After Ajax’s late goal at Meadow Park last week, the tie was finely poised and neither side were in much of a rush to give up much ground. While Arsenal did probe Lize Kop’s goal through Stina Blackstenius, both of the Swede’s efforts were far too tame and the home side were even more toothless in the opening 45 minutes.
Five minutes after half-time, however, Arsenal had their breakthrough. Unable to play a well-organised Dutch side, Vivianne Miedema grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and hit a fine finish to break the deadlock, as powerful as it was precise.
Manager Jonas Eidevall was vocal throughout, urging his team not to drop too deep, although at times it appeared as if the lashing rain under gloomy Dutch skies had drowned his voice out.
Although defensively sound, Nadine Noordam was inches away from teeing up Tiny Hoekstra, with the striker narrowly missing her connection for what would have been a tap-in following some intricate build-up play in Arsenal’s penalty box.
Still, Arsenal saw it out and capped off a fantastic week, albeit the sight of Rafaelle Souza limping off in the first-half will be a concern, as will Beth Mead’s withdrawal minutes after coming on as a result of a clash of heads.
For the 14th season in a row, Arsenal will be playing Champions League football.