in front of her marker stole the fourth goal.
CB: Jen Beattie – 7/10 – Defensive ability on point once again. Leadership also proving pivotal.
CB: Rafaelle Souza – 6/10 – Defended well but had little to do during the game.
RM: Noelle Maritz – 7/10 – Provided more attacking options moving forward
CM: Frida Maanum – Kept relatively quiet but did well to play on the break and moving towards the final third.
CM: Lia Walti – 7/10 – Played well in midfield before being taken off with a nasty ankle injury.
LM: Katie McCabe – 9/10 – Dominated the battle of the left flank.
RF: Victoria Pelova – 8/10 – Controlled the wing expertly and caused many an issue for the Everton defense.
LF: Caitlin Foord – 9/10 – First start since April, punished Everton’s poor defending on several occasions.
ST: Stina Blackstenius – 6/10 – Played a little selfishly at times,
SUB: Jodie Taylor (45′ for Rafaelle ) – 6/10 – Had some fruitful moments in front of goal but struggled to make anything come from it.
SUB: Katherine Kuhl (49′ for Walti ) – 6/10
SUB: Gio (66′ for Foord ) – 6/10
SUB: Steph Catley (88′ for McCabe ) – N/A –
SUB: Freya Godfrey (88′ for Blackstenius ) – N/A –
Jonas Eidevall – 7/10 – Gameplan rarely differed from previous games; formation change at half-time caused some issues for communication.
GK: Emily Ramsey – 5/10 – Struggled after a knock to her confidence conceding four goals in the space of only 13 minutes
CB: Karen Holmgaard – 6/10 – Did well to defend against a lurking Arsenal.
CB: Nathalie Bjorn – 5/10 – Sloppy pass gave away the first goal.
CB: Sara Holmgaard – 6/10 – Did well to force Arsenal to play more centrally than planned.
RM: Nicoline Sorensen – 6/10 – Everton’s best chances pressing forward came from Sorensen.
CM: Clare Wheeler – 7/10 – Maintained the battle of the midfield well but struggled to find form moving forward.
CM: Aurora Galli – 6/10 – Subbed off at the interval but had a decent first half, even if she struggled to break down Arsenal’s defence.
LM: Katrine Veje – 5/10 – Struggled to keep a hold on the game.
AM: Hanna Bennison – 6/10 – Player with a lot of quality but could have done better in front of goal.
ST: Aggie Beever-Jones – 5/10 – Sent off 49 minutes in after a nasty challenge on Walti. Was playing well before that.
ST: Katja Snoeijs – 6/10 – A lacklustre performance for the Dutch international who barely had the ball, but made up for it with a goal.
SUB: Rikke Sevecke (45′ for Galli ) – 5/10 – Had little impact on the game.
SUB: Lucy Hope (63′ for Veje ) – 6/10
SUB: Elise Stenevik (63′ for S. Holmgaard ) – 5/10
SUB: Izzy Christiansen (73′ for Sorensen ) – 6/10
SUB: Megan Finnegan (73′ for K. Holmgaard ) – 6/10
Brian Sorensen – 6/10 – Did well to direct the team to hold Arsenal for the first 20 minutes. Made changes well to minimse the damange after going a player down.