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Jack Pitt

Jack Pitt writes

Posted Sunday, May 20th 2018

Report: Bristol City Women 1 - Arsenal Women 6

Five first half goals for Arsenal were too much for Bristol City Women, who slumped to defeat against the Gunners this afternoon.

With the pitch gleaming under the hot spring sunshine, it was the Vixens who started brightest, pinning the Gunners in their own half thanks to some brilliant passing moves.

As Arsenal forced their way into the game, City Women’s defence had to be at their best to quell the threat of Danielle Carter and Beth Mead, who looked like the Gunners biggest attacking threats.

Just before the 20-minute mark, City Women keeper Sophie Baggaley was called into action, producing an incredible double save to deny Danique Janssen and Jordan Nobbs.

The Dutch midfielder produced a sublime free-kick that saw Baggaley rise high into the air to force a corner, before the resulting set piece was headed goalward by Nobbs but she couldn’t find away past the City Women shot stopper.

Moments later, Arsenal had the ball in the back of the net thanks to Danielle Van de Donk. The midfielder battled her way past the Vixens defenders to head in from a corner, giving the visitors the lead against the run of play.

Carter was brought down in the box shortly afterwards, with the penalty coolly dispatched by Emma Mitchell to double Arsenal’s lead.

Leah Williamson then made it three just before the half hour mark, driving a low shot past Baggaley’s outstretched hand.

As the Vixens looked to press forward up the pitch, Mead unleashed a 40 yard screamer that eventually nestled in the bottom corner, despite the Baggaley getting her fingertips to the ball.

Katie McCabe made it five just before the half-time whistle, slotting home from six-yards-out after shaking off City Women captain Millie Turner.

The Vixens returned to the pitch and went straight on the attack, earning themselves three corners in a row from the restart.

Anna Moorhouse had to do well to keep City Women out, but the Vixens couldn’t make the most of their chances and the Gunners found themselves back in possession not long afterwards.

Chloe Arthur pulled one back for City Women just after the hour mark, having pressed the Arsenal defence into a mistake.

She dispossessed Louise Quinn 20 yards out and with Moorehouse off her line, chipped the ball over her head and into the back of the net.

Van de Donk grabbed her second of the match not long after, powering a header into the back of the net after a pinpoint cross from McCabe.

The score line flattered the visitors, with the Vixens continuing to play some impressive football as the half progressed.

Thanks to Hemp’s blistering pace and Arthur’s vision, they found themselves breaking the Arsenal backline each time they pressed forward but they just couldn’t find the finishing touch.

With ten minutes left to play, Arsenal found themselves in the box thanks to a daring run by Nobbs. The Lioness was through one on one, she rounded Baggaley and was presented with an open goal, but just as the England forward was about to strike, Baggaley threw herself to the ground and pulled the ball from her toes, saving a certain goal.

Bristol City: Sophie Baggaley; Loren Dykes, Danique Kerkdijk, Millie Turner, Jasmine Matthews; Olivia Fergusson (Allen 45), Chloe Arthur, Carla Humphrey (Palmer 45), Julie Biesmans; Millie Farrow (Daniels 80), Lauren Hemp.

Subs not used: Watson, Brown, P Wilson, Estcourt.

Words by Chelsey Downing

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